Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

figure with two faces
  • Papua New Guinea
  • figure with two faces, early 1900s–1993
  • Where object was made: Sepik River Area, Papua New Guinea
  • wood, pigment, cowrie shell, shell, gum resin, carving
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 50.5 x 8 x 11 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 19 7/8 x 3 1/8 x 4 5/16 in
  • Gift from the Menninger Foundation
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2882

The column-like piece of wood has a round base, pointed top, and two human faces, one on either side. One face is right side up, the other is inverted. There is a bird-like shape above the right side up face, with two red circles and red outlines for eyes and a red beak pointing up. The human face is red, with red and black lines mimicking the facial features that are carved. It has cowrie shell eyes. White pigment is clustered in the center of the face, though not on the bridge or bottom of the nose.

The other face is upside down. It is also red with carved features, mimicked by red and black lines and white pigment clustered in the center of the face. The eyes are round shells.