We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Title

Konguwavi (gable finial of men's house)

mid 20th century
collected 1961

Artist

Iatmul people

Papua New Guinea

Alternate image of Konguwavi (gable finial of men's house) by Iatmul people
Alternate image of Konguwavi (gable finial of men's house) by Iatmul people
Alternate image of Konguwavi (gable finial of men's house) by Iatmul people
Alternate image of Konguwavi (gable finial of men's house) by Iatmul people
  • Details

    Other Titles
    Roof ornament - female figure surmounted by a bird
    Roof ridge ornanament
    Roof finial with female figure surmounted by a bird
    Place where the work was made
    Aibom Village Chambri Lake Middle Sepik River East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea
    Cultural origin
    Iatmul people
    Dates
    mid 20th century
    collected 1961
    Media categories
    Ceramic , Sculpture
    Materials used
    earthenware, modelled, red, white and black natural pigments
    Dimensions
    43.2 x 19.0 x 29.0 cm
    Credit
    Gift of Stan Moriarty 1968
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    IA1.1968
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Iatmul people

    Works in the collection

    44

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  • About

    Aibom is one of the most important pottery manufacturing villages in the Sepik, where fire hearths, bowls, sago jars and gable ornaments are still traded across the region. Historically, pots were made by women, with decorative modelling undertaken by men. Today women both make and decorate pottery.

    According to Alexia Kinjimali of Aibom, this 'konguwavi' (gable finial) depicts Kolimangge, the 'mother of all potters', who had the ability to conjure pots with her creative power alone. Kolimangge fled her husband and her homeland of Mavimbit, and hid on Aibom mountain. However, a man from Manggesauen found and assaulted her, and Kolimangge was turned to stone. Since then, women must make pots by hand. The rock forms of Kolimangge and her canoe remain on Aibom mountain to this day.

    [entry from Exhibition Guide for 'Melanesian art: redux', 2018, cat no 31]

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Iatmul people

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