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Roof finial (gomoa)

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Roof finials on Kanak chiefs' great houses represent protective spirit ancestors and allude to the community of the dead who benevolently assist in the affairs of the living. Both ends of this finial, which was made from wood of the houp (Montrouziera cauliflora), a tree endemic to New...

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Given to MFA by William and Bertha Teel in 1992. Purchased from Pace Gallery, New York, December, 1989. Formerly in American collection and in Klejman collection.

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel

Kanak peoples, New Caledonia, 19th–20th century

Object Place

New Caledonia


106.7 x 25.4 x 15.2 cm (42 x 10 x 6 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment


Africa and Oceania


Architectural elements