Country of Origin
New Guinea; Gulf of Papua
37” x 6” x ¼”
Overall fine condition, some depredation and wear commensurate with traditional use.
Wasserstrom Papuan Gulf Spirit Boards
Gope Board of classical form, made from a slightly bowed piece of hardwood, possibly the bottom or gunwale of a war canoe; and carved in relief with depictions of a stylized face above classical patterns, perhaps representing a body. Originally from the area between the Era River, Purari Delta and Urama region. The board shows age and use, with pigments in brown, black and white.
This finely carved board presents a classical Central-Gulf style face at the top with hook-like motifs below, each displaying an umbilicus. The images may represent skeletal imagery or clan-totem animals.
gope board, spirit boards, Papua New Guinea, Daniel Munzert, James Wasserstrom