Creator

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Approximate Date

20th Century

Country of Origin

New Guinea; Gulf of Papua

Medium

Wood, pigment

Size

38” x 8” x 1”

Condition

Overall fine condition, some depredation and wear commensurate with traditional use.

Collection

Wasserstrom Papuan Gulf Spirit Boards

Description

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 central face beneath a geometric upper register, with a stylized body below, in classical style for the region. Originally from the area between the Era River, Purari Delta and Urama region. The board shows age and use, with pigments in brick-red, black and white.

This board presents a classically carved face with unusual pigmentation on the lower half of the board. This is likely due to repeated paintings, or to an esoteric use for the board.

Keywords

gope board, spirit boards, Papua New Guinea, Daniel Munzert, James Wasserstrom

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