Country of Origin
New Guinea; Gulf of Papua
37” x 8” x ½”
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 atop a serrated panel 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 fascinating example exhibits a finely carved face unclassical though highly stylized form atop a serrated body, perhaps representing a ribcage or fish skeleton, though a clan totem association of a centipede cannot be ruled out either.
gope board, spirit boards, Papua New Guinea, Daniel Munzert, James Wasserstrom