Creator

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Approximate Date

20th Century

Country of Origin

New Guinea; Gulf of Papua

Medium

Wood, pigment

Size

39” x 11” 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, the thickness suggesting it was made from the bottom of a war canoe; and carved in relief with depictions of a figurine in two segments 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 red-brown, black and white.

The wonderful stylization on this board is similar to many historical examples in old photos. The segmented body with small umbilicus is very well rendered.

Keywords

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

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