Creator

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Approximate Date

20th Century

Country of Origin

New Guinea; Gulf of Papua

Medium

Wood, pigment

Size

54” 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, possibly the bottom of a war canoe; and carved in relief with depictions of a face with reptile motifs 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.

This fine and large example would have occupied a prominent part in a clan shrine. The central face motif is of classical/historic style and the chevron elements above and below may refer to a crocodile or other spirit animal. Overall, an exceptional example.

Keywords

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

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