Creator

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Approximate Date

20th Century

Country of Origin

New Guinea; Gulf of Papua

Medium

Wood, pigment

Size

40” x 12” 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 figure 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 brown, black and white.

This example exhibits an archaic-style face, attesting to its age and simple but powerful renderings of limbs and a central umbilicus in the form of a triangle. This piece has a primal beauty that is simple while structurally cogent.

Keywords

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

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