Creator

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Approximate Date

20th Century

Country of Origin

New Guinea; Gulf of Papua

Medium

Wood, pigment.

Size

37” x 8” x ¼”

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 figure with sinuous limbs 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 fine board displays a classical Central Gulf style face with sinuous limbs above a stylized lower portion that may be a part of the same figure or a zoomorphic totem. The umbilicus may here be represented at the top of the board – such deconstruction of anatomy was not uncommon.

Keywords

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

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