Country of Origin
New Guinea; Gulf of Papua
36” x 8” x ¼”
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 head atop a body with patterning resembling skeletal remains with legs. Originally from the area between the Era River, Purari Delta and Urama region. The board includes pigments in brick-red, black and white.
This unusual board is carved in the form of a figure with patterning clearly resembling ribs and skeletal structure, the bottom with small legs. A fine and very unusual piece, probably associated with head-taking and placed with trophy skulls.
gope board, spirit boards, Papua New Guinea, Daniel Munzert, James Wasserstrom