Creator

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Approximate Date

20th Century

Country of Origin

New Guinea; Gulf of Papua

Medium

Wood, pigment.

Size

36” 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 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.

Keywords

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

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