Creator

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Approximate Date

20th Century

Country of Origin

New Guinea; Gulf of Papua

Medium

Wood, pigment.

Size

33” x 5” x ¼”

Condition

Overall fine condition, some depredation and wear commensurate with traditional use.

Collection

Wasserstrom Papuan Gulf Spirit Boards

Description

Gope Board of unusual form, made from an old canoe paddle and carved in relief with depictions of a spirit face and linear patterns 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 particular example is similar to one in the Tomkins collection, also made from an old canoe paddle blade. These are quite rare and, though narrow, were probably made to venerate the original owner of the paddle in death.

Keywords

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

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