Creator

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Approximate Date

20th Century

Country of Origin

New Guinea; Gulf of Papua

Medium

Wood, pigment.

Size

51” x 10” x 1 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 of a war canoe; and carved in relief with depictions of a face atop a set of lozenges indicating bodies 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 dark red, black and white.

This wonderful board presents a classical Wapo Creek style face at the top above a diamond-shaped ‘hocker-figure’ that holds the umbilicus. Below that two additional lozenge-shaped devices are carved, possibly representing the figure or other totemic animals associated with the spirit depicted.

Keywords

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

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