Country of Origin
New Guinea; Gulf of Papua
54” x 11” x 1”
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 of a war canoe; and carved in relief with depictions of a face with reptile motifs 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 red-brown, black and white.
This fine and large example would have occupied a prominent part in a clan shrine. The central face motif is of classical/historic style and the chevron elements above and below may refer to a crocodile or other spirit animal. Overall, an exceptional example.
gope board, spirit boards, Papua New Guinea, Daniel Munzert, James Wasserstrom