Country of Origin
New Guinea; Gulf of Papua
51” x 10” x 1 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 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.
gope board, spirit boards, Papua New Guinea, Daniel Munzert, James Wasserstrom