PAPUAN GULF GOPE BOARD WITH RABBIT LIKE EARS
Origin: New Guinea, South Coast (Gulf Province) Papuan Gulf, likely Era River (Provenance: Collection of Mary Memory Santa Monica CA. Acquired in the 1980's via personal friend Jean Michel Cousteau (Jacques Cousteau's son). Cousteau acquired it from the National Museum in Port Moresby.
Period/Date: Probably late 1960's
Materials: hardwood, traces of red pigment
Description: This unique gope board was cut and harvested from the side of and old canoe and has a concave backside. While it is a later example, it was traditionally used. Its ancestor spirit face having rabbit-like raised ears shows transitional style, influence and the inventiveness of the individual artist. Its traditional clan motifs are deeply carved and have traces of faded red pigment remaining. It retains an old handwritten original paper sale/ inventory label which is semi-legible and slightly desiccated. Its surface is dry and varied with what appears to be some areas of old lichen. Its very distinctive and one-of-a-kind piece.
Dimensions: Length 54.75" (139 cm), Width 10.5" (27 cm)
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