Papua New Guinea art objects and artifacts | dugout canoes
The prows of the large dugout canoes from the mouth of the Sepik River were adorned with ancestral spirit figures to ensure the well being of the occupants. This is a beautiful example with a powerful squatting figure, hands clasped to the knees and a large head with prominent pierced nose and inset oval eyes. There is a zoomorphic creature projecting back from the figure’s head. Overall the patina is a dark chocolate brown, glossy in parts. The dark patina comes from the piece being stored in the rafters for generations as an heirloom and a memory long after the canoe from which it was attached was discarded. The piece comes from an Indianapolis private collection, dates to the late 19th/early 20th century, is 23 ½” (69 cm) in length and the price is available upon request. Questions?