Canoe Ornament, Geelvink Bay Area West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia
|Size||Height : 28cm|
This very fine old Canoe Prow Ornament is from the Geelvink Bay area on the North Coast of West Papua, Indonesia. This ornament is only part of a complex decoration that was placed at the front of the canoe. When I field collected this canoe ornament 35 years ago it was being kept by a family as an heirloom carving from their Grandfather. They said it was off a large type of ocean going canoe that is no longer made due to the use of aluminium or fibre glass boats that don’t take months of time for a community to build as was done with canoes in earlier generations. The village in the field photo this listing is from the same village as this canoe and I have name the family it belonged to. Dating from the early 20th century. The fine open work carving shows the great skill of the carver & towards the back you can see a stylised ancestor or Kowar Figure This Northwest part of the island of New Guinea had plenty of trade links with SE Asia especially with the Moluccu Islands in Eastern Indonesia where people came to trade for Bird of Paradise feathers.
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