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A Fine Old New Guinea Canoe Ornament Sissano Lagoon Sandaun Province Papua New Guinea


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Collection No. TB-599
Size (36x33cm)
Oceanic Arts Australia buys and sells tribal New Guinea art

A Fine Old New Guinea Canoe Ornament Sissano Lagoon Sandaun Province North Coast of Papua New Guinea

This beautiful old canoe prow ornament is from the Sissano Lagoon area on the North Coast West of Aitape in the Sandaun Province of Papua New Guinea.  These were used on every fishing canoe as a type of magical protection from all bad weather and to catch bountiful fish. In the form of stylized fish & birds totemic animals associated with specific clans, each clan had its own style of canoe prow so you could always identify the owner of the canoe by their canoe prow ornament.  Dating from the early 20th Century

In her book ‘Canoes of Walomo’ Hermione Frankel describes the bird as a Friar Bird, a noisy and inquisitive land bird that is recognized by the local people as a messenger for the ancestors, giving warning of danger and watching over the canoe. The bird’s head and crop are always carved above stylized and entwined fish including tiger and hammerhead sharks, dolphins, and the tiny fish that follows fishing canoes

Provenance: The Eric Rowlinson Collection (1939 – Rowlinson was the former director of The National Gallery of Victoria 1975- 1980.  He was a keen collector of Oceanic Art and the author of “Art of Oceania: A Rationale for Collecting /​ by Eric B. Rowlison 1980 “

The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Oceanic Art 

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I have artwork for Museums and art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery. I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.

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