Canoe Ornament, Sissano Lagoon 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 stylised fish & birds totemic animals associated with specific clans, each clan had their 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
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 ”
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