Canoe Figure Schouten Islands Sepik River Papua New Guinea
This old figure is a decoration from a canoe stanchion. Large ocean going canoes with outriggers were used to trade between the Schouten Islands and other villages at the mouth of the Sepik River. Ancestor Figures that decorated the large ocean going canoes were the spiritual protection for their travels to protect against bad weather. This Ancestor Figure is wearing an elaborate headdress , the figure is only the finial of the stanchion. This figure is dating from the late 19th Century.
Provenance: Toast & Rohu Collection; these two women ran a taxidermist & Curio shop in Sydney in the late 19th Century to early 20th century. They sold stuffed Australian animals and native artefacts from Australian Aboriginal people and the Pacific Islands. This piece was later sold to the Tyrell family who bought out all of the Toast and Rohu stock when they closed their shop.
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