A Fine Old New Guinea Canoe Prow Ornament Geelvink Bay Area West Papua Indonesia
A Fine Old New Guinea Canoe Prow Ornament Geelvink Bay Area West Papua Indonesia. Dating from the early 20th century.
This very fine old Canoe Prow Ornament is from the Geelvink Bay area on the North Coast of West Papua, Indonesia. It was placed at the very front of the canoe as a protective amulet for safe journies on the open ocean.
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 aluminum boats that don’t take months of time for a community to build as was done with the Ocean Going Canoes in earlier generations.
The fine open-work carving shows the great skill of the carver & at the tip of the Canoe Prow Ornament is a stylized dragon which is a common motif in SE Asian Art. 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 the dragon motif has come from
The famous Korwar Ancestor Figures from this area on the NW Coast of West Papua are often a common motif on Canoe Prows from this area, I still have a couple of the very best Canoe Prows with Korwar Figures
The village in the field photo above is from the same village as this Canoe Prow Ornament and I have the name of the family it belonged in
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Oceanic Art
I first went to Papua New Guinea in 1985 for an adventure & what I found was that I really enjoyed being with the people of New Guinea, over the next 38 years I spent extensive time spent collecting and documenting traditional art & ceremonies in remote areas of Papua New Guinea & West Papua, The Solomon Islands & Vanuatu & the other Pacific Islands countries. During these travels, I made major collections of New Guinea & Oceanic Art for major Museums and Public Art Galleries
I was honoured by being in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine for the collections I made for The Museum of African & Oceanic Art Paris in 1996 (now the Musee Quai Branly) for the exhibition “Asmat et Mimika d’ Irian Jaya April 1996 At THE MUSEE NATIONAL des ARTS D’AFRIQUE et d’ OCEANIE, Paris
See all of the links & photos in my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY and there is the link to the article in the prestigious Louvre Magazine 1996
I have artwork for Museums & 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.
My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specialises in New Guinea & Oceanic Art. Sydney is just a couple hours’ flight to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbours.
To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.
For all inquiries, please contact us.