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$1500 plus tax & shipping
Collected in the 1960's by a manager of a large multi-national firm who spent 25 years living and working in PNG in the East New Britain area around Kokopo, this is a stunning finely carved Gope Board from the Papuan Gulf of Papua New Guinea. This Gope Board was given to this individual as a gift from the Papua New Guinean Government in honour of the individuals 25 years of service prior to returning to Australia. It has been carved by Papua New Guinea’s finest carver and is in perfect preserved condition.
Gope boards are wooden ritual objects made in the Papuan Gulf of New Guinea. They represent spirits which can protect clans from sickness, evil spirits, and death. Small unnamed Gope boards are often given to uninitiated boys, and a full size board is made by the uncle of a boy for his initiation ceremony. Also, warriors are awarded Gope boards for each act of bravery they perform in battle (often made out of the enemies canoe).
These Gope boards vary in size, but can be up to six feet long and have a consistent elliptical shape. They are carved in relief and then painted with lime(white) and red ochre and other native paints. Most Gope boards have a similar style and depict the face of an ancestral spirit. Gope boards are also used in raids on other clans and headhunting missions. They are consulted as to which enemy to attack, and the spirits contained in the boards are thought to go ahead of the warriors to sap the enemies of their strength. They are also used to display skulls won in battle. The craftsmanship is beautiful, with a whimsical spirit in the centre of the board surrounded by decorated carvings. This is piece is a very rare find and is truly should be sitting in a museum. The estimated age of the piece is between 1950’s to 1960’s.This is a stunning collectors piece.
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