Rare canoe prow, Wauna Village, Tanah Merah Bay, West Papua (CMU)

Many collectors are familiar with the fishing canoe prows of the Depapre region of Tannah Merah Bay in West Papua – instantly recognisable by the large sea bird’s head at the top with a stylised arrangement of sharks and game fish below.
There is, however, one much rarer form which as far as I know is only carved in one village in the Depapre area on Tannah Merah Bay, the village of Wauna (Kampong Wauna in Indonesian). Wauna canoe prows have an extra element – the head of the fisherman, carved below the head of the bird and above the sharks and fish, as in this example. I do not believe that these human heads are in any sense a portrait of the canoe’s owner, but they are surely carved to add an extra level of protection for the owner and crew of the canoe. Size44 x 30 cm /17 x 12 inches.

Price: 350.00 AUD
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