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Old Humboldt Bay canoe prow with carved gunwales,West Papua . (CPH)

The carving is classic for this type of prow. A bird's head (probably a cormorant, good at finding fish) is placed above a complex and formal arrangement of large and dangerous fishes including sharks and dolphins, and the tiny sprat muímeíme that follows fishing canoes. The ornamental gunwales are two narrow strips grooved to be fixed to the sides of the canoe just behind the prow, and like the prow, they are secured by ornamental fibre lashings. This pair features the little muímeíme fish that accompany the fishermen at sea and abstract patterns commonly painted on canoe sides. This prow section is quite weathered and has probably been repainted at least once. Size of prow 27 x 36 cm/ 10 Ĺ x 14 inches, gunwales each 76 x 6 cm / 30 x 2 Ĺ inches.

Price: 450.00 AUD
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