Two well used 1950s Trobriands canoe tabuya or wave splitters.
These 1940s or 1950s tabuya or wave splitters are false prows fixed above the actual prow of the canoe, butting on to the splashboard or lagim. The more ornate example is a little larger than th eotherm, but they are both well carved, well used and of considerable age. Size approx: 52 x 26 cm /20 ½ x 10 inches and
Condition: These tabuya are old and used, as can be seen from the traces of putty still adhering to the bases where they were fitted into grooves cut for that purpose into the end of the canoe and the base of the splashboard. Major elements in the design have been picked out in blue red and ochre by the native seller in the belief that this will achieve a higher price from the field collector, but the timber beneath is old and weathered. One tabuya has extensive insect damage to the base, while the other is in excellent condition, though the pigments on one side have faded in the sun and is a little lighter than the other.