Canoe prow in shape of a crocodile
Papua New Guinea - Middle Sepik
|Provenance||Size||Starting price / estimated price|
|L: 28.5 inch||2000 EUR / 4000 EUR|
light brown wood, matt patina with dark pigment remains, stained, carved in a nearly naturalistic way, min. dam., insect caused missing parts, fine cracks, base. A dugout canoe was the most important mobility device in the Sepik River area. In mythology the crocodiles encorporate a "gulping monster", used at initiation rites. It was of decisive importance in religious and ritual contexts, and was the most significant art theme within the whole region. Accordingly it was the preferred motif for prow figures of dugout canoes, which were used for head hunting raids in former times.