KERAM RIVER GOPE BOARD 5, Lower Sepik, New Guinea

This board has been vetted as authentic.


Photographs © Hamill Gallery

KERAM RIVER
GOPE BOARD 5
54.5" high x 7" wide x 1" deep
New Guinea
$600
SOLD



This finely designed and carved board is abstract, with complex interlocking linear designs overall on both the front and the back surfaces. Extensive traces of lime infill on one surface, and a small amount of remnant orange ochre. There is obvious wood loss on the reverse side, mostly near the top (see detail above).

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. 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), red ochre and other natural pigments. Most gope boards depict the face of an ancestral spirit.

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