hardwood, pigment, cowrie shell, lime
71.5 x 114.8 x 7.2
Papua New Guinea, Melanesia
* carved by master carver Simon Novek of Kambot Village. Horizontal, amorohous board, carved of hardwood in high relief, some open work; natural, uneven, undulating surface. Panel varies in thickness-approximately 2.0 cm - 5.0 cm. Pigmented, limed. Bottom half of board shows river scene with six men holding paddles and spears, sitting in large, decorated canoe. Side of canoe is carved with repeated spirit-face motifs, and small crocodile. Prow is large anthropomorphic crocodile head, inset with large cowrie shell as eye. Small spirit-crocodile hovers. Top half of board shows men, women, children (eleven figures, one dog) standing at shoreline, watching canoe, happy. Surmounting villagers at top of board is central spirit-face, upside-down, with native dwelling on each side, flanked by crocodiles pointing to large spirit faces at left and right ends of storyboard. Back of board is not carved; shows roughly hewn, very uneven surface, natural growth formations, some surface cracks. Front of board painted black. Recessed areas of background, and small design elements, painted with red ochre. Features and fine incised details in filled with lime. Back is heavily pigmented with red ochre. Condtion: Fair and unstable. Front shows board split completely from top center to bottom, lower left. Edge at bottom shows two rusty nail exposed at back. Split is not yet complete, center fibres of wood still holding: no movement but unstable. Two large holes drilled center, top. Some fine surface cracks show - not serious. Minor bruising at edges. It appears that water action, weather have removed most black pigmentation from surface of carving. Red ochre pigmentation has held fairly well. Only few traces of limework remain. Split shows clearly at back of board. Back remain. Split shows some surface flaking, lifting at right side, and center. Water staining, damage show across bottom half. Stains from black paint show at left and right sides.
Collection Name: Hintz Collection