Chris Boylan Oceanic Art

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RARE WAR CANOE PROW

D1

Lower Sepik River

This prow originates to the early 20th Century, possibly even 19th Century, when warfare and headhunting were still part of life – before the arrival of German settlement within the Sepik River just before or just after 1900. This prow was collected in Kaup village at the mouth of the Sepik, but said to originate from clansmen of the Murik Lakes.

This prow was used only on war canoes; it was attached with two wooden pegs into the front of the canoe. Traditional curvilinear designs are evident – but the dominant central motif is a woman’s vagina. This is both a threat and insult to approaching enemy.

 

Size: SIZE: 54 X 32 CM

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