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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
New York City, NY
+1 917 733 9589

Canoe Prow Ornament

Sko, Humboldt Bay, West Papua
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Old French collection, acquired in the 1980’s

Carved as a unique ornament for the fishing canoes from the Sko area, these elaborately carved prows usually depict the Friar bird which is believed by the local people to be a messenger from their ancestors, as well as guardians watching over the fishermen at sea. Besides the bird head at the top, there are denizens of the sea incorporated into the prow’s design, including a shark, sawfish and dolphin.  The surface has an encrusted weathered grey surface, suggesting that after many years of sea fairing, the canoe it adorned was stored away for an extended period of time. The composition of all these various elements is very well balanced and masterly conceived. Clearly it was created by a very skilled hand.

Height:  12 in / 30.5 cm

Canoe Prow Ornament

Sko, Humboldt Bay, West Papua
Early 20th Century

Provenance: Old French collection, acquired in the 1980’s

Carved as a unique ornament for the fishing canoes from the Sko area, these elaborately carved prows usually depict the Friar bird which is believed by the local people to be a messenger from their ancestors, as well as guardians watching over the fishermen at sea. Besides the bird head at the top, there are denizens of the sea incorporated into the prow’s design, including a shark, sawfish and dolphin.  The surface has an encrusted weathered grey surface, suggesting that after many years of sea fairing, the canoe it adorned was stored away for an extended period of time. The composition of all these various elements is very well balanced and masterly conceived. Clearly it was created by a very skilled hand.

Height:  12 in / 30.5 cm

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