A LOWER SEPIK RIVER CANOE PROW SHIELD
Provenance: Steijler Mission SVD, Blönried, Germany.
Collected by Father Höltker between 1935-1938.
Along the reaches of the Middle and Upper Sepik River, 'shields' were affixed to the prows of 'kauvala' (war canoes), both to protect warriors from stray arrows and spears and to frighten enemies. Made from the tough petioles of the sago palm set into a framework of thick rattan cane, the surface of this 'vala saavi' is painted with white, black and ochre pigments and fringed with 'tuvu' (cassowary feathers). A carved and painted wooden mask is attached in the middle section of the sago bark panels.
Middle Sepik River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea.
Cf: "Tanz der Ahnen", Kunst vom Sepik in Papua Neu Guinea, page 300.
Price: € 1.800,-