PAINTED RAMU RIVER CANOE PADDLE (4)

Origin: New Guinea, East Sepik Province, Lower Sepik, Ramu River.     Provenance:  Collection of Mary Memory Santa Monica CA.  Acquired in the 1980's via personal friend Jean Michel Cousteau (Jacques Cousteau's son).  Cousteau acquired it from the National Museum in Port Moresby.

Period/Date:  Likely circa 1940's

Materials:  Hardwood, charcoal paint, plant dye 

Description:  This elegant and graphic paddle has much of its design motif painted with dark red plant based stain.   Its leaf shape blade is large and broad, measuring 27.5" long and is of slightly concave form.  Its design is beautifully and skillfully applied and likely mimics specific clan motifs in eye dazzling curvilinear patterns.  The lower third looks like a stylized face with opposing eyes.  Note, the deep carving on the base of the blade.  This is also the only paddle in the group having geometric painting on the backside.  The handle terminal has slight loss on the end.  It has acquired a dry varied salt-like patina.  Good condition.

Dimensions:   Length 63.5"  (61.25 cm), Width 6"  (15.5 cm)

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