PAINTED RAMU RIVER CANOE PADDLE (6)

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:  Circa 1940's, possibly older

Materials:  Hardwood, charcoal paint

Description:  This dainty and elegant paddle with convex leaf shape blade has a central stylized spirit face with a series of mouths below.  The face is combined with curvilinear motifs.  It has incising around its shaft about 3 inches down from the base of the blade.   The shaft of the paddle has a gradual taper with a delicate stepped and flared terminal end. Its back side is decorated with bold geometric spine-like motifs.   It has acquired a varied semi-encrusted salt like patina.  In good condition showing obvious wear and use.

Dimensions:   Length 64.5"  (62.5 cm), Width 5 7/8"  (15 cm)

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