Figure-head for a canoe, of wood, black with pearlshell inlay
- Found/Acquired: New Georgia Island
- (Oceania,Melanesia,Solomon Islands,New Georgia group,New Georgia Island)
- Length: 13 centimetres (nose to back)
Old label reads:
Canoe prow ornament in human form. A guardian spirit who looks out for shaols, etc.
Probably from New Georgia, Solomon Islands. A.D [= Adrian Digby]
Figureheads of this general type were tied to the prow just above the waterline of large voyaging canoes used for trading and raiding in the western islands of Solomon Islands from Choiseul to Gela, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their purpose was to watch out for danger on the sea in the form of enemies and spirits. (see J. Kupiainen (2000) Tradition, Trade and Woodcarving in Solomon Islands pp 52-64)
Found unnumbered in the Department's collections; date and means of acquisition unknown.
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
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Object reference number: EOC18534
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