- Museum number
Wooden canoe prow carved with small human figure placed centrally at the top of the prow, between two asymmetric spirals.
- Production date
Height: 45.30 centimetres
Width: 47 centimetres
Depth: 6 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Information from Pacific Art in Detail: This splashboard was probably used in the 'kuka' tribe, a complex trade that has been taking place in the Trobriand Islands for centuries. On that occasion, Trobriand Islanders men paddle their elaborately carved and decorated canoes around the rim of Milne Bay.
The complexity of the canoe carvings is intented to intimidate and mesmerize potential trading partners. This splashboard features a human figure and is full of the symbolism of totemic animals. The two lobes at the top of the board, for instance, mirror butterfly wings, referring to their easy flight and the easy travels the canoe will make. When it was collected, the original colours of this splashboard had worn off: it lacks the enlivening power of the red, black and white hues of active 'kula' carvings.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Oc1922C11.66 (old CDMS no.)