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A Middle Sepik canoe prow with crocodile and snake


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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre 1930: Item # 1040987

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michael cichon tribal arts
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This massive canoe prow, in the form of a crocodile head, shows a snake effigy in the process of uncoiling across its topside. Once part of the front end of a dugout 'crocanoe,' this type of naturalistic carving was believed to help guard against crocodile attacks due to its resemblance to the creature itself. The story goes in this part of Papua New Guinea: crocodiles do not kill other crocodiles. Middle Sepik River area. Heavy, dense, hardwood with weathered, aged patina; traces of white paint. Late 19th / Early 20th century. 32"L x 15.25"W. Fine condition with losses commensurate with age and use.