Spirit Board, Gope Ethnic District, Gulf of Papua, Papua New Guinea
- Height: 53 in (134.5 cm)
Field number '297' and collection date '4.4.66' in pencil to the reverse
Private Collection, Germany
The present kópe "originates from the classical period of art unfolding in the region east of Kerewo, at an early stage of the Gope ethnic conformation. It was made in Old Meagoma that does not exist anymore - this parental village had been established from the innovative tribal center of Imigibi/Mure, located further west on the Ivi River [...] Below the face, multiplied elements indicate the building of a gradually (over the generations) evolving body with arms and legs; it is characteristic for the ethnic entities east of Kerewo (Urama, Gope, Era-Kipaia) that an anthropomorphous trunk is only designed as a supplemenary feature – the stylisized titi [motifs] components being originally taken from the head: mouth and nostrils. These elements were applied as independent design motives, but their anatomical descent can still be recognized. The lower lips are commonly split. The entire titi can be twisted 90 or 180 degrees and the nostrils superimposed upon the (open) mouth." (Thomas Schultze-Westrum, private communication).