Spirit Board, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea
height 36 1/2in (93cm)
Private English Collection, acquired in the 1950s
By descent to present owner
Private Collection, San Francisco
According to Friede (2005, Vol. 2, p. 161), "Gope were displayed in a village men's house and represented powerful spirits or mythical ancestors who were associated with warfare and headhunting. They had the magical capacity of helping the warriors in their group by making them invisible while also weakening the enemy."