This is wonderful hand carved Wood Alligator Canoe Prow from Iatmul Tribe, Sepik River, Alligator Papua New Guinea. Crocodiles play central role in the art and culture of the Iatmul people. According to Iatmul belief, an ancestral crocodile was responsible for forming the land. In the beginning, the earth was covered by primordial ocean, into whose depths the crocodile dived. Reaching the bottom, it brought up on its back load of mud, which became an island when it surfaced. From that island, the land grew and hardened, but it continues to rest on the back of the ancestral crocodile, which occasionally moves, causing earthquakes. Both now and in the past, the prows of most sizeable canoes are carved in the form of crocodile. These canoes, hollowed from single massive log, were also used for trading and fishing expeditions. Although canoes are no longer used in warfare, contemporary Iatmul carvers continue to make large canoes for use in trade and general transportation. This is unique and wonderful canoe prow that would look wonderful on desk, table or in your collection. There is one part of an missing eye. Shows age and use.
23" long COMES STAND 8" wide 1" deep
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