Gope

oceania | Papua New Guinea

Gope

Papua New Guinea

Gope spirit board or Bioma
Wapo / Era, Papuan Gulf

Carved wood and pigments
Early 20th century
Height: 27 ¼ in. (69 cm)

Ex Etude Jutheau auction sale, Paris, 14 Dec. 1990, lot 9
Ex collection Pablo Volta (1926 – 2011), Paris

Exhibited : “Maryan, une peinture vérité”, Galerie Kamel Mennour, Paris, on loan from Galerie Flak, March-May 2022

Bioma Volta 69 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
As described in "Coaxing the Spirits to Dance" (Hood / Metropolitan Museum), in the past, the primary focus of religious and artistic life in the region was on powerful spirits (imunu). Each imunu typically was associated with a specific location in the landscape, rivers, or sea, and was linked to the specific clan within whose territory it dwelt. Papuan Gulf wood sculpture was primarily two-dimensional, consisting of board-like carvings, known as spirit boards (Gope or kopé), and figures with designs in low relief. Villages formerly had large communal men's houses divided into cubicles, each allotted to a particular clan or subclan. Every cubicle contained a clan shrine, which housed the Gope spirit boards, figures, human and animal skulls, and other sacred objects associated with the clan's various imunu.

An extremely similar figure appears in a field photograph taken by Frank Hurley in 1921 in the village of Kinomere (Urama) and published in "Embodied Spirits" page 298 as well as on photos by John Vandercook taken in 1933.

Documentation

 

Photograph by John W. Vandercook
“Unidentified man near a clan shrine”, 1933
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
PSC 1977.2.52

Publication

Explore the entire collection
oceania
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Britain
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Marshall Islands
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | New Britain
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Torres Strait
oceania | Austral Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Admiralty Islands
oceania | Vanuatu
oceania | Hawai'i
oceania | Hawai'i
oceania | Samoa Islands.
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Admiralty Islands
oceania | New Zealand
oceania | Admiralty Islands
oceania | Solomon Islands
oceania
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Fiji
oceania | New Caledonia
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Andaman Islands
Bow
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Australia
oceania | Kiribati
oceania | Marquesas Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Marquesas Islands
oceania | Tonga Islands
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | Papua New Guinea
oceania | New Ireland
oceania | Australia
oceania | Australia
oceania | Australie
oceania | Australie
oceania | Papua New Guinea
New AcQuisitions | Austral Islands
New AcQuisitions | Fiji Islands
New AcQuisitions | Papua New Guinea
New AcQuisitions | Easter Island
New AcQuisitions | Fiji Islands
New AcQuisitions | New Zealand
New AcQuisitions | Ecuador
New AcQuisitions | Fiji Islands
Bow
New AcQuisitions | Tonga Islands
New AcQuisitions | Papua New Guinea
New AcQuisitions | Papua New Guinea
Discover our collections
CoLLECTIoNS
Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter