Nguzunguzu canoe prow figurehead
New Georgia, Solomon Islands
Carved wood, pigments and abalone
Late 19th or early 20th century
Height: 5 ¾ in. (14.5 cm)
Ex collection Coué, France
Ex private collection, France
The images on the figureheads are typically busts depicted with large heads and circular ear ornaments and small arms with the hands raised to the chin or clasping a smaller head or bird. The jutting jaws of the images were reportedly attributes of spirits and the figureheads are sometimes said to depict, or, alternatively, afford protection from, dangerous sea spirits known as kesoko. ».