Massim Kula Canoe Lagim Splashboard-New Guinea Art
It is hard not to admire the complex beauty of a well-crafted Massim culture art object. Massim artists are masters of combining and layering motifs. The frigate bird here with undulating necks and beaks that extend and curve into other frigate birds. This kula canoe splashboard in addition has pleasing faint remains of white, light red and traces of blue pigments. On the reverse is another striking design above the slots where the splashboard would have been mounted athwartships. The piece dates to the early/mid 20th century, is 17 ¾” (45 cm) in height.