Figurehead of a canoe or Nguzunguzu.
28 cm x 14 cm x 22 cm (38 cm with stand).
Headhunting expeditions to the neighbouring islands played a key role in the religious, economic and political life of the Solomon Islands. Nguzunguzu, to which sensory faculties far superior to those of men are attributed, used to be attached to the bow of great war canoes, and were supposed to observe, intercept, react and interact with any malevolent spirit encountered during the journey.
The elongated face with zoomorphic features, inspired by the morphology of Tiola (dog-looking spirit), suggests that this Nguzunguzu figurehead comes from the central Solomon Islands and more specifically from New Georgia. Its small size that distinguishes it exacerbates its beautiful sculptural qualities: tension of lines, great delicacy of the models and finesse of the shell inlays contrasting with the deep dark patina.
- Priogue figurehead
- Indigenous object name
- Region/ country
- New Georgia, Solomon Islands
- Stained wood and seashell
- Late 20th century
- Sold with stand
- 38×14×22 cm