Carved crocodile head canoe prow, made c1988. Middle Sepik River, Papua New Guinea.
Crocodiles are fearsome animals and in Papua New Guinea, people were regularly confronted with these creatures. It is believed that Michael Rockefeller, an anthropologist of the wealthy American family, was eaten by crocodiles (others say by local Sepik people) in the early 1960s. To give the canoe the elegance to sail on the water like a crocodile, people carved crocodile heads to mount on the extremities of the boat.
16cm high – 20,5cm wide
All dimensions are without the mounting