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Early 20th C. Papua New Guinea Wood & Coconut Ladle

Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Murik Lakes region, ca. early to mid-20th century CE. A coconut half-shell ladle or dipper with a hand-carved wooden handle. The handle is attached to the scoop portion with resin-coated metal wire, though it would have originally been secured with tightly-wrapped reed strands. The handle boasts an openwork presentation depicting an crocodile with a slender body, a curved tail which supports the scoop, and a projecting head with beady eyes and a bulbous nose. Ritual ladles like this are symbolically valuable items that are handed down from mother to daughter in a sacred cleansing ceremony. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 4.4" W x 12.5" H (11.2 cm x 31.8 cm); 14.5" H (36.8 cm) on included custom stand.

Condition: Shell ladle has several stable fissures. Handle has minor nicks and fading to some finer details. Original reed strands replaced with resin-coated wire. Light earthen deposits throughout, and nice patina across wooden handle.

Provenance: private Southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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