Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0494.HMC
Title:
Crocodile Canoe
Place:
Lower Sepik, Angoram Village Market, Papua New Guinea
Description:
Tip of crocodile canoe with human figures carved on the insides and along sides. Grass below.

A dugout canoe with a crocodile bow is carved from a single trunk of a cedar tree. Many figures are carved lying down inside the boat that is more than six feet long. Its sides are carved with images of people and birds. It would appear that the boat is a ceremonial object because there is no room for a man to sit. On the Sepik River, crocodiles are both dangerous as killers and good for food and their hides to sell. The boats are called "crocanoes" because in the world of the Sepik River, safe traveling is necessary. Roads are rare and the Sepik and its tributaries are winding and shallow.
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