Ramu River Paddle Finial

A very powerfully carved ancestral figure that was once the finial of a canoe paddle. The figure wears a tall pointed hair-do or headdress that is superbly carved with a form of wavy ornamentation representing open-armed figures or open-winged birds (bats ?). The figure shows a strong and well archictured musculature. The down cast, bearded is face built around the large elongated curled nose that reaches to the figures waist. The genitals are unsually well defined. Ramu River, PNG, Melanesia. Hard wood with a very fine deep reddish patina of age and wear. 18,5 x 5 x 4 cm. 19th/20th century. Acquired from the French trade.