Title:Gope boardArtist:Unknown Date:18th centuryCreation Place:Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Papuan GulfCredit Line:The John R. Van Derlip FundAccession Number:67.56
Gope boards are special shields kept in the men's house in communities in the Papuan gulf region of New Guinea. This one would have belonged to an individual man and been named after one of his ancestors, who was depicted on the board. He would have called upon that ancestor for protection during battle or times of danger for his village. On those occasions, the gope board would be removed from its place in the men's house and carried like a shield.