Themes: Music / Housing / Carving

Unidentified furniture

Description:
The upper surface has a design that gives the impression of two carved faces, facing away from each other, with hooded eyes and arrow-shaped noses. There are four Maltese-cross patterns in rectangular panels filling the space between the faces. The upper surface of the carving is serrated at the edge and is curved both from end-to-end to and from side-to-side. Panels below the serrated upper edges are decorated with alternate red and black lozenge shapes.


Context:
It is difficult to reconstruct the original purpose of this object. It seems more likely to have been intended as a dance shield, but with its curved sides it seems an unusual design. Another theory is that it is a canoe prow. The maltese cross patterns more likely represent a natural form such as waterlillies.