Figure of a grey hornbill, Papua New Guinea (first half of 20th century). Jonathan Hope at Parcours du Monde, Paris, 10-15 September. €12,000. (©Jonathan Hope)
As Paris shrugs off the last of the summer rosé, Parcours du Monde, the city’s annual gallery trail of tribal, Asian and archaeological art, opens around the pretty streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The whole event is aimed at showing non-European art and, broadening its scope for the 18th edition, six galleries specialising in archaeology will join this year, bringing the total number of participants to more than 60. They include the UK-based tribal art and textiles specialist Jonathan Hope, who will exhibit this wooden hornbill figure made by the Abelam people of the Maprik district in Papua New Guinea’s Prince Alexander mountains. “In Abelam culture, the hornbill is associated with the spirit world, the sphere of the ancestors,” Hope says. “It can also serve as a clan emblem and has associations with certain rites concerning hunting and war. This particular effigy would have been fixed into a lintel over the door of a house of spirits called a korumbo.” What is unusual about this example, which stands 64cm tall, is its “elegant, sentinel-like stylisation. Abelam hornbill figures are usually flatter and broader in shape and painted with brighter pigments or imported paint,” Hope says.