This artifact is a nicely carved spear thrower by the Iatmul People Middle Sepik River, Papua New Guinea. It was probably made in the 1970s or 1980s for the tourist industry. The Middle Sepik River peoples made most of their carvings out of a light weight wood and then stained or painted the finished carving before selling their works to collectors. This piece is very well made and totally functional. The butt of the spear is placed in a cup at one end and the shaft is spring loaded against the incised flat plate or flange mid span. The hand holds the spear thrower at the end opposite the cup. This steadies the dart until it is released by the thrower's fingers. This is not an ancient piece, but it is still very nice and at a much lower cost than the very old artifacts.