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S84 FIGHTING SHIELD

Tambul, Western Highlands, PNG

This is an ancient shield, most probably pre-contact, from the region around Tambul at the western edge of the Western Highlands. The shields here are smaller than those from the main Wahgi Valley. The fine weaving at the top is not the original but replaced more recently. The paintwork has many layers, suggesting many wars and many re-paintings. On the back, there is usually a centrally placed horizontal wooden batten to strengthen the shield; it is gone, but its impression remains. Collected by Thomas Surie, a local Tambul man, in the mid-1990s

Size: 144 x 72 cm

Price: $4,800

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