FIGHTING SHIELD, karape, Tambul area, Western Highlands, PNG
This is an ancient shield, most probably pre-contact; 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