Shields & Weapons


Green River region. (Abau) Collected 1948.

This is a fine old shield, displaying the “floating” motifs so typical of Green River shields. The defining lines are carved out of the body of the shield in high relief, rather than into the shield – showing the great effort of the artist. The design has an abstracted anthropomorpic image, possibly eyes at the top; and also other smaller images that could be human or animal. The edges show some wear and tear from use.

The German expeditions of 1910 and 1912 ventured far up the Sepik, and trade knives and axes became available. Kelm (1966 b) shows several similar shields from 1914 expedition., now in Museum fur Volkerkunde, Berlin. The shield was collected by Pavel Rysavy in 1948, but would be at least 20 years older at the time. He went to PNG soon after the end of World War 2, and managed the Angoram sawmill. He returned to Australia in 1960 and left his artworks with a Czech friend in Melbourne, Oto Nekvapil. In 1969 it was acquired by Rad Joura, who owned it til his recent death.


182 x 77 cm

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