SW-13 Two Underarm Shields

Shields & Weapons

SW-13 Two Underarm Shields

Papua New Guinea Highlands Wood, fibre, pigment.

a) Old Underarm Shield, Mendi Valley, Southern Highlands, PNG
This is a finely carved shield, made from warr wood, and engraved with an abstract figure, that is generally understood to be an ancestor. The figure is most likely an ancestor who died in battle, and asked to give protection in war to the warrior and, importantly, revenge against the enemy. Collected in 1972 by Ed Boylan on his first trip to the New Guinea Highlands.

b) Old Underarm Shield, Wanuma, Adelbert Ranges, Madang Highlands.
The wood is very hard, and arrows that hit the shield would break or bounce off. A cane shoulder strap has its remnants only remining, and give an indication of how it was carried. The painted surface is essentially abstract, but close inspection shows a face emerging.
Collected c. 2005 by Michael Hamson on one of his few expeditions in this remote Highland region.

a) 65 x 56 cm     b) 69 x 33 cm

a) $4500 b) $3500

Size Various

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