SW-15 Old Fighting Shield

Shields & Weapons

SW-15 Old Fighting Shield

Upper Mendi Valley, Southern Highlands, PNG, wood, fibre, pigment.

This Mendi shield is not quite the traditional oval-shape; but as most shields were traditionally made by the owners, differences are acceptable. The large abstract figure is engraved into the shield, painted red, and outlined in black. Red is the colour of victory; here the warrior is anticipating both victory and revenge. Sometimes during warfare this figure may be changed to white all over, and this indicates a death among the owner’s allies. Above the figure is a slanted belt of triangles – a typical motif of Mendi Valley shields. The shield shows good age and use, also evidenced on the back. Unusually, the back is painted with a vertical zig-zag line.


144 x 39 cm

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