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War Shield

War Shield

Karkar Island

Madang Province
Mixed Media
43x12

Painted woven grass over wood with feathered amulets hanging - Daniel Brooks Gallery sold in 1970s for $850. They are quite rare, one with 1905 collection provenance recently sold at auction for over $12000.

"On Karkar Island, where this shield is from, neighbours were more likely to be enemies than friends. The rich, fertile soil of the island has always drawn people to settle there, but the land area is small. Until about 1900, when warfare was suppressed by Europeans, village groups competed fiercely for resources, and fighting was an everyday part of life.

"Despite its delicate and fragile rattan decorations, this shield was made to be used in battle. It is a narrow shield, which means warriors probably stood side-on whilst they were fighting. A stone from the sling of an enemy is still embedded in the wooden core of the shield about halfway down.

"Each society in the region has its own distinctive shield style. Shield designs may declare the status of the carrier, his strength as a warrior, or the spiritual resources he has supporting him."

- British Museum

contact us for price On Sale: Take 33% off gallery price

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