Lot: 28

Rare archers shield "saemowgwaenk"

Papua New Guinea - Southern Highlands, Mendi Valley, Wiru

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Todd Barlin, Sydney, Australia (1980s) H: 28.5 inch 4500 EUR / 6000 EUR

hardwood, blackish brown patina, red and white pigment, two pairs of drilled holes, plant fibre strap for suspension, slightly dam. This type of shield is much rarer than the larger oval shaped shields from the same area. Its also rare to have the stylized human figure on the front, which is wearing a kina shell currency necklace. The shield has a U-shaped notch at the top and was hung from the bowman's shoulder. It was worn to protect the torso during battle while leaving both hands free for using the bow.

Beran, Harry & Barry Craig (ed.), Shields of Melanesia, Honolulu 2005, p. 135, ill. 5.19