Image: Shield, Papua New Guinea E28254

Shield, Papua New Guinea E28254

Provenance: Karkar Island, Bismarck Sea, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Pacific

Shields made on Karkar Island are of complex construction involving three vertical wooden boards bound together with rattan. As the shields are narrow the warrior faces the enemy sideways holding a spear in his other hand. This shield was bought by the Museum in 1923 from the Sydney taxidermy company Tost & Rohu.

Description: Rectangular man-size shield made from a single piece of wood; front surface convex and wrapped with horizontal parallel strips of twisted rattan mostly coloured red and black; front also has two vertical parallel strips of braided rattan, one decorated with two short fibre tassels with nassa shells and the other with one tassel; edges of both sides decorated with two parallel strips of braided rattan; back surface of shield similarly decorated to front except it has no tassels and has a thick, woven, brown rattan handle attached to the wood in four places.

Height: 7cm; Length: 127cm; Width 32cm

Emma Furno
© Australian Museum

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