Shield

Description
This shield was not carried by a handle on the back. Instead it was suspended over the wearer’s shoulder by a cane or fibre loop. This enabled more freedom of movement when using a bow and arrow.
Accession Loan No.
64/1974/2
Collection Class
Arms and armour
Common Name
shield
Simple Name
armour
Full Name
shield
Cultural Group
Elema
Period Classification
MOD
Production Town
Massim
Production County
Papuan Gulf
Production Country
Papua New Guinea
Production Area Region
Melanesia
Production Continent
Oceania
Family Group

Function Name
defence
Function Detail
The U-shaped shield allowed the wearer to place straps around the shoulder and the arm is placed through the open notch so that it can be used freely. The face motif, in which two eyes predominate, are a common feature to shields found in the regions of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago. It is believed that the decoration bears a similarity to the hahoa boards that line men’s meeting houses, portraits of mythical personalities who haunt the bush in the form of haribu. A man who encounters such a spirit has its portrait made. It’s unclear if there is a connection to the shield design.
Collection Area Region
MELAN
Collection Continent
Pacific

    There is 1 comment

    • Harry Beran
      22 March 2017 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

      The Papuan Gulf is not part of the Massim region of PNG. The Massim region comprises most of Milne Bay Province of PNG

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