Archers Shield

Mendi Area, Southern Highlands, PNG, Melanesia. Wood-carved with non-metal tools. 76 x 30,5 cm. 19/20th century or earlier.

Provenance Ex coll. : De Belfond, Limoges, France; collected during an expedition in the 1950/60’s. Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, Paris, deposit number D.94.1.58. This exceptional shield was on loan from the De Belfond collection to the MAAO for an exhibition in 1994 and was inventoried as a long-term deposit thus the museum inventory number painted on the reverse.

An extremely rare archer’s war-shield, decorated with an incised stylized representation of a human figure wearing a kina shell chest ornament and stylized body paint or keloid “tattoo”. The original fiber carrying strip is still attached (lower knot missing).