Wunda Shield

A so-called “Wunda“ or Kimberly shield. The front is decorated with a deeply grooved motif set as a zig-zag and paint alternatively with natural ochres of three different colors. The rear is grooved vertically and painted with red ochre. The monoxyle handle is of bridge form and shows a series of purposely made cuts to its center. Murchison and Gascoyne River region, Western Australia. Wood with original pigments. Carved with non-metal tools and retainng its original patina of age and usage. 72,5 cm. 19th/20th century.

See an identical shield collected by Sir Frederick Napier Broome in 1885 now in the British Museum, N° Oc,+.2419.

See the accompagning image : A man with spear and wunda shield photographed by John Downs, an American military engineer during WW II in Australia c. 1943/44. (© Michael Hamson, Archives)

Provenance Ex. T. Vroom, the Netherlands.

Literature: Pub. : WALKABOUT - The Early Art Of The Australian Aborigines/L'art Ancient Des Aborigènes. Parcours des Mondes 2012. P. 21, fig. 28/112.