Origin: New Guinea, E. Sepik Province, Upper Sepik, Bahinemo people (Provenance: Acquired from Bill Evan, Sydney/ Bangkok Thailand. Ex. Stan Moriarty, Sydney. Note that the shield was found published in Moriarty's book binder that was limited to 16 copies.)
Period/Date: Mid-20th century
Materials: wood, natural pigments
Description: This graphic Shield features a traditional smiling ancestor face in the center, followed by increasingly abstract faces at the bottom. Its backside has a rippled smooth surface which was polished down by vigorous rubbing with sand. Douglas Newton talked about how this sand technique was a characteristic of the region. It retains much of its original pigments but are now muted somewhat from age and exposure. The numbers in white chalk on the back "M656" a a Moriarty collection number. Interestingly the handle has been reshaped with an adze likely to fit the arm of another owner. The re-carving of objects is not uncommon as they were handed down, exchanged or stolen in a raid.
Dimensions: Height 69" (30 cm), Width 20.5" (9.5 cm)