NEW GUINEA APRIL RIVER WAR SHIELD, ABSTRACT FACES

   

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)

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