A Superb Old Australia Aboriginal Shield from Western Australia
A Superb Old Australia Aboriginal Shield Bardi People Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberley region of Western Australia
This finely carved shield with a rare geometric & herringbone design on the front and was coated with ceremonial red ochre, the back has incised linear striations in horizontal bands. The deep lug handle and entire shield has an old dry patina. 19th to early 20th Century. Provenance Old West Australia Collection
Shields are one of the most beautiful objects made by the indigenous people in Australia. This finely carved shield has the same design elements on both the front and the back, the incised design consists of horizontal bands of vertical striations and then followed by a band of wavy lines this is repeated from the top to the bottom of the shield to beautiful effect.
The role of shields in tribal culture is to provide personal defense against blows and missiles; also, importantly shields serve to reflect an image of power, identity, and tribal group. Each tribal group has different design elements on their shields which instantly make them identifiable to other tribes.
Reference: Interlocking Key Design in Aboriginal Australian Decorative Art. Dr. D. S. Davidson First published: September 1949
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Oceanic Art
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