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Old Shield Mendi Area of the Southern Highlands Papua New Guinea


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Collection No. TB-752
Size 87 x 35cm
Old Shield Mendi Area of the Southern Highlands Papua New Guinea
Old Shield Mendi Area of the Southern Highlands Papua New Guinea
Old Shield Mendi Area of the Southern Highlands Papua New Guinea

This very old and well used shoulder shield or archers shield is from the Mendi Valley area of the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. This type of shield that sits under you arm and leaving your hands free to shoot a bow and arrows, it called saemowgwaenk in the Mendi Valley language. This old shield was probably stone carved.  It dates from the late 19th – early 20th Century.  This shield has been hanging on the wall in my lounge room for 30 years, I never get tired of looking at it, the bold geometric designs and the red  and white colours brighten the room dramatically.  Have a look at the other two Archers Shields on this website.

Provenance: Collected by Catholic Missionaries stationed at Mendi in the late 1960s.

References:  The Shields of Melanesian 2005 Edited by Harry Beran and Barry Craig.

This book which I helped with by writing these chapters:  3.1 Shields from the North Coast of Western New Guinea: Pages 28- 32   501 The Shields of the Highlands of Western New Guinea : Pages 112- 1117  6.1 Shields from the Southern Lowlands of Western New Guinea: Pages 155-165.   Twenty Four of the Shields Illustrated in this publication are from my personal collection.

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