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War Shield Northwest Asmat West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia

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Collection No. 391-4
Size 171cm x 47cm
War Shield Northwest Asmat West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia
War Shield Northwest Asmat West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia

This beautifully carved old and used Shield is from Weo Village in the remote Northwest Asmat area on South Coast of West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia.  This shield is missing the handle on the back, you can see where it was broken off, it dose not lessen the shield in any way it actually is helpful that the shield can hang flat on a wall where if it had a handle it makes the shield hard to hang on the wall.

This Shield along with other artworks that I collected over a 2 year period in 1985-1986, most of the objects I collected are now in major museum collections like the Musee du Quai Branly Museum in Paris. When you walk into the Oceanic Art Pavilion the first thing you see are monumental Ancestor Poles from the Asmat & Mimika along with a Soul Boat , Shields and dance costumes from the Asmat & Mimika, all of those artworks were collected by me at the same time as this shield.

Asmat Shields were important objects that venerated their ancestors, each shield had a personal name and when invoked during warfare the enemy was said to be frightened or stunned and easy to kill. Old shields were family heirlooms. I have the name of the carver & probably a photo of the owner with this shield in the village.



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