A Fine OId New Guinea War Shield Northwest Asmat Area West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia
|Size||171cm x 47cm|
A Fine Old New Guinea War Shield Northwest Asmat Area West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia
This beautifully carved old and well-used New Guinea Shield is from the Asmat people from Weo Village in the remote Northwest Asmat area on the South Coast of West Papua (Irian Jaya) Indonesia. The photo above shows the Shield in Wo Village with the owner of the Shield on the left.
This shield is missing the handle on the back, you can see where it was broken off, it does 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 beautiful old and well-used shield was collected by me in Weo in 1985. At that time Weo village was one of the most remote villages in the North West Asmat Area. None of the villagers spoke even a small amount of Bahasa Indonesia so all interaction between us was done by just watching each other and pantomime. The owner of the shield in the field photograph has his name recorded along with the name of the carver of the shield. Also at this time, there was still sporadic tribal fighting with Irogo and Pupis villages generally over the kidnapping of women which is their only way to increase their genetic pool in a small village. Weo is a small village of less than 50 people. 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.
I spent a lot of time in the Asmat region in the early 1980s and old and used Shields of this quality in the Coastal and Northwest Asmat Areas were rare. Many of the artworks I field collected then are now in major museum collections around the world including The Musee du Quai Branly Museum in Paris, when you walk into the Oceanic Art Pavilion at The Musee du Quai Branly the first thing you see is the monumental ancestor poles from the Asmat & Mimika along with Dance Costumes Shields and large Soul Canoe, all of these were field collected by me. Originally they were in an exhibition ” Asmat et Mimika at The National Museum of African and Oceanic Art in 1996 (now that museum is part of The Musee du Quai Branly). The exhibition the Asmat and Mimika in 1996 was published in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine see the link below and a photo of the exhibition above.
See my new Exhibitions Galery
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Art
Exhibited: The Shields of Oceania 2000 Sydney College of the Arts at Sydney University at the Pacific Arts Festival for the 2000 Sydney Olympics
Published & Exhibited: Oceanic Arts Pacifica: Oceanic Art for the Todd Barlin Collection 2014 Casula Power House Arts Centre Sydney Pages 21 & 32
To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.
For all inquiries, please contact us.