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A Fine Old New Guinea War Shield Simbai Area Madang Province Papua New Guinea

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Collection No. SOLD
Size Height 101cm x 54cm wide
New Guinea Oceanic Art
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
Abelam New Guinea Art

A Fine Old New Guinea War Shield Simbai Area Madang Province Papua New Guinea

This beautiful old & well-used Shield is from the Kalam People in the Simbai Area of the Bismark Schrader Mountain Ranges in Madang Province of Papua New Guinea. This fine old shield is carved from a single piece of hardwood, pierced in the middle to hold a bush fibre rope handle. The upraised designs are made up of interlocking diamond shapes, the whole shield has an old black shiny patina. Kalam or Simbai Shields are highly sought by collectors because they fit in well with modern design & paintings. Warfare was widespread among traditional enemies in neighboring areas and alliances were made & broken regularly between groups. These shields were used in battle by two men, one pushing the shield forward and another warrior hiding behind the shield and free to use his bow and arrows with great accuracy.  Old photos of fighting in the New Guinea Highlands show many warriors with shields facing off over a large space where people surge forward and then move back.  I have seen warriors standing on rural dirt roads with their shields expecting a fight, this was in the 1980s, later when people acquired guns the shield became obsolete due to their not being effective against modern guns.

The Shield was collected by missionaries and later part of the finely curated John Rix Collection in Sydney.

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Oceanic Art 

I first went to Papua New Guinea in 1985 for an adventure & what I found was that I really enjoyed being with the people of New Guinea, over the next 38 years I spent extensive time spent collecting and documenting traditional art & ceremonies in remote areas of Papua New Guinea & West Papua, The Solomon Islands & Vanuatu & the other Pacific Islands countries. During these travels, I made major collections of New Guinea & Oceanic Art for major Museums and Public Art Galleries

I was honoured by being in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine for the collections I made for The Museum of African & Oceanic Art Paris in 1996 (now the Musee Quai Branly) for the exhibition “Asmat et Mimika d’ Irian Jaya April 1996 At THE MUSEE NATIONAL des ARTS D’AFRIQUE et d’ OCEANIE, Paris

See all of the links & photos in my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY and there is the link to the article in the prestigious Louvre Magazine 1996

I have artwork for Museums & Art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery.  I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com  where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.

My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specialises in New Guinea & Oceanic Art. Sydney is just a couple hours’ flight to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbours.