War Shields from the Island of New Guinea are used for fighting or warfare, they protect a warrior form arrows and spears which are the two main projectile weapons used. 

The physical protection of New Guinea Shields is only one aspect of their use, shields in New Guinea also play an important ceremonial role & often are the vessel for ancestral spirits and often have a personal name that can be invoked to overpower an enemy.  Shields are often kept in Men’s ceremonial houses along with ancestral relics, old shields are family heirlooms and often have an oral history to them, the owner & their clans’ men often can tell you about every particular arrow or spear embedded in the face of the shield, they know the stories of each battle who might have been wounded or killed & how their shield with its ancestral power frightened or stunned their enemies so that they could be easily overcome.

Shields come in different styles shapes & forms and are as varied as the many different languages across the island of New Guinea. There are two main types of shields used; single-person shields one of which is often called an “archers shield or shoulder shield “as it is worn over the shoulder protecting the man’s torso while leaving him free to use both hands for his bow and arrows. The second type of shield is a two-man shield where it is pushed forward by one man and a second man hiding behind the shield has his hands free to shoot arrows from either side.

I have always collected & been very interested in Shields & I was one of the authors in the superb publication: The Shields of Melanesia” 

Please have a look at Shields in my Exhibitions Gallery https://www.oceanicartsaustralia.com/exhibition-and-publications/

If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

For all enquires, please contact Todd Barlin, Director of Oceanic Arts Australia

 Phone(61 2) 9328 2512
 mobile(61) 409 560 316
 Gallery Location64 Elizabeth Street, Paddington, NSW, 2021, Sydney, Australia