A Fine Old Yuat River Shield
Mundugumor people, Yuat River Area, East Sepik Province
Papua New Guinea
Height: 183 cm or 72 inches
This is a very beautiful old shield, the carving designs on the front of the shield consists of six well rendered faces that represent a powerful spirit called Raram. Old shields were important clan heirlooms and each shield had personal name of an ancestor. The superb carving is further brought to life by the infill ochre painting in red, yellow, white & black ochres. The edge of the shield is pierced on both sides from the top to the bottom that has fibre tassels attached as decoration. The back of the shield is highly concave and the handle is upraised and then secured by cane on the top of the handle & a wood bar at the bottom of the handle.
Collected in 1966 by the geologist Peter Austin. Much of the Peter Austin collection was sold to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and published in a book “New Guinea: Big Man Island” by ES Rogers, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada 1970. The collection remains in the Toronto Museum today.