Asmat shield

height: 47 1/2"
width: 15"

A rare wooden battle shield from the Asmat of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. Made from the butress of a mangrove tree, incised with headhunting symbols. The circles down the center are navel (bokoper) motifs. Painted with white from crushed shells, red from river ochre, and black from charcoal. Patina from extensive use and age, few cracks but all intact.