Luzon Kalinga war shield

height: 44 1/2"
width: 10"
grip: 5"

Shield from the northern Luzon (Philippines) Kalinga people. The Kalinga had a nasty reputation for ferocity, and collected the heads of their enemies until stopped by European colonialists in the late 1800's - with a short revival of the practice against the invading Japanese in WWII. Kalinga shields are distinguished by the flattened upper and lower projections, in comparison to the neighboring Tinguian and Bontoc shields that are rounded on the ends. This wooden shield is decorated with flat rattan bands, the right side (from the user's perspective) of the shield was split and repaired during it's working life with rawhide lacing. Making these took quite a bit of time, they weren't just flat boards with a handle. Someone put a good deal of craftsmanship and effort into producing this shield, you don't toss it away after just one fight. The shield is thicker in the center than the edges, carved in the back for the handgrip. Circa 1860-1910. I'm reasonably sure this was once a part of the Peabody Collection sold via auction by Francis Bannerman in the mid 1920's. This shield spent some time in stock at Western Costume, a big prop shop serving Hollywood through the Golden and Silver film eras - I'm sure there's a film out there somewhere where you can see this shield in the hands of some poor "native" Los Angelino shoe-polished brown or black by the makeup department.