Mt Hagen Area, Western Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea
A large Western Highlands steel war shield. Skilfully crafted from an old flattened 44 gallon drum. Decorated on the front with a painted image of “The Phantom” PNG’s favourite comic character. On the reverse remain the woven bush string handles, and there is a woven bush fibre bilum like fringe running along the upper rim. These steel shields started appearing around the 1950’s-60’s when the weapon of choice in the Highlands was the shotgun, and we have seen same fantastic home-made guns while up there. This one has battle scars on the upper sections from what appears to be axes, and possibly bullets or arrows. Similar examples can be seen in the collection of The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia. Mid 20th Century, in fine condition.
Dimensions: 90 x 150 cm or 35.5 x 59 inches.