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Cassera Gallery

Asmat War Shield

Asmat War Shield

Regular price $14,000.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $14,000.00 USD
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War Shield, Asmat People

West Iran Jaya, Northwest Territory, W e Village (Area B)

Height: 78.5 Inches

This shield is aclassical Area B example. The entire shield still bears traces of natural pigments, and is classically "We" in style, in that it dates from the time when shields could be attributed to specific villages based upon their style alone.

Its size and condition are remarkable for its age, and its history is apparent from the spear and arrow points inbedded in its surface.

Thehead of theshield is of the rayfish (visi) variety, and the motifs occupying the body of the shield are typical of this region. There is a crack that runs verticallyfrom the bottom of the shield on the right side, and a spear tip is lodged at the center of this crack.

There are numerous arrow tips in the shield, as well as at least two holes made by arrows or spears. The grip is well used and worn.

The shield was collected in the village of We, in thewestern district of Asmat territory. At the time of collection it was owned by aman named Souker. Inthe early 1950s this shield was carried into a now legendary battle by the W e War Chief "Komur" against the village of Irogo.


In this battle, Timinin, the War Chief from Irogo, got close enough to Komurto throw a spear directly at him. The spear lodged in the shield, and its tip remains. Timinin was then killed by the men of We , and his head taken as a trophy. After the death of Komur, the shield was named for him. At the time of collection the shield still

bore the name "Komur."

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