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Asmat Shield

ArtistUnknown artist
Mediumwood, pigment, plant fibres
Size1530 x 390 x 70 mm
DepartmentInternational Art
Subjectsartifacts, shields (armor)
Accession DateJul 1988
Accession NoC1994/1/248
Credit LineChartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 1988


The Asmat live in south-west Irian Jaya and are among the finest Melanesian artists. This war shield is decorated with stylized flying foxes and has an ancestor’s face at the top. (Te Moananui a Kiwa) Almost all known Asmat carvings date from after European contact during the nineteenth century, and vast numbers were collected by traders after the Second World War. (Te Moananui a Kiwa, 2005)

Chartwell Notes

Please note: We have been unable to obtain direct approval for this image but we acknowledge the original maker. if the copyright owner is able to contact us, we will immediately respond. Regards Chartwell

Exhibition History

Auckland Art Gallery
Te Moananui a Kiwa
23 April 2005 - 22 January 2006
Curated by Ron Brownson