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Shields are found in great variety in Papua New Guinea. Often of large size, the designs on their faces are typically clan designs meant to instill fear in the enemy. Ancestral spirits are the most often depicted along with particular tribal designs.

Interestingly, even the Papuan’s canoe would have a shield made for it. Of triangular form to fit the canoe’s shape, canoe shields were placed by the prow to protect against arrows, spears and spirits.

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Fig. 27:
Upper Sepik,
Wood, 62”
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Fig. 28:
Canoe Shield,
Palembai Village,
Middle Sepik,
Wood, shells, 56”

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Photography: Marc Assayag
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