Wooden plank shaped shield with rounded ends top and bottom and parallel sides, from Western Australia. The grip is carved from the wood at the back to form a loop. The face has a vertical groves approx. 1-2cm wide that become diagonal in the mid section. These grooves have been painted alternately with red and yellow ochre paint.
Shield, Ngarlawongga People, Pilbara Region, Western Australia This Ngarlawongga shield from the Ashburton River valley is a fine example of the classic Western Australian war-shield, carved from Ironbark wood (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) with a small vertical handle projecting out from the flat surface. Shields such as this were used to deflect spears, clubs and non-returning boomerangs or throwing sticks. Decorated with alternating bands of red and white mineral paint infilling the zigzag grooves engraved on their surface, such shields are both visually imposing and beautiful. It is not certain that these designs represent anything at all, but some scholars in the past have argued that the zigzag decoration depicts flowing rivers. Wood, Mineral Pigment. Late 19th Century. Provenance Unknown.