26 x 5 x 1¾ ins. 66 x 12.5 x 4 cm.
The narrow hardwood shields of long elliptical form in Western Australia were used for parrying spears and other weapons thrown by an enemy or rival, and also for blocking injury during close combat. 'Wunda' are decorated with zig zag lines derived from the form of a snake in the desert sand. Aborigines appreciate personal skill and artefacts made by a craftsmen renowned for his art are eagerly sought after. A shield or weapon that has won many fights is passed on from group to group illustrating the impetus given to inter-tribal trade by the desire to benefit from the embodiment of supernatural powers or the qualities incorporated into the object by a skilful warrior, hunter or fishermen, and which will therefore improve the skill of the person receiving and using them.
Stock ref: 14301