Used at the prow of canoes or on large slit drums at the beginning of important war expeditions, these shields were linked to the clan ancestor whose protection the men wanted to secure. Within the corpus, this piece, shown by Robert Burawoy as early as 1976, stands out for the intensity of its pictorial decoration and the powerful expressiveness of the central mask. It is closely related, both in its style and in its facial features, to a piece from the Lake Murik region that also belonged to John and Marcia Friede (Sotheby's, New York, 11 may 2010, No.92).
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