Shield

This shield features motifs designed to ward off evil spirits. Each image is created by two coiled, mirror-image figures that have been aligned back-to-back to create a fanged face with bulging eyes at the centre of each shield. This motif is typical of most Dayak shields and probably represents Aso, the dragon goddess of the underworld. These shields were probably used by male warriors as ceremonial dance accessories. Dayak warriors often attached tufts of human hair to their shields to show off their prowess as headhunters.

Artist Name
Kenyah People
Date/Period
Early-mid 20th century
Region
Sarawak, Borneo
Dimension
Object size: L127.3 x H41.3cm
Accession No.
XXXX-11606
Material
Wood, pigments
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Woodcarving