Lot: 25

War shield "yemes", around 1940

Papua New Guinea, Asmat

Provenance Size Hammer price
Old Dutch Colonial Collection, pre 1963
Willem Zwiep, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
M: 70.9 inch x 19.3 inch 4000 EUR

wood (root of a tree or mangrove wood), red ochre, charcoal, lime, The relationship between shield and owner was very close and the shields were of high symbolic and emotional value. When the owner died, the shield was split into two pieces lengthwise, covering the corpse wrapped in mats and laid out for burial. Alternatively, the shield could also be passed on to the son of the deceased.

Helfrich, Klaus u.a., Asmat, Berlin 1996, p. 146 ff.