Warrior’s Shield, Kliau, Dayak, Borneo.
Dayak shields were essential to the culturally central headhunting complex. Headhunting was key to agricultural and human fertility, and was necessary for a man's personal development as well as for community prosperity. The conceptual basis was an elaborate rationale involving preservation and transfer of vital energies. The (intricate) painted designs on the shields convey both the fierceness and the (complexity) of the energies involved. The further adornment with human hair bore proof of success.
Light hard wood (jelutong) with natural pigments, human hair, rattan, good condition to age, a nice patina on the handle (damage on handle).
Height: 108,5 cm - 42.7 inch.
Wide (frontside): 34 cm - 13.4 inch.
Wide: point to point (backside) 32 cm - 12.6 inch.
Literature: Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago, Albert G. Van Zonneveld, page 153.
Provenance: From the collection of a dutch painter in Leiden, Netherlands.
Exciting anecdote to tell is that I bought this shield from this painter who worked in Rembrands Studio (Kort Galgenwater in Leiden, before he went to Amsterdam). When the man hired the studio for the first time the shield was already hanging on the wall.