Dayak Shield !
Here my second dayakshield.
Not so old as the other one I posted earlier! But anyway a nice used one, with nice painted figures, 2 hornbill figures above and 2 aso figures (together makes the mouth) below the big face figure.
Here some photo's of the front of the shield.
Also the backside is painted, and has a beautiful handle.
CONGRADULATIONS ON ANOTHER NICE ONE :)
AS YOU STATED NOT AS OLD AS THE OTHER ONE BUT VERY WELL MADE AND DECORATED WITH NICE DARK PATINA ON THE HANDLE FROM USE. THE OLDER ONES OF THIS TYPE USUALLY HAVE THE PATTERN CUT IN ALONG THE LINES AND NATURAL PIGMENTS ARE USED NOT MODERN PAINT. THE NATURAL PIGMENTS ACT MORE LIKE A STAIN THAN A PAINT AND ARE USUALLY ABSORBED INTO THE WOOD AND DON'T FORM A THICK COAT ON THE OUTSIDE LIKE PAINT. SOME OF THE LATER SHIELDS ARE CARVED IN RELIEF AND THE DESIGN STANDS OUT IN THREE DEMENSIONAL FORM.
UNFORTUNATELY I ONLY HAVE TWO DAYAK SHIELDS BUT CONSIDER MYSELF LUCKY TO HAVE THEM AS THEY ARE EXPENSIVE LITTLE BEASTIES AND WIDELY SOUGHT AFTER BY PEOPLE WITH MUCH MORE MONEY THAN I.
AN OLD MEMBER (CYCLURA) HAD THE BEST COLLECTION I HAVE SEEN PICTURES OF BUT HE SOLD IT OFF YEARS AGO AND I HAVEN'T SEEN HIM ON THE FORUM IN A LONG WHILE. HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GIVE YOU MUCH BETTER INFORMATION ON THEM THAN I.
I would be happy to have such a shield! Also when it's not so old, it's a beauty.
Nice shield Maurice. I've always really loved the face motif on these shields. I was wondering what the face represents, what the story is behind it.
Thank you both Sajen and Vandoo for your kind response.
I tried to look it up in the books, but I find all different significations (ogre face, demon face, stylized old kind of human figure).
But I read recurrent that it probably has the function of instil fear by the enemy (and why than covering this "fear" face sometimes with hair that you don't see it anymore:confused: ) So afterall that could be a signification that it was to strengthen the warrior who holds the shield and give him some protecting power???
Exactly what kind of ideas stand at the beginning of the source of these ornaments???:shrug:
I did not check the books, but in general for shields several explanations are often given.
spirits / ancestors...
One thing is sure, It is meant to help the one behind the shield :D ;)
The mouth of this spirit is formed by 2 aso's facing each other.
This one has hornbills that appear to be used to form the eyebrows.
I am not sure when this appearred on shields, but I have a small dance shield that shows the same feature of Hornbills above the eyes.
Seeing them as "eyebrowes" may of course be my western point of view.
They might well be placed above the eyes/face, because they symbolise the "upperworld" and of course the aso's beneath representing the underworld.
Here some pics of the dance shield I bought in Sarawak in 1997.
Hi Maurice, thanks for looking into it for me. Shame there's not more info. I guess I was assuming that it was a characterization of some native deity instead of a generalized symbol.... I did some online reading and it was mentioned that the Aso was "generally thought to confer protection upon those who possessed this image". Unfortunately that leaves the face motif unexplained, but I can see how the "demon face" symbolism works as an icon to for the enemy to fear.
The Pit-Rivers Museum has some further info on these shields (still have more to read myself). I did a search for "Dayak Shields" and got a few pages of info - a nice online reference for those interested:
Thank you very much for posting these links. I will read it later when I find some time, but I scrolled through it and it looks very interesting.
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