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Old 3rd December 2017, 01:37 AM   #1
Battara
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Default Bontoc Tattoo Shield

I just acquired this Bontoc shield. What is different about this is that it has painted tattoos all over the front central section.

Tattoos were given not just to Igorot warriors but also to weapons belonging to warriors of distinction like head axes and even shields. Shields seem rarer either because they were not many made or they did not survive in great numbers.

Enjoy!
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Old 3rd December 2017, 04:34 AM   #2
Robert
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Beautiful shield Jose and what a great new addition to your collection. Can you tell me if decorations of this style were only added to shields of this particular style (wider at the top than then bottom), or were they also added to the more common examples like the one shown below? One more question, is the spear rest attached to the inside of the shield pictured below common? I only ask because I have seen only one other shield with this feature. Congratulations on being able to score this very rare piece.

Best,
Robert
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Old 3rd December 2017, 09:39 AM   #3
Sajen
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Hello Jose,

beautiful shield, thank you for sharing! But I doubt that it is a Bontoc shield. I think that it is a Gaddang shield, the one Robert has shown is a typical Bontoc shield.

Best regards,
Detlef
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Old 3rd December 2017, 01:26 PM   #4
CharlesS
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Great shield! I think it's one of the nicest I have seen with the tattoos.

Congrats!
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Old 3rd December 2017, 03:51 PM   #5
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Here a picture taken from "On Expedition & Tribal Art", W.T.C. Kleiman, page 90.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 07:27 PM   #6
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Thank you, Sajen. As I think about it, it could be Gaddang, or it could also be Tinguian. I see the museum attribution with supports your assertion. I'll double check this.

Yes tattoos were added to Gaddang, Kalinga, Bontoc, Tinguian, and perhaps others.

Here are some Kalinga tattoo shields. Notice that the inside of the Kalinga examples are tattooed on the inside as well.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 07:32 PM   #7
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Here are 2 Bontoc tattooed shields, one painted, one carved:
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Old 6th December 2017, 11:57 PM   #8
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I am now leaning toward a Tinguian origin for this shield. Here is an example from the Smithsonian Institute. This is from Protection, Power, and Display (p.70):
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Old 7th December 2017, 12:01 AM   #9
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Here is another example from the Peabody Museum at Harvard University in Protection, Power, and Display (p. 69):
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