Australian Aboriginal Western Desert Parrying Shield ‘Wunda’

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Object Description

An Australian Aboriginal Western Desert Parrying Shield ‘Wunda’ the Carved Wood Decorated with an Etched Abstract Design of Opposing Lines Coloured with Red Ochre White Clay and Charcoal Pigments
Old smooth patination to handle on reverse
19th Century

Size: 72cm long, 11cm wide, 6cm deep – 28¼ ins long, 4¼ ins wide, 2¼ ins deep

Object History

Ex Private collection Ghent Belgium

Object Literature

Used for parrying spears and other weapons, shields such as this were held in high regard by their owners and makers. The uneven line of the geometric zigzag decoration is the result of slow gouging to the wood with the incisor tooth of a possum.
Australian Aborigines had a powerful attachment to their land and to everything that lived in it and this relationship is reflected in their art. The designs on their shields portray their landscape and, as with all of their artefacts, were made to communicate ideas to specific people or groups. The design therefore served as a vehicle through which a vision of the natural world was conveyed.

Object Details

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