Pre-contact Upper Keram River Shield-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art.
I assume most of you by now can recognize a pre-contact, stone-carved New Guinea object. There is often a smoothness to the surface, a wonkiness or slightly off-kilter aspect to the overall form and an absence of decadence—almost a purity—to the design. Notice the large, worn crater-like holes where the rope handle would have been strung. This wonderful ancient shield comes from that remote area in New Guinea, south of the Sepik River where the Upper Keram River winds its way to the Middle Ramu River at Annaberg mission station. It was collected in the late 1960s by either Morris Young or Betty Thomas (wish I could narrow it down further), dates to the late 19th century, stands 39 ½” (100.4 cm) in height.