Collection Online
earth pigments on sago palm prongs, fibre
71.6 × 30.9 × 4.9 cm
Place/s of Execution
Waris District, West Papua
Accession Number
Pacific Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Todd Barlin, 2009
© the artists
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Unlike Kwoma bark painting, which are painted on one side of the bark, these West Papuan bark sickness shields are made by tying or sawing two flat and pressed base portion of sago palm stem, forming a container used as storage for storing bush medicine. Both sides of the barks are painted with dots, lines and zoomorphic figures depicting 'spirit animals' which is believed to have brought sickness to the village. The shields are fastened to the walls of one of the houses in the village to ward off further dangerous attacks from sickness spirits.