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An article 'Shields of West New Britain' by Belinda Trask, student of Anthropology at the University of Queensland, Brisbane

Introduction: The aim of this research report is to draw attention to the stylistic differences and functional similarities between the wooden battle and dance shields of East and West New Britain. Two artifacts from the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum have been chosen to represent both regions. The cultural areas will be defined both geographically and linguistically, and the artifacts, themselves described according to resources accessed via the UQ Anthropology Museum records as well as throughout Brisbane libraries. Due to the lack of available information specifically relating to the artifacts chosen their 'stylistic type' has been researched on a broader scale.


Highlands Art of New Guinea by Chris Boylan and Greta North (Tribal Arts magazine)

Excerpt: The island of New Guinea has long been visited by European traders seeking the plumes of the bird of paradise. As early as the late fifteenth century Europeans began sporadic visits, and in 1528 the Portuguese explorer Alvaro de Saavedra sailed along the entire north coast of New Guinea, naming it "Isla del Oro." No doubt he saw the vast mountain ranges in the distance and assumed, as everyone did for the next 400 years, that they were inhospitable and uninhabited.


A selection of articles and commentaries on Oceanic Art as well as similar topics.

I have attempted when necessary to contact the authors to obtain permission to show the articles. Alternatively there is a link to the external site hosting the article.


The Contemporary Highland Shield: Hybrid Forms in Papua New Guinea

Author: Mr Hugh Stevenson

The author examines shield collected in 1995 to discuss issues fundamental to the introduction of the art of emergent societies in an international art context. Issues such as the definition of art and aesthetics, art versus craft, function of art in the various contexts etc...


New Guinea Art Forms

This is an excerpt from the paper... (

To explore New Guinea art forms merely as line and color, without reference to cultural and social norms out of which the art grew, would be a fool's errand, according to Thomas (9ff) because New Guinea artists not only express culture content but also appear to intend that their artworks help shape it. Similarly, Hatcher comments that "head-hunting and highly artistic ceremonies are clearly related in New Guinea; art does not function as a substitute for violence" (105; emphasis added). Thus decoration of skulls can be interpreted as effecting or expressing control. The iconography of wood shields and other wood carvings supplies

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