Solomon Uslander people / Shield / mid-19th centurySolomon Uslander people
mid-19th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Pacific; Melanesian; Solomon
Creator Name-CRT: Solomon Uslander people
Title: Shield
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1834
Creation End Date: 1866
Creation Date: mid-19th century
Creation Place: Solomon Islands
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Implements
Materials and Techniques: Cane, clay, mother-of-pearl, pigment, fiber
Dimensions: H. 33 1/4 in. (84.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1978.412.730
Credit Line: The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1972

The Solomon Islands comprise a double chain of seven large and numerous smaller islands lying to the east of New Guinea. One of the distinctive characteristics of Western and Central Solomon Islands art is the use of elaborate pearl-shell inlay. Probably manufactured on Guadalcanal and traded to neighboring islands, the oval war shields of the Western Solomons consist of tightly woven wicker over strips of cane. Though the majority were plain, a small number of shields were overmodeled with parinarium nut paste and decorated with elaborate pearl-shell inlay. Fewer than two dozen of these inlaid shields, probably dating from the mid-nineteenth century, are known to have survived. Given their fragile nature, it is unlikely such inlaid shields were used in combat. Instead, they may have served as ceremonial symbols of a warrior's rank and status.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1978.412.730
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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