An atkom war shield

Height : 1.54 m / Width : 0.56m

Carved wood, ochre pigments, black (charcoal), lime.

Handle made of a double rattan strap

Telefolmin population

Sandaun Province (West Sepik)

Ok Mountain. Central Highlands


– Collected by an Australian pilot in the 1960s.

– Bill Evans Collection, Paddington.

– Chris Boylan Collection, Sydney.

– Daniel Vigne Collection, Paris, Uzes

Exhibition :

Shields of Papua New Guinea. Cavin-Morris Gallery,  New York 2012

Illustrated N°11 of the catalog

Recognizable by their geometrical patterns in the shape of an “X”, the Ok Mountain shields have the same decoration as the engraved and painted doors of the ceremonial houses of this region.

According to Barry Craig (The Shields of Melanesia. 2005. Page 125), “the X pattern represents a stylized human figure, probably embodying an ancestor. The diamond point in the center is called matup bubil and represents his heart. The zigzag pattern represents a snake called durulian, a symbol among the telefolmin of humanity’s lost opportunity for immortality.”

These war shields could be used in magical rituals that took place before each battle.

They were kept in the men’s house, alongside the skulls of ancestors. Sometimes a small bag containing human bones was attached to the shield. This same bag was carried by the warrior in battle.

Get access to the latest exhibitions and galleries on OASIS

Please leave your message and details below so the Gallery may get in touch with you.

To get in touch and create your own virtual gallery, please contact us:

Or leave us a message:

About the project

OASIS is the first immersive platform for the art world.

Designed specifically for collectors and art lovers, this revolutionary digital platform offers a unique experience to discover, learn, and collect artworks by exploring 3D spaces of renowned galleries.

We strive to create a dialogue between collectors and galleries of various disciplines such as design, contemporary, modern, ancient, and tribal art.

OASIS is the quintessence of the best online technologies.
An immersive experience that represents the internet of tomorrow for today’s collector.
A new world opens up to you.

Experience Art like never before.

The OASIS Team