Kenyah peoples
late 19th century
more object details

General Description

High-ranking Kenyah warriors carried shields decorated with faces during warfare and headhunting raids. The faces, which may represent those of ancestors, served the dual purpose of protecting the bearer while intimidating or even harming the enemy.

While decorated shields have not functioned as defensive objects for many years, they have remained essential elements for the ceremonies that accompany all rites of passage.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, 2013.