Telefomin Shield-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Tribal Art This ancient shield is one of a very few objects with a known history prior to its collection. According to the anthropologist Barry Craig, who did extensive fieldwork in the area, there are two different versions of this shield’s history. As he recounts it in the New Guinea Highlands: Art from the Jolika Collection book: “The first, and perhaps the more likely, dates from 1967, when it was stated to the author that it had been made with stone tools, from lightweight ful timber, by Tumlisep, the grandfather of a fifty-five-year-old man in the community, before the man was born. It was made as a copy of a shield captured during a raid on the Duranmin (Asabano), who live at the headwaters of the Om (Strickland) River, east of the Elip Valley. The Duranmin original and a captured Mianmin shield were both destroyed when a Falamin raiding party burned down the house in which they were stored. The personal name of the copy of the Duranmin shield is Walbinam, and it was used many times in raids against the Falamin. “The second version dates from 1983, when it was stated to the author that the shield had been captured by Kesumeng during a raid against the Duranmin before Richard Thurnwald arrived in Telefomin in 1914; therefore, its personal name is Duranmin. It was inherited by Kesumeng’s son Wanamasep, who passed it on to his sons, Bumtubiok, Baganok, and Ulang Bopnok.” Craig cautions that the two different stories should not be considered contradictory but rather “that in all likelihood, the two stories are part of the one narrative, and that possibility is what field collectors always have to be conscious of; forgetting parts of oral history, ‘telescoping’ events and genealogies and lines of ownership” are a relatively common occurrence (Barry Craig, personal communication, 4 June 2021). What is also important with this shield is the fact that Craig was able to record an informant’s explanation on the various design elements. A line drawing with local names and meanings is illustrated in the Jolika book, but the central black circle is matup bubil or crocodile’s heart. The undulating black line at the top is durulian, a long, thin snake. The black dots along the bottom are mamul timbugun, holes made by a fat white grub in the trunk of a tree. It is pre-contact, stone-carved, ex. Jolika Collection of Marcia and John Friede and published a number of times: Michael Hamson Oceanic Art Paris 2011, no. 16, pages 32/33, and in New Guinea Highlands: Art from the Jolika Collection, 2017, fig. 16.30, pages 530/31 and most recently in my Oceanic Art Provenance & Hisotry, 2021, no. 26, pages 140-43. It is 60 5/8” (154 cm) in height, 19th century and the price is available upon request. Questions?