Pectoral battle chest armour - ROM2004_947_14


Pectoral battle chest armour

Medium:Basketry, seed, shell, tusk, fibre, cord
Geography: Melanesia, West Papua, Indonesia
Date: early 20th century
19.4 × 24.8 cm
Object number: HB274
Not on view
DescriptionThis object was worn on the chest as protective armour during warfare and as decoration during ceremonial dances. This chest ornament is made with several rows of pig’s tusks, shells and seeds, held together with fibrous ropes. It is a valuable possession of important individuals. During battle, the top of the object was placed or held in the mouth (the general design and contours suggest a face) to make the warrior look aggressive and frightening. Additional Reading: 1. Safer, Jane Fearer and Frances McLaughlin Gill. 1982. Spirals From the Sea: An Anthropological Look at Shells. New York: C.N. Potter in association with the American Museum of Natural History. Designed by Betty Binns. p.115.
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