This shield from Irian Jaya was not only used as a defensive weapon, but also used in Funeral Ceremonies.
Carved of wood from the Mangroves, the human motif represents protective ancestors, mother, father, and grandparents.
The shield also acts as a container for the ancestral spirits returning to the material world.
The wooden projection carved on the shape of a humans head could serve also as a place of residence of the bearers own soul.
Papua, Prior to 2007, the province was known as West Irian Jaya , comprises most of the western half of the island of New Guinea and nearby islands. Its capital is Jayapura. It is the largest and easternmost province of Indonesia. The province originally covered the entire western half of New Guinea.