Wooden shield, decorated in vibrant yellow, white and red ochres.
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander shield
Indeterminate (Woods) with natural pigments
History and use
Russell Butler, Bandjin and Warrgamay Elder of the Hinchinbrook Island region, carved this shield from a fallen cluster fig tree at Cape Cleveland in 1994. Russell cut and roughly shaped the wood, and Evonne, Russell’s wife, finished shaping the shield. Russell painted the outlines and Evonne finished painting the shield with the vibrantly coloured ochres.
Traditionally, these heavily decorated shields were given to young men after their initiation.
Russell later sold this item, along with several others, to the Queensland Museum Network, for the inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander exhibition held at the Museum of Tropical Queensland (2000-2005).