VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Shield
2379
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

It was chosen because the majority of the Phillipino population groups had elongated shaped shields, with the exception of the Moors, who used round shields. This is one of the few round shields that are not Moorish, and it is also distinctive because of its decorative patterns.

History of the Object
This is a round wooden shield with a reinforced edge made of bamboo fabric. The complete outside perimeter of the shield is decorated with geometric patterns engraved to form borders. Its center has a circular bulge with the same kind of decoration. These patterns and edges have a dark brown color, obtained from the application of natural dyes, thus bringing out the clear background of the wood. The patterns of these borders are different in each of the three parts. These patterns are comparable to the ones found in other objects made by this group (Bagobo), such as various bamboo containers, textiles, and musical instruments. They are a symbolic representation of their world: the community in an abstract image of their members joined by the hands and feet; their dwellings, animals, thunder, clouds, the sun, the moon and the stars, all of which were an important part of their animistic beliefs.

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Type
Weaponry 
Materials
Wood and bamboo 
Measurements
Diameter 95 cm. 
Creator name
Grupo Bagobo 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Philippines; Mindanao; Davao del Sur 
Geography
Philippines 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century; ca. 1860 
Function
Defensive weapon 
Acquisition
In 1887, a monographic exhibition about the Philippines took place in Madrid with the objective of showing the natural products of those islands, as well as its industry and crafts. It was thought that this would help support trade between those remote lands and the metropolis. Then, an important collection of products and objects belonging to the various groups who inhabited the islands were sent to Madrid. This represented their different economic activities, apparel, ornaments, domestic housewares, musical instruments, ritual objects, weapons, etc. When this exhibition was closed, the Library Museum of High Seas (Museo Biblioteca de Ultramar) was created with all of the collections, both objects and bibliographies. In 1908, this museum was closed and the majority of its collections were passed on to become part of the National Museum of Anthropology. 
Copyright
Museo Nacional de Antropología Ministerio de Cultura 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Museo Nacional de Antropología Ministerio de Cultura 
Museum
National Museum of Anthropology 
Credit line
 

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