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Shield (lava lava): Gallery Label - Current

Author

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Date

2010-01-26

Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Extremely light and maneuverable, the shield (lava lava) was essential to the men of the Solomon Islands. Shield forms varied by region but most were made of coiled cane and decorated with dye. In battle, these shields were used to deflect arrows and spears as well as execute complex movements. This ability to wield the lava lava was gained after a long apprenticeship during adolescence. Shields, often passed down through generations, were only given when the young men were deemed ready. Even after Western firearms were introduced and it no longer served defensive purposes, the lava lava was still carried everywhere, representing the shield-bearer's social rank as well as his personal identity.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 25, 2010