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Comment: 256pp, frontispiece, numerous color and b/w illustrations, quarto cloth. with Introduction by Alain-Michel Boyer
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Shields: Africa, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. From the Collections of the Barbier-Mueller Museum Hardcover – August, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

These two books, both of which draw on fine museum holdings, demonstrate the importance of organization and focus in the editorial process. Reminiscent of "primitive art" publications of the 1950s and 1960s, Tribal Arts offers up objects, primarily African and Oceanic, with limited text and a seemingly random organization. Independent scholar Geoffroy-Schneiter's introduction, an excellent discussion of the Western appreciation and display of tribal art, offers no insight into the book's organization or why the objects it illustrates have been selected. Almost two-thirds of the volume focuses on African art and is loosely organized according to broad categories of function. The Oceanic works, mostly sculptures representative of major island groups, receive considerably less attention, while the inclusion of the few pages on Southeast Asian art is unexplained. The high-quality photos of the objects, mostly from French and Swiss collections (particularly the Mus e Barbier-Mueller in Geneva), are the book's best feature. The text, while limited in scope, is quite readable, with minimal academic jargon. Mildly recommended for general collections. The utilitarian nature of military weapons is obvious, but they can also have an aesthetic component, as amply demonstrated by Shields. In cultures utilizing spears, swords, and arrows as primary weaponry, shields serve as a key aspect of defense. A shield's size and structure encourage decoration, whether during its creation (as seen with basketry shields) or from enhancement with paint and sculpture. The purpose of this artistry ranges from simply providing a means of identifying the warrior's military unit, war accomplishments, and so forth to enhancing his control of powerful spiritual forces. Following essays discussing these functional and aesthetic issues is a catalog of 100 shields in the Mus e Barbier-Mueller collection, where both of the authors work. Each entry offers a large color photograph and a thorough explanation of the object. By far the best book on this distinctive topic, Shields is highly recommended for any library with holdings in art and anthropology. Eugene Burt, Seattle
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

Since ancient times the shield has had a variety of uses whether as a defensive - or more rarely, offensive - weapon, or as a ritual object invested with symbolic meanings. The authors reveal the shields' ethnic derivation and function. Illustrated with over 100 full-color photographs, as well as many drawings and historical pictures of individual shields in their original context, this book provides essential reading for collectors, students, and researchers, as well as for the general public interested in this little-known area of ethnographic art.

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Product Details

  • Series: African, Asian & Oceanic Art
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel Publishing (August 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791323415
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791323411
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 9.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,220,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edward R. Talbot on July 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the ultimate book on native shields from all parts of the world. The quality photos are clear and big and in color. There is loads of information about each shield and the people who made them. It is the best book I have ever bought on shields with 255 pages of information. There are no knives, spears, or swords in this book, but the work on the shields is extensive. The pictures of the people who made the shields are shown, many from the early to mid-1900's. It would be wonderful if the author of this book could make one specifically about each of those weapons as well. You can't go wrong if you want to know about native shields and their history or if you need need a shield resource book as a collector.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hardcover, plain cloth boards with photographic DJ, 255 Pages, 12.5 x 9.75", 120 Color Photos, 3540 B/W photos. (Includes approx. 100 field photos.) Authors : Jean Paul Barbier and P. Benitez-Johannot, with contribution from Alain-Michel Boyer, 2 General area maps, (Africa & Oceania), 20 detail maps.. Published by Prestel, 2000.

Quite simply the best book available focusing on tribal art shields of the world,, and along with : Shields of Melanesia the best books on tribal art shields available. The Barbier-Muller Museum in Geneva is home to some of the best tribal art in the world, so it is not surprising that it also houses some of the best tribal shields in the world. Fully 100 tribal shields from Africa and Oceania are featured in color, one shield to a page. If you also consider the first-rate presentation, field photos, binding, paper, descriptions, text, quality of shields depicted, and photography, this publication truly warrants its 5-Star rating..

.As of early 2015, this book is, quite amazingly, available on Amazon for $20.
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By john weston on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very pleased with this book - to put it mildly - not only was it reasonably priced but the postage was also acceptable - the book itself was informative and beautifully illustrated - Many thanks , Best Wishes John Weston
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