A Bronze Sumatran 'Peurise Teumaga' shield
During the colonial rule of Indonesia by the Dutch, North Sumatra was a major stronghold of the local inhabitants. In the region of Aceh (Atjeh) many Sultanate Acehnese warriors picked up their weapons and fought the Dutch in a magnificent geurilla war. The so-called Atjeh war which lasted from 1873 untill finally won by the Dutch in 1914.
This large shield dates from around 1880.
The Sumatran shield used by the Acehnese can be sorted in four types; the ‘Peurise Awe’ (rattan shield), the ‘Peurise Nilo’ (buffaloo hide shield), ‘Peurise Paru’ (stingray skin shield) and the ‘Peurise Teumaga’ (bronze shield) which is our example here.
The bronze casted ‘Peurise Teumaga’ shield vary in decoration and size. This example is rather large and measures 40cm diameter. The shield was usualy carried on the back, and held in the left hand while in the other hand a sword like the ‘Siking Panjang’ or ‘Cojang’ was used to engage the enemy in close combat.
The decoration on these shield vary from bronze knobs to typical Sumatran star-shape applications. Mostly seen with four stars, but sometimes even with seven stars as can be seen on this example.
Condition: Excellent, excellent natural patina.
Sources: ‘A. G. Zonneveld’s ”Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago” p.106
Copyright by Peter Andeweg – 2020
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