Phantom Shields of the New Guinea Highlands

Released on the 24th of February, 2021 is a hardcover book focusing on Phantom shields found in Papua New Guinea titled Man Who Cannot Die: Phantom Shields of the New Guinea Highlands.

The topic of the Phantom’s image being used on Papua New Guinea shields is an interesting and unique subject. The Phantom is a well respected figure in the Pacific island regions, with the Phantom appearing in comics (Wantok), newspapers (PNG Post-Courier and Wantok Niuspepa) and Government health campaigns (peanut campaign).

The publication is summarized as:

A new book published in February 2021 by art dealers Chris Boylan of Sydney, Australia, and Jessica Lindsay Phillips of Toronto, Canada, is an exhaustive study of this tradition. Titled Man Who Cannot Die: Phantom Shields of the New Guinea Highlands, it features essays by a number of experts in the field, placing the shields within their historical, cultural, and cosmological contexts. A catalog section illustrates 105 examples from museum and private collections in North America, Europe, and the Antipodes, drawn from a research group of some 150 shields, which represent the majority of known examples.

Within the book, we find:

Research for the book resulted in the identification of a number of different artists, distinguishable by their styles. Some of their names are known—the late Kaipel Ka of Banz township, for example—while others can be referred to only by distinguishing stylistic characteristics—the Ocher Painter or the Confident Line Painter. The catalog section is arranged to show the relationships of the various shields within these stylistic groups.

We see the cover of Man Who Cannot Die: Phantom Shields of the New Guinea Highlands below plus a small sample of the pages within.

Information on the publication is as follows:

Published in English by Boylan & Phillips, Sydney and Toronto

Release date: February 2021

Edited by Jonathan Fogel, with contributions by Chris Boylan, Bruce Cree, Hubert Langmann, Kevin Patrick, and Jessica Lindsay Phillips

23 x 32 cm, 296 pages, fully illustrated in color

ISBN-13: 978-1-7330078-1-8


To purchase your copy of Man Who Cannot Die: Phantom Shields of the New Guinea Highlands click HERE