Currently on display at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, Australia we see a Phantom shield originating from Minj Village, Western Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.
The 1980’s Phantom shield was collected by Johan Wierda in 1988 and donated to the Museum in 2007.
We find the following description on display alongside the Phantom shield:
A cartoon hero crime-fighter, created in America in 1936, The Phantom has been translated into 15 languages including Tok Pisin, a form of Pidgin English recognised as one of three official languages of Papua New Guinea. When tribal fighting broke out in the 1980s in the Western Highlands, the Wahgi people revived and repainted old battle shields with new designs many featuring the Phantom and other popular culture references. Also known as ‘the ghost who walks’ this shield features the Phantom’s masked head and the words ‘MAN INO SAVE dai’ that roughly translate to ‘a man who can’t be killed’. The intent was to frighten your opponent into thinking that you and your shield were imbued with the Phantom’s power and gift of immortality.
The Phantom shield forms part of the ‘Collecting The World’ exhibit currently running at the South Australian Museum until the 8th of August, 2021.
The South Australian Museum
- Entry Cost – Free
- Opening Times – Daily 10am-5pm
- Location – North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 5000