This rare Aboriginal artefact from the Adelaide Plains dates from the 1840s and is one of the few of its type held in any museum collection.
The wokali bark shield is characteristic of those used on the Adelaide Plains during the early 1840s. The shield is rare for a number of reasons. Shields of this type were cut and painted especially for tribal fights and if not destroyed during the battle, were often discarded afterward. Also mounted police destroyed shields (and other weapons) by trampling them with their horses' hooves when quelling unrest in the Adelaide area.
Australian Federal Government and Adelaide City Council funding made the purchase of the shield from a private collector possible.