230706 - Large Tribal Used African Ethiopian Ras shield - Ethiopia


Antique Ethiopian Warrior Ras shield with decorations. 

Diameter: 48 cm.

This shield is from late 19th century Ethiopian Ras.

This item was collected in the end of the 19th century and purchased in my private collection in 2001, with a certificate of authenticity.

The front is lined with dark brown velvet and richly decorated with metal or silver elements.
The reverse was originally covered with leather or leather and still has its handle to hold it in the hand
The conditions are those shown in the photos and it has some faults
the object has not been cleaned.
a couple of rivets were previously added to secure the decorative elements

A large rounded Ethiopian shield made out of metal & leather that could be attributed to various Ethiopian warrior groups. Ethiopian shields come in variety of designs and decorations (beads, silver or metal strips etc.). They are made of various media that include, wood, metal, vegetable fiber (rattan or raffia). 

Leather is preferable for the hide is strong and resistant. The hide used is from the buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant. The visual effect, the functionality and practical purposes of the piece dictated the form a shield should take. A good shield should offer a maximum of protection. The material used should be strength and durable. Almost all peoples of Africa made usage of the shield. In many cultures, shields like this were known as a defensive weapon, used by the warriors during combat. Shields were also displayed as emblems of status or rank and also as accessories of dance during festival or commemorative ceremonies or after a victory.

See a similar example in the Musee Dapper's CHASSEURS ET GUERRIERS; AFRICA: The Art of a Continent, edited by Tom Phillips, (See p. 126 in the above-referenced volume and also, p. 69 in African Shields by Dieter Plaschke and Manfred A. Zirngibl,) see also Marc Ginzberg. AFRICAN FORMS, pp. 168, 171