220652 - Large African Ethiopian Leather Warrior shield - Ethiopia


Large Antique Ethiopian Warrior shield with rare Brass decorations. 

Diameter: 60 cm

A highly decorative typical shield as used by riders with long spears in central Ethiopia (Oromo, Arussi, Galla etc.) and in the southern Sidamo region (Amarro, Wolayta, Hadiya etc.). 
This round shield is made of hippopotamus or buffalo leather. It has a pronounced central ridge surrounded by six raised lumps acting as a shield boss. The shield is decorated with lines in relief radiating out from the central ridge, which are alternated with smaller bosses and decorated with Rare Brass elements.The outside of the shield is encircled by a robust, bulging edge (with two holes for a carrying strap). The reverse has a thick semicircular leather handle affixed to the shield with leather bands. Everything is dyed black. 
A very attractive, highly decorative object. With one old tear to the round surface which has been ‘sewn’ with leather bands (an old original tribal repair). This tear is probably a historic ‘battle wound’ caused by a blow from a spear or a sabre. Otherwise no damage. An attractive shiny patina to all surfaces, exposed areas, to the central ridge and to the handle on the back. 

Diameter: 60 cm. Between the 19th century and the begin of the 20th century.

Provenance: Private Collection of G.J. van Kuijk.

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