African art > Shields > African Shield
Ethiopian Shield (N° 12487)
This heavy Ethiopian shield, which is highlighted by a suitable base, has a solid central handle on the concave inner face. Its outer face, embossed, is adorned on either side with a median ridge of parallel ribs that rhythm circular protrusions. A wide band of red pigments, cruciform, divides it, sharp with the beautiful dark brown patina. Small circular tears at the old fastening points.
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AfricanBouclier collected by Mr. J. Henry, an expatriate hydrologist engineer, on a mission for the Belgian state in Zaire and Burundi, now deceased, a shrewd collector, a erudite man whose patient selection of works also testifies to his aesthetic requirement.
Used by the Arsi-Oromo and Amarro of Ethiopia, this type of shields such as this copy were made of buffalo leather or hippopotamus, molded on convex shapes. They then hardened in the sun after being oiled and, or, tinted. In the 1970s, Professor Brauk-mper also observed the usual use of these shields among the Gurage, Hadiya and Wolayta. The Amarro traded their shields for food with the people of Lake Abaya, and presumably with the plains Arsi. It is therefore not surprising to find the same type of weapons and shields among such distant groups. The Arsi owned an initiation society called gada and were run by an elder, while the Amarro were traditionally subject to a divine Ometo royalty. Today the Arsi consist mainly of Muslims, the Amarro comprising Christians, Muslims, and followers of the traditional religion.source: Shields , ed. Prestel
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|Origin||collection Henry J.|
|Estimated dating||début xxe|
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