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African shield
A rare early Maasai shield

African shield A rare early Maasai shield www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


A good and seldom seen Maasai war shield.

This painted shield measures 113cms tall, 50cms wide and approx 12cms deep.
It is constructed from thick hide stretched over a wooden frame and is lashed with hide strips to the outsides edges and the central rib.
The central handle is part of the wooden central brace. There is a thick hide knuckle pad at this point also.
The outer surfaces are painted in traditional motifs with paint that was traditionally obtained by mixing earth with blood or the red sap of the solanum campylae fruit. White was derived from local clays, and black from the skins of burnt gourds.
The shield has a single bullet hole and a cut to the hide indicating it may possibly have been taken as a trophy during a colonial skirmish.

A fine old shield not often encountered.