Oryx Hide Somali Shield – Gãschãn – East Africa

19th century.  Bleached and incised oryx leather. Diameter cm. 34,3 (13.50″). The hide is bleached and incised with geometric patterns. Somali warriors carried an iron spear, a short sword called a belawa, and a shield called a gãschãn. These shields were bleached white. Typical small Somali shields are made from giraffe or...

African Throwing Knife – GBAYA – DR Congo

End 19th century - early 20th century. The piece is cm. 59,0 high  x cm. 21,0 width (23.22″ x 8.26″); gr. 456,4 (16.09 oz.). The top part of the blade is pierced with a hole. There is a hoocklet just above the wooden handle. For a similar example see "The Cutting Edge", by...

Leather Shield – Grasslands, Cameroon

Early to mid 20th century. Leather. Cm. 80,0 high x cm 46,5 width (31.49" x 18.30"). This is a classic shield shaped from the Grasslands of Cameroon. Has a rectangular raised centre with a double compass design around it defined with lack of fur. There are hundreds of bumps...

Textured Shield – Jinka, Omo Valley, Southern Ethiopia

Early to mid 20th century. Leather. Diameter approx. cm. 45,0 (17.71"). This is a neatly executed, mid sized leather shield from the Jinka tribe of Ethiopia. The leather has outwardly and inwardly projecting bumps on the front as decoration. And linear ridges, all formed around a small central protrusion. The...