This striking African Ethiopian Shield is from the Oromo tribe. Extremely thick hide, probably Hippopotamus, is decorated with dimpled impressions and extreme patination. The shield has the look of some impossible creature’s shell, a wonderful tactile object that is endlessly fascinating. It has various cuts and repairs, probably received in battle. The handle has had various repairs but is still intact.
Hippopotamus hide embossed with parallel lines and protusion. Oromo people. Southern Central region of Ethiopia. Early 20th. century. Very good condition with traces of usage. Diam. cm. 71 (2'4" diam.).
One of the great classics of African shields, this style has been attributed to various sub-tribes of Ethiopia's larger ethnic groups, including the Oromo and the Sidamo. Made on wood forms that create the bumpy format, these shields are then further decorated with fine line etching. The shield shown here is terrific, being an object of great beauty as well as displaying a dark brown patina that bespeaks a century of use. A really fine round example with high relief bump pattern, and intricate surface purposeful pattern that may distinguish the status of the owner.
It has no modern restoration or alteration, just a clean with a cloth.
It has a diameter of 75.5 cm(30 inches)
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