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Lee 22nd June 2021 07:59 PM

African Shield for Identification & Comment
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A reader sent the following text and images and requests identification and comment of this shield.

Its a Beja style shield but instead of hide, its wood wrapped in leather with snake skin on the boss. The shield is almost 19 inches across; unfortunately missing its handle.
For me it looks to have age consistent with being circa 19th Century but I can't be 100% on that. Just wondered if you have encountered anything like it before or have any suggestions?

Kmaddock 23rd June 2021 01:44 PM

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Very similar to a Beja shield

but no semi-circular cut outs on the rim as per my example

Nice item though



Mefidk 24th June 2021 12:35 PM

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Here is my example. It has both characteristics, hide and cutouts, but with snakeskin (and even fragile tassles), but I noticed that the cut-outs on mine are smaller than usual.
Perhaps some overlap and changes with time and area? My example comes from an older collection but apart from drying a bit it seems unused and I assume it is from mid 20th century.

Mefidk 24th June 2021 12:43 PM

Looking at the picture I posted it seems like this is a bit oval in shape, but it is in fact almost perfectly circular at 55cm x 54.5cm.

colin henshaw 24th June 2021 02:05 PM

1 Attachment(s)
It might be from the South Sudan ... the Nuer had similar, smaller type shields, but without the cutouts.

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