Shield (1) - Leather - Forma cónica - Amhara - Ethiopia

Shield (1) - Leather - Forma cónica - Amhara - Ethiopia

Exceptional conical leather shield characteristic of the Amhara ethnic group of Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia). Original ethnic object. Dimensions: 106 cm in diameter. Good condition and very good patina, it has the logical signs of the use and the passage of time, the leather is extremely rigid and is not deformable. The tone of the shield is quite more intense than that shown in the photos. This type of shield was made from the carving of this model over a wooden log on which the rough leather was placed, using straps and counterweight for its shaping. Later on, and after a time for the drying of the leather, they would proceed to perform a thorough and elaborate engraving through incisions all over its section. Characteristic design. Its beauty lies in the excellent leather work and the conjunction and harmony of the engraving.

African shields were mainly used since the most remote times as a means of defence in tribal clashes as well as ritually in all kinds of ceremonies, celebrations, dances and funeral rites, as well as becoming true objects of worship giving power, rank and even ostentation to the bearer. They have come to be seen as true works of art in their own right, being very broadly present in all museums and ethnographic exhibitions around the world. The elaboration of them has been a process of adaptation over time based on the means and materials available. From the most rudimentary pieces for protection such as simple untransformed pieces of leather and/or woods to very elaborate and meticulously made pieces made with diverse materials as different as braidable plant materials, wood, leather, metal and turtle shells among others.

Lot details
Total nr of items
Indigenous object name
Forma cónica
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Sold with stand
13×34×34 cm
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