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Sidamo Hippopotamus Hide Shield

Ethiopia

Hippopotamus Hide Shield. Sidamo Culture, Ethiopia

 

This shield features upturned edges, and is decorated with beautiful raised patterns typically found on Ethiopian hippopotamus hide shields. Hippopotamus hide - a very thick, tough leather - has been skilfully formed into a circular shape in order to make this ceremonial shield. A striking feature of this shield is a red ochre cross, which emblazons the front.

Hippopotamus hide-covered shields connoted the courage of Sidamo warriors and were an important insignia of manhood. At a Sidamo man’s funeral his shield and spear may be carried by a male relative, or displayed by his grave in his memory.

Ex Private Collection, Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)

Estimated Period: 19th Century

Price
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£
1500
SIZE
Diameter: 80 CM
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