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Amhara, Late 19th century
The National Museum of African Art
"While this shield’s thick tough hide and round form are typical of shields from a wide region in east Africa, the silver and cloth embellishments are unique to the courts of Ethiopia. The conversion of utilitarian objects into high status objects through embellishment or changes in materials is one of the basic characteristics of African art. According to the Ethiopian family history, this shield was used at Battle of Adowa in 1896."