Amhara Shield from Ethiopia
Date: Late 19th early 20th Century
Amharas are ethnic group traditionally inhabiting parts of the northern and central highlands of Ethiopia that formed the famous Abyssinian Empire going back 3000 years to biblical times of King Solomon and Queen Sheba. The first Amhara Solomonic King was Melinik I and the last was Emperor Haile Selassie that was Murdered in 1974. The Amhara people were the dominant power in Ethiopia because of their Economic wealth and deep culture and heritage. They are Christian and formed second largest Ethnic group in Ethiopia.
The Amhara people use their shields not only as a weapon but also as a symbol of wealth and importance. Hence the efforts invested in decorating the shields.
The shield offered here has a conical shape, steel base covered with colored velvet (faded now) on the outer face which is set on top of the velvet with many embossed brass strips and panels. The inner face is covered with leather (now partially damaged) and set with a heavy hide handle.
Diameter 19 inches and 7 inches tall. Very good condition, Damaged rear leather cover. Minor dents to the brass panels.
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