Tanala Shield – Madagascar

A rare and lovely Tanala shield (ampinga) from northeastern Madagascar, dating to around the time of the colonization of the island by the French in 1897. Covered with bull hide, its face shows a gorgeous, organic play of light and dark within an egg-shaped silhouette. This shield was made for parrying spears and it has seen significant use, evinced by the smooth, polished patina on the grip. 

Late 19th to early 20th century
Hide, wood
19.75” h  16.5” w
Provenance: Private European collection
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