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Shoulder shield, Kenya, 1850–1902

This is the shoulder shield of a young member of the Kikuyu, a large group of people who live in Kenya in Africa. Young warriors chose a shield shape, to show their age and territory. Then they painted it in red, white and black. During their initiation dance, they wore the shield over their left shoulder. Adult warriors carried larger body shields for hunting, or in battle. These were made of water buffalo hide.

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