Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • unknown Babwa maker
  • shield, late 1800s–1908
  • Where object was made: Angola
  • wood, plant fiber, animal skin, carving, weaving
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 128 x 43.5 x 6.5 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 50 3/8 x 17 1/8 x 2 1/2 in
  • Gift of Claude D. Brown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.4183

The wave shaped shield is made of plant fibers woven over thin strips of wood. It is currently in two pieces. The front of the shield protrudes at each end and in the center where the handle is. There are lengthwise stripes on both sides of the shield in alternating light tan and light reddish brown. There is woven dark brown plant fiber along the edge and running between the wooden strips of the shield, and woven through the tan and reddish brown plant fibers at either end. The handle is carved from dark brown wood and the grip is carved with three sections of lines, vertical at either end and horizontal in the center. The handle is attached with six plant fiber loops. At one end of the back there are remnants of two small strips of animal skin with brown hair.