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 Museum Explorer

Birds and beasts
in Africa

Lion's mane shield

Diameter: 56.000 cm

AOA 1868,10-1.1

Lion's mane shield

From: Ethiopia
Date: mid-19th century AD

Today, wild lions live only in sub-Saharan Africa, the part of Africa just below the Sahara Desert. They live in grassy areas without many trees, sometimes called the savanna. Lions have long been considered brave and fierce, and because of this are often connected with strong rulers.

The Emperor of Ethiopia may have given this shield to one of his govenors, to thank him for his bravery when fighting for the Emperor. It is beautifully made of silver and velvet, and has a real lion's mane attached to it.