Ever since man has been able to lift a club, shoot an arrow, throw a spear or wield an axe, there have been shields.
African shields are oval in shape, made with buffalo hide stretched over a wooden frame and divided in two; one half indicating which tribe the warrior belongs to, and the other half his age. Once a young man has fought, pillaged and killed, distinctive marks are added to his shield by his fellow tribesmen. Painted on with charcoal, powdered soil, ground up bones and blood, circle and semi-circle shapes feature often in shield design as they represent bravery.
I designed my shields first and researched their meaning later. If you wish to a) design your own shield with b) personalized meaning, see the chart below and choose wisely. With hens legs, wooden combs and Siamese crocodiles to choose from, I kind of wish I had!
Cardboard, sharpie, stencil and paints.
Tigers are a symbol of personal strength. Good choice!
In the garden…
African Shield Symbols and their Meaning