You have clicked on part of the illustration to Meek p 552. Clicking on the shields themselves will download photographs that I took in Nigeria in 1993.
That they survive today is because they have been collected over the last century by travellers and missionaries etc (many of which are now in museums) AND (more importantly) because they are have a role in the Nggwun dance. This is a war dance which in some Cameroonian Mambila villages is closely connected to the installation of Chiefs, and is repeated on a regular basis at which time the Chief repeats his oath of office, and swears (among other things) not to abuse his poisition. Because of this some examples are still to be found in Mambila villages (as may be seen in the digitised photgraphs that accompany this text).
Note. This is a detail of the grip from the inside of the shield which has never been published before. The dimensions of the piece of wood shown in the illustration are: length (max) 51 cm, width (max) 14 cm.
This (p 184) lists eight (though talks of nine) shields no.s 217-224.
The text to number 217 is as follows:
Shields of this type, widely distributed in the southern periphery of Adamawa, may have been a Bamum trade commodity. The Bamum informants all thought that they were made by Bamum craftsmen. It is also possible that the nine shields in the museum were war booty from the Nso in 1906, who probably were supported by some of the Mambilla groups at the northern borders of their kingdom.
55#8 Men pose for camera with a 'war drum' (jua tap), and sticks held as spears (interesting that real spears do not appear to be in evidence) and two 'Mambila' shields. Exactly as illustrated in Meek, Geary (Things of palace) but without any decorative zigzag patterning. Note later Lus photos show shields which differ slightly in design as well as in pattern.
354#21,22 Mambila shield.
Show photo of shield from Nigeria 1993
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