Kalkan (one-handed shield)
wood, textile, leather and brass
The John Woodman Higgins Collection
These arms are typical of a mounted warrior in the "Sudanic" region of Africa (the belt of grasslands just south of the Sahara). This area was heavily influenced by Islam during the Middle Ages, and many Africans converted to the new religion. They also adopted Islamic styles of arms and armor. This small round shield is characteristically Islamic, although here adapted to specifically African styles.