In the past, African shields were designed to offer protection during combat. Small, lightweight shields offered greater mobility for close combat, and large, heavier ones provided more protection during ground battles. The patterns and designs on the shield indicated the person’s rank and status on the battlefield, as well as the ethnic group he belonged to.
Shields were also used as accessories in initiation, funeral, and dance ceremonies. A variety of materials were used like animal hides which provided strength and durability; wicker, a lightweight material used for weaving; wood which was sculpted into smooth shapes and carved with designs, and metal. Pity these glorious shields can’t protect us from the relentless sounds of the vuvuzelas.
Equipe de France. Photo:www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images
Like it or not, you will shortly be immersed in World Cup insanity, and it’s always more fun to play along. I’ve never been a soccer fan, but something mysterious happened to me during the 2006 World Cup, and before I knew it my kids were covered in tattoos, and I had a flag hanging off my car for the duration of the games. I’ve had four years to recover from this out of character behaviour, and I think I’m ready to embrace the insanity again. If you happen to be a parent of young soccer loving children, these customized shakers will add to their fun and help them cheer on their chosen team. It is, after all, the most popular sport in the world. Cheers!