Zande warrior with shield

Zande warrior with shield
104 x 78 mm | Print gelatin silver
There are records relating to alternative images that we do not have scans for in the database:
1998.341.49.1 - Negative film nitrate , (104 x 78 mm)
Date of Print:
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:
31 5 [frame 1]

Accession Number:
Male warrior demonstrating the use of a wickerwork shield (kube) and spear, in semi-crouched position with shield pushed ahead and spear (baso) raised. Although the use of shields was illegal under British adminstration, Evans-Pritchard had several examples made for him by those who still knew the craft.
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Date of Photo:
1927 - 1930
[Southern Sudan] Western Equatoria Yambio
Publication History:
Contemporary Publication - Reproduced as Plate IV (facing page 257) in E. E. Evans-Pritchard's The Azande (OUP 1971) with the caption "Warrior with shield". [CM 17/8/2005]
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1966
Other Owners:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard Collection
Weapon , [Warfare]
Shield , Spear
[Fighting] , Performing
Original catalogue lists in Manuscript Collections. Additional material in related documents files. [CM 27/9/2005]
Primary Documentation:
PRM Accession Records - [1966.27.21] G PROFESSOR E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD; INST. OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 51 BANBURY RD. OXFORD - S. SUDAN, AZANDE TRIBE. Box of negatives in envelopes. Nos. 1 - 400
Added Accession Book Entry - [In pencil in column] Catalogue room.
[1966.27.23] G PROFESSOR E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD; INST. OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 51 BANBURY RD. OXFORD - S. SUDAN, AZANDE TRIBE. Box of prints in envelopes, nos. 1 - 400 (prints of negatives in 1966.27.21)

Manual Catalogues [typewritten, entitled "Zande Photographs (E-P)"] - 49. Warrior with shield (posed) 31/5

Notes on print/mount - "WARRIOR WITH SHIELD [various printer's measurements]"
Other Information:
Archive note - The negative and two prints for this image were part of a group of objects returned to the museum on 15/12/2003 from Oxford University Press. They had evidently been transferred to OUP in 1971 in preparation for their publication in The Azande, and had remained in the archive there until enquiries were made by Chris Morton in 2003 since they were missing from the collection. Email correspondence: "From Anne Ashby, 12 Dec 2003. to Chris Morton. Dear Chris, I am very happy to be able to let you know that (miraculously) our senior designer Sue Tipping has searched the archives and found the Azande photographs and negatives. We have also discovered an envelope of photographs labeled 'Witchcraft Oracles and Magic Among the Azande'. My paperback reprint (1993) contains no photographs, but I suppose that the photographs must have appeared in the original hardback? What is the safest way to hand these over to you? I could send them around to the PRM by messenger, or alternatively you might like to collect them yourself. Best wishes, Anne Ashby, Editor, Academic and Professional, Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street Oxford." Note that the envelope of Azande prints mentioned in the letter has also been accessioned into the collections as a separate collection. [Chris Morton 15/12/2003] Ethnographic context - (E.E. Evans-Pritchard, The Azande (1971: 259 - 261) "A battle consisted of individual combats between warriors on either side all along the line and at short range, usually only a few yards separated the combatants, for the spear had to pierce a man's shield before it could pierce the man. The throwing-knife doubtless carried further, though it may not have been so effective a weapon because it probably met with greater resistance from the texture of the shield. I fancy that its effect was as much psychological as physical. I used to practise with it when I was among the Azande and I learnt to throw it with considerable force and accuracy. When correctly thrown, one of its several blades was certain to strike the objective squarely, and the sight of the blades circling towards one in the air must have been frightening. The Zande shield, however, protected two-thirds of the body, and when a man crouched behind it, as he did if a spear or knife was aimed high, his body was fully covered. If the missile came at him low, he jumped in the air with remarkable agility to let it pass under him. I have not, of course, myself seen a Zande battle, but men have demonstrated to me with old shields or ones I had made for me, how they moved in fighting, and it was a most impressive display in the art of self-defence, in the movements of the body to give the fullest protection of the shield, and in the manipulation of the shield to take the spear or throwing-knife obliquely. The hurling of weapons and the taking of them on the shield were accompanied by shouting the names of the kings of the parties involved. When the combatants had exhausted most of their weapons they withdrew to a safe distance where they challenged and insulted each other, as Schweinfurth noted was customary." See also (E.E. Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande (1972 [1937]: 437) "Although shields are no longer made, having been forbidden many years ago by the Government, there are still a number of experts who know the art. One of them made some specimens for me to take back to England..." Further information is available on the Shields and Objects, Anthropology and Museums website at:, a collaborative research project between the PRM and the University of Kent.
Christopher Morton 8/10/2003 [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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