Saturday Spotlight Talks




Animal Skin Shields and Armour

17 January, 14.30

Defensive weaponry doesn’t have to be made of metal. Throughout history and in different parts of the world, man has been inspired by protective models found in nature.

This illustrated talk by project curator Helen Adams looks at some examples of ethnographic shields and armour in the Pitt Rivers collections - from leather lamellar armour used by samurai warriors and the crocodile cult of eastern Africa, to a fish-scale war jacket from Borneo and the iconic porcupine fish helmet from the Pacific. As accessories and garments combining functionality with fashion, such items demonstrate the skill of the armourer not just as a technician, but as a craftsman and artist.