THE LAMP INSPIRED BY THE WARRIOR SHIELD
shape of the ‘Masai’ lamps recalls the ‘Elongo’, the hunting tool of the
ancient peoples of Kenya, an object of almost magical value.
The ‘Elongo’ shield was the Masai warrior’s most important tool in hunting and warfare, an object of African manufacture with characteristics of both utilitarian and artistic craftsmanship. The same characteristics that the lamps in Icone’s ‘Masai’ family have: the functional one, for indirect ambient lighting, and the decorative one, with its particular shape, inspired precisely by African shields, typical of all the declinations of the collection, and its metal finishes.
The shields not only offered physical
protection to the warriors, but also protection of a symbolic and almost
magical nature that came from being blessed objects by the spiritual leader.
Each warrior made his shield personally and a different design was used for each one to differentiate the various Maasai sub-communities, age groups and sometimes even a complex system of lineage identification.
Like the Icone lamps, shields were objects of prestige and distinctive symbols of identification. Like the artifacts they are inspired by, Maasai family lamps are precious objects, which alone characterize a room.