This item, from the Messengers of Hope Collection, is a large oval-shaped shield consisting of a wooden frame covered with elephant or rhinoceros hide.;The Messengers of Hope were an organization of Hope College alumni that existed formally from about 1907-1915. They had a relatively small membership of 25-50 individuals, who traveled around the world doing missionary work. Messengers of Hope worked in Asia, India, Africa, and the Middle East. One notable member of the group was Dr. John Otte who worked as a doctor and missionary in China for several years, eventually dieing there in 1910. Many of Otte's writings about his experiences are preserved at the Joint Archives of Holland, in Holland Michigan. The missionaries regularly collected items from the communities in which they worked, and sent them back to Hope College for a museum intended to inspire others to take up missionary work. This shield was probably collected by the Hazenburgs or the Zwemers, both of whom worked in Africa. Over the years the small museum was moved around campus and many items were lost or borrowed and never returned. The Grand Rapids Public Museum has collected a small representative sample of these items, in order to tell the story of the Messengers of Hope.;This group of items was part of a small museum at Hope College in the early twentieth century. The items were collected by the Messengers of Hope, a group of Hope alumni engaged in missionary work all over the world. As part of their organization's mission the Messengers of Hope collected items from the various cultures they worked with and sent them back to the college in the hope of inspiring future generations of missionaries.;This shield was likely used by the Shilluk or Chollo people of southern Sudan.