Miscellaneous -

19th Century Shaka Zulu Shield and Spears
Item #: AA1445
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This is a Zulu shield and set of spears from the 19th century. The shield is the large battle size used by the Zulu warriors under Shaka Senzangakhona. He was a warrior king that organized the Zulu into a fierce and highly effective military force. This cowhide shield, known as the Isihlangu, is the largest of the Zulu shields. These shield were made from hide taken from the animal's back. The hide was staked out in the sun to dry and harden. Once that was accomplished, they was buried under manure for several days. The hide was then pounded with stones and cut in the traditional oval shape. A wooden staff was added for support, secured by leather straps. Two columns of horizontal slits were then cut into the shield and leather strips were woven between the slits on either side of the staff to reinforce the center section of the shield. The color of the shield denoted a system of rank within the Zulu warrior organization. Inexperienced young warriors carried nearly all black shield, red shields were carried by mid level warriors and the senior warriors had shields that were nearly all white. The shields were used in the defense to deflect spears and arrows. They also served as an offensive asset when the Zulu's used them to knock their opponent off balance or to the ground completely, allowing them to stab their unprotected opponent. This shield is 59 3/4" tall and 29 1/2" at it's widest point. The coloring of the hide indicates that this was carried by a young, inexperienced warrior. The hide is in very good condition with minimal hair loss at the very tip of the shield. One of the leather loops that retain the staff has broken, but is still present. The staff for this shield is the same height as the shield itself, and does not appear to have ever been shortened. The spears that accompany the shield are authentic 19th century Zulu. The longer of the two is an Iklwa, having a total length of 48". It has a tapered blade that measures 18" long and is 1 1/2" at the widest point. There is a wire wrap covered by hide to reinforce where the blade attaches to the staff. The shorter spear is called an assegai and has a total length of 41" The spear point blade is 7" long and 1 1/4" wide. It is also wire wrapped and covered by hide at the junction of the shaft. These types of spears were commonly carried by Zulu warriors, along with a war club. The blades of both spears have some light pitting and slight discoloration. The wooden shafts are in good condition. These weapons were made famous in the movie "Zulu", depicting the famous battle between the Zulu nation and the British Army at Rorke's Drift, Netal province, South Africa.

Shipping Weight: 20 lbs
Your Price $1,250.00 USD