Tribal Art

Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) Tribal Leadership Insignia: Badges of Office

Contextual Background During the colonial period around 1894, the British South Africa Company established the Native Affairs Department, an administration for tribal trust lands and local people of now Zimbabwe. In 1962,  NAtive Affairs Dept. was renamed the Ministry of Internal Affairs (INTAF) a paramilitary wing of the new Rhodesian government. INTAF played a key role in the Rhodesian Bush War collaborating with local chiefs, headmen and village heads in several districts for their own interests. The Institution of Traditional Leadership The...

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Engraved Cattle Horn

A Renaissance of African Tribal Art

19th Century Engraved Zulu Cattle Horn - South Africa African tribal artwork is fascinating, invigorating, and often thought-provoking.  African tribal art has been gaining an unprecedented interest world-wide among scholars, art collectors, museum curators, and even the corporate world. This recognition and appreciation of African art emerged around 2000, as we saw a spike of African art featuring at auction houses across European and American markets. Some of the high sort artifacts are antique Dogon doors, Zulu weaponry,  Shona art,...

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Zulu Battle Axe

Tshaka kaSenzangakhona (c. 1787 – 1828), also known as Shaka Zulu or Shaka the Great, found the Zulu nation just northeast coast of South Africa. The Zulu became a warrior nation due to several conflicts they faced both internally and externally. They fought battles among local tribes including British troops so it was imperative to expand, a reason why they are the largest ethnic group in South Africa. Typical traditional weapons included long (assegai) and short spears (iklwa), axes and knobkerries. The Zulu...

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Tsonga / Zulu / Nguni Tribe Ceremonial Axe

African tribal weapons are fast becoming highly collectible. Check out the video above and let me know what you think. I personally think African tribal weapons have been overlooked. Some of the tribal weapons or ceremonial  staffs like the one in the video have a very interesting design. These were found typically with people of high social status among the Tsonga tribes in Southern Africa. Metropolitan Museum currently has a similar ceremonial axe from the Shona people (Zimbabwe, Mozambique)...

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Shona Prestige Staffs – Axe and Spear

SHONA CEREMONIAL SCEPTER'S HISTORICAL CONTEXTThe Shona tribe is based from the north of Zululand, in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa.  The Shona tribe had a tough history involved in fighting local neighboring tribes such as the Zulu,  the Portuguese, and the British as well. Just like the Zulu, the Shona people during the 19th century had a war like disposition probably due to the invariable conflicts they faced. Shona prestige axes, like the one above, known as "GANO" were ceremonial scepters that...

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