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Zulu Iklwa (Short Stabbing Spear)
This is the epitome of a short stabbing spear of the Zulu, it just cannot get any better.
Tshaka kaSenzangakhona ( c. 1787 – 22 September 1828), commonly known as Shaka Zulu, was a great warrior king and innovator who transformed Zulu warriors into a potent military machine in southern Africa. Shaka invented the short stabbing spear (iklwa) which became the weapon of choice during battle onward. The iklwa was recognized as highly effective and later used in several battles including the bloody battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
Thought it would be interesting to note that the spear gets its name “iklwa” from the mimicking sound it makes as it is pulled out from an unfortunate victims body.
Spear Authenticity and Valuation
Genuine, 19th-century artifacts like these have become highly sort after by collectors, museums and scholars. Zulu or Nguni related spears have two notches or pincer marks below the blade of the spear with a tang that fits into the wooden haft. A strong vegetable glue is used to set the tang which is secured with a binding material which can be derived from such materials as cow tail, leather strips, sinew, reed, palm leaf, split cane, brass, copper or steel wire Ethnographic art valuation is typically determined by some of the following criteria with the help of an expert:
-Authenticity and Provenance, (origin and history of ownership)
-Quality, (the type of material used, preservation, skill, aesthetics/beauty)
-Uniqueness (the only one of its kind), rarity (occurs only in few locations) affect value.
Finally, to fully appreciate ethnographic tribal art, one has to have a sound understanding of the particular cultural history
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