Zulu Iklwa (Short Stabbing Spear) 20th C.

Time Period: 20th C.

Origin: South Africa

Materials: Metal, Wood, Palm Binding

Provenance: Private Collector, UK Market

Availability: 1 in stock Categories: , , , Tags: , , ,
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The Zulu Iklwa

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.

Iklwa Description

A good iklwa, has a pale stained wooden shaft, 106cm long

The palm binding on the spear is in good condition. Good blade with signs of wear commensurate to age, untouched.

This item will be shipped from the UK.

 Authenticity and Valuation

Genuine, artifacts like this Zulu spear have become highly sort after by collectors, museums and scholars. Zulu or Nguni related spears contain two notches or pincer marks below the blade of the spear which usually has a tang that fits into the wooden shaft. 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:


Genuine tribal artwork valuation is typically based on some of the following criteria with the help of an expert:

  1. Condition, (damages, repairs)
  2. Authenticity and Provenance, (history of ownership)
  3. Quality, (the type of material used, preservation, skill, aesthetics/beauty)
  4. Uniqueness (the only one of its kind), rarity (occurs only in few locations)  affect value.

Feel free to ask any questions here

Ref: British Museum




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