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Old 14th April 2013, 07:45 PM   #1
nKante
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Default Iklwa inquiry! Iklwa inquiry! Iklwa inquiry!

Now that I made you say that 3 times fast, I realy do have an inquiry. I came across a few nice pieces of iron and I wanted to attemp to make myself a replica spear to go with the rawhide shield I made last year. How are the blades attached to the shaft? I can tell the blade is tanged, but what actually secures the blade? Do they use some sort of glue, or is it the bindings? What kind of wood is the shaft made from?
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Old 15th April 2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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One of the ways is to shrink wrap with tubular animal tissue. Metal wire weave and rattan like material is also used. I have to say I think the animal parts is best reflecting the cattle based economy. I have not added the whole picture of this spear as it is not a true Iklwa but the fixing is the same.
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Old 15th April 2013, 05:41 PM   #3
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Thanks Tim! I was thinking along those lines. I was gonna cut some barbs into the tang, heat it red hot, then insert it into the shaft. I was gonna make a sleeve from the left over rawhide to cover it with. I might wire wrap for decorative purposes. I've tried wire wrapping before, but I just can't get the tension I want.
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Old 15th April 2013, 05:50 PM   #4
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Tim, taking second look at your spear, there seems to be a wrapped binding under the top layer. I think I will wrap the shaft in leather cord beford I cover it in the hide sleeve.
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Old 15th April 2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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The ribbing does not seem to be formed by binding under the animal tissue. As I said this is not an Iklwa. This spear is to the north and east, I believe as far as the Kenya Sudan border regions but essentially the same fixing as the classic Iklwa. The ribbing is tool worked like the baldric on this Seme. The Iklwa is not worked. Somebody will have an example to show, all mine have gone. Here is the spear it total-
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=turkana+shield
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Old 17th April 2013, 02:48 AM   #6
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Hi,
I have mounted a genuine Zulu spearhead to a replacement shaft....copying one of their techniques.

Drill a smaller diameter hole (slightly smaller than the tang) into the end of the shaft (as deep as you need.... full or half 'tang' length.) If you can obtain a cow tail cut a suitable length (slightly longer than the depth of the tang) with a diameter around the same size as the shaft.....slightly smaller is much better) Remove the bone and tissue without damaging the skin. You could at this stage leave it somewhere where it would remain dry but allow access to ants ......Yes ants ... they will clean remaining residue and are excellent little 'workers' . This can then be treated (chemicals) to remove hair (if necessary). The leather tube is then later soaked in water to soften and make the tube easier to stretch over the shaft

Heat the tang to a reddish colour and insert into the drilled hole (use leather gloves) it will burn into the wood. Remove and repeat until the tang is at the required depth. Remove spearhead. The wet leather tube is then placed/pulled over the shaft. At the same time reheat the tang and force the spearhead into the shaft. Ensure the tube is in the correct position, (often some of the tang is partly covered in leather) and then allow to dry slowly. The leather will shrink and tighten .......once fully dry trim the edges with a sharp knife/scalpel. Use a wax later to seal the wood and leather.

Hope this helps or gives you some ideas

Kind Regards David
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Old 19th April 2013, 05:18 AM   #7
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Thanks Katana! It's funny you ask, because I do have a cow tail laying around.But it is to used in another project.I will sew a sleeve from the rawhide I have left.
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Old 19th April 2013, 01:09 PM   #8
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Hi nKante,
Here are some of mine which may help. Two complete with cow tails one with the binding only and one of the head only. Hope this is of some help.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 19th April 2013, 02:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nKante
Thanks Katana! It's funny you ask, because I do have a cow tail laying around.But it is to used in another project.I will sew a sleeve from the rawhide I have left.


I would suggest that you soak the sleeve in water, wrap around the shaft and sew the seam then. As the leather ...dries it shrinks and gives a very firm hold. One more suggestion, if you cut rawhide into small pieces and gently boil in water you can create 'hide glue'. (google for more info) . Put the glue in the area where the sleeve is to be placed and then wrap with the 'wet' leather and sew (glue could also be 'run along the seam). The addition of this natural glue (known to the Zulus) improves the strength of the binding as it now not only applies 'compression' as the sheath dries and shrinks but is bonded to the wooden shaft. I have done this myself and works a treat

Hi Norman,
nice collection .....the second one down....is there a twine binding (whipping) underneath the hide sheaf ? I have seen some where this type of binding is used. The sheaf is placed over the whipping and shrunk over it. But, I have also seen some where there is a texture created by applying the cord over the top of the wet hide, which is left to dry/shrink and later the string removed leaving the imprint of the cord. It's possible that this texture improves grip to aid removal from the poor victim but do not know for certain

All the best
David
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Old 19th April 2013, 05:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana

Hi Norman,
nice collection .....the second one down....is there a twine binding (whipping) underneath the hide sheaf ? I have seen some where this type of binding is used. The sheaf is placed over the whipping and shrunk over it. But, I have also seen some where there is a texture created by applying the cord over the top of the wet hide, which is left to dry/shrink and later the string removed leaving the imprint of the cord. It's possible that this texture improves grip to aid removal from the poor victim but do not know for certain

All the best
David




Hi David,
You're dead right, the 2nd one down does not have any binding underneath, see photo. I would suspect your deduction may have some creedence.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 19th April 2013, 05:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi David,
You're dead right, the 2nd one down does not have any binding underneath, see photo. I would suspect your deduction may have some creedence.
My Regards,
Norman.



Hi Norman ,
sometimes the sheathing covers/holds the lower section of the spearhead shaft ...I believe that this 'overlap' is deliberate and is bound tight around the metal shaft (with a strip or cord to compress) to compress and mould the wet hide to tightly fit and support the spearhead shaft further .....later the strip/cord removed, once dry and shrunk.

All the best
David
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Old 20th April 2013, 04:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Norman ,
sometimes the sheathing covers/holds the lower section of the spearhead shaft ...I believe that this 'overlap' is deliberate and is bound tight around the metal shaft (with a strip or cord to compress) to compress and mould the wet hide to tightly fit and support the spearhead shaft further .....later the strip/cord removed, once dry and shrunk.

All the best
David


Hi David,
On the two with 'cow tails' that I posted both shafts are partly covered/gripped by hide.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 20th April 2013, 08:20 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone! All of this helps alot. I love the bit of info about the glue. That will come in handy for so many projects.
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