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Old 15th February 2021, 03:35 PM   #1
Norman McCormick
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Default Some Zulu? spears and a knobkerrie.

Hi,
Some spears etc that I haven't posted before.

Spear 1

Total length 45 inches blade 16 inches. This is the only one I have that has a rattan type grip.
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Old 15th February 2021, 03:41 PM   #2
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Spear no 2

Length 42 inches blade 15 inches. This one has a wide blade.
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Old 15th February 2021, 03:43 PM   #3
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Spear no 3

Length 44 inches blade 14inches.
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Old 15th February 2021, 03:45 PM   #4
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Spear no 4

Length 49 inches blade 12 inches. This one has a wire wrap at the head and cow tail at the end of the shaft.
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Last edited by Norman McCormick : 15th February 2021 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 15th February 2021, 03:48 PM   #5
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Spear no 5

Length 38 1/2 inches, spearhead 13 inches, blade 6 1/2 inches. I don't know whether this was cut down for transportation, souvenir, or was cut down to use as a stabbing spear or whether it was made this size. The haft was cut using a blade not a saw.
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Old 15th February 2021, 03:50 PM   #6
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Spear no 6

Length 52 inches, spearhead 13 inches, blade 3 inches. This one obviously a throwing type.
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Old 15th February 2021, 03:51 PM   #7
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Knobkerrie

Length 26 inches with dished ball.
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Old 15th February 2021, 03:53 PM   #8
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Finally a photograph of what I would determine as the stabbing spears, Iklwa, showing the different types of spearheads.
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Old 15th February 2021, 03:55 PM   #9
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One more of my Zulu ? wall. Still looking for a shield! This will give an overall idea of spear sizes in relation to one another.

Regards,
Norman.
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Last edited by Norman McCormick : 15th February 2021 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 15th February 2021, 07:19 PM   #10
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Awesome collection of Zulu Spears and clubs! Are the spears that are wrapped with hide or rattan older than those wrapped with wire?
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Old 16th February 2021, 07:33 AM   #11
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Very nice Nguni collection Norman, thanks for showing.
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Old 16th February 2021, 08:04 AM   #12
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A very nice collection indeed

I am looking at some Spears which at first glance I took to be Zulu but the
tang for the spear head is square rather than round, is this unusual or incorrect?

Due to travel lockdown I cant view in person
also the butt of the shaft has a round ball like terminal

There is wire braiding though which looks to be of good workmanship.

any ideas,

Regards

Ken
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Old 16th February 2021, 11:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaddock
A very nice collection indeed

I am looking at some Spears which at first glance I took to be Zulu but the
tang for the spear head is square rather than round, is this unusual or incorrect?

Due to travel lockdown I cant view in person
also the butt of the shaft has a round ball like terminal

There is wire braiding though which looks to be of good workmanship.

any ideas,

Regards

Ken


Ken, from your description this sounds like from further north, maybe Zimbabwe or Malawi areas.
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Old 16th February 2021, 01:05 PM   #14
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Thanks Colin

Live auction so no photos as per forum rules
If it is going cheap I will go for it.
Cheers
Ken
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Old 16th February 2021, 04:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Awesome collection of Zulu Spears and clubs! Are the spears that are wrapped with hide or rattan older than those wrapped with wire?


Hi,
I would think so but Colin is the guy to ask. Thanks for your comments.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 16th February 2021, 04:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
Very nice Nguni collection Norman, thanks for showing.


Hi Colin,
Thanks for your interest. Would you think no's 1,2 and maybe 3 are the older ones ?
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 16th February 2021, 04:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaddock
A very nice collection indeed

I am looking at some Spears which at first glance I took to be Zulu but the
tang for the spear head is square rather than round, is this unusual or incorrect?

Due to travel lockdown I cant view in person
also the butt of the shaft has a round ball like terminal

There is wire braiding though which looks to be of good workmanship.

any ideas,

Regards

Ken


Hi Ken,
Thanks, had I been quicker off the mark I would have suggested that this was a question for Colin but I see he was faster.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 17th February 2021, 07:32 AM   #18
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Regarding the age of spears from Southern Africa. Unlike with European Arms, it is difficult to judge the age of African spears, without a collection provenance, old labels etc. In addition the style of spear could stay the same for very long periods.

However, a few pointers regarding age can be :-

a) Colour of the wood (wood darkens over time).
b) Use of modern materials in manufacture, such as aluminium or telephone wire for binding.
c) Quality of work, this tends to be lower in later times.
d) I usually think if there are file marks visible on the blade, this indicates later work.

The spears shown by Norman, all seem good old 19th century or very early 20th century examples, from the images. Regarding wirework for binding - copper, brass and steel wire (traded from Europeans) has been used on old examples. It seems however, the Zulus mainly preferred hide cow tail for attaching the blade.

Some references that can be useful :-

"Zulu Treasures" by KwaZulu Cultural and the Local History Museums. 1996
"Weapons and Implements of Savage Races" by Lieut-Col. Montague 1921
"The Natural History of Man : Africa" by Rev. J G Wood 1874
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Old 17th February 2021, 08:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
One more of my Zulu ? wall. Still looking for a shield! This will give an overall idea of spear sizes in relation to one another.


Beautiful display Norman!
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Old 17th February 2021, 05:16 PM   #20
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Hi Colin,
Thanks for the information. I remember, I think, reading somewhere that the bigger wider blades tend to be older whether this is true or not I don't know.
My Regards,
Norman.


Hi Sajen,
Thanks for your interest.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 17th February 2021, 09:36 PM   #21
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My three Ik'lwa and an Iwisa.

Note that the Zulu took tribute from the tribes they conquered, including having them make their weapons, so they do vary a bit.

The Iwisa (knobkerry in Boer Dutch) were frequently dished, when stored leaning on a wall the dish would have a lump of fat in it to melt and keep the ball head from splitting. Some larger ones had a 2nd dished bit opposite the first and they'd alternate which was up and greased.

Zulu throwing spears had more slender shafts, shorter blades and long tangs protruding from the sockets, the Ik'lwa ('assegai' is european) tangs were almost fully hidden by their sockets. Zulu did make their own iron and brass/copper wire before the Europeans. The common soldiers got the ones with cow tail sleeves, braided wire and thongs were for higher ranks. spear and ik'lwa blades almost invariably had a distinctive 'pinch' or notch mark bboth sides where the blade joins the tang. (Bottom)
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