Zulu throwing spear (Ingcula). Shakaland. Eshowe. KwaZulu-Natal. South Africa.
African Zulu War Model….. almost certainly a High Ranking Warrior.
Overall length 64 inches, bound with copper and white metal wire, a carved bulbous centre piece, and a blade 22 inches long by widest 3.5 inches, with ridge, to facilitate easy withdrawl from the body. It has a small hole with dot decoration to the top of the blade, which we can only assign to a Zulu weapons maker, ‘marking’ his work.
As no facilities existed for welding or soldering steel, it is interesting to see how the rear butt-rest/club piece was made in 1 piece and folded over.
Shaka of the Zulu invented a shorter-style spear with a two-foot shaft and which had a larger, broader blade one foot long. This weapon is otherwise known as the iklwa or ixwa, after the sound that was heard as it was withdrawn from the victim’s wound. It was used as a stabbing weapon during mêlée attacks. The traditional spear was not discarded but was used for a softening range attack on enemy formations before closing in for close quarters battle with the assegai. This tactical combination originated during Shaka’s military reforms