Original Victorian Zulu Wars Named Selepe Battle Axe with Silver Plaque Recovered from Rorke’s Drift c.1879
Original Item: One of a Kind. This is almost certainly a British soldier's "bring back", and is a totally original to the period. It is a ZULU war axe, traditionally referred to as a selepe, carried in the left hand behind the cowhide shield. The short stabbing iklwa spear was carried in the right hand. This example is very nice, and has a 28 1/2" wood haft and an arrow-shaped 11" blade head.
On the wood haft there is a silver shield-shaped plaque stating:-
TPR. H. LUGO
TPR. in this case standard for Trooper, and H. Lugo was a member of the Natal Mounted Police. The Battle of Rorke's Drift is one of the most legendary of the Zulu Wars, where just over 150 British and colonial troops defended the station against attacks by 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. The massive but piecemeal attacks by the Zulu on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the much smaller garrison, but were consistently repelled. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded to the defenders, along with a number of other decorations and honors.
Plain but really impressive, from the same House Sale Collection we just received from England. Jolly nice with plenty of scope for research. Ready to Display!
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