Original Zulu Wars Hardwood Knobkierie with Lion Tail Skin Grip - Circa 1879
Original Item: Only one available. Once the Battle is over, the victorious have the right to stroll the field looking for spoils to bring home to remind them of their Victory. England has been full of such items but sadly in years since WW2 most everything has gone. This genuine Zulu Knobkierie is a very nice example that no doubt some young British trooper found on the battle field and brought back to England as a remembrance.
Measures 24" in overall length and the shaft has a 5" grip section covered by the skin from a Lion's tail. Clearly it is from the tail as there in no seam. This upper grip area is where the warrior would carry the club when on the move to battle or the grip location when using the shield as a drum as it is mounted closer to the balance point of the club. Top of the club has a large 6" diameter ball top, all carved from one solid piece of hardwood.
Hard to believe that the Zulu Native warriors destroyed most of a Regiment (24th of Foot) in 1879 being armed with clubs, spears and shields. Wonderfully recalled in the Movies ZULU and ZULU DAWN.
A Knobkierie, also spelled knobkerrie, knopkierie or knobkerry, is a form of club used mainly in Southern and Eastern Africa. Typically they have a large knob at one end and can be used for throwing at animals in hunting or for clubbing an enemy's head. The knobkierie is carved from a branch thick enough for the knob, with the rest being whittled down to create the shaft.
The name derives from the Afrikaans word knop, meaning knot or ball and the Nama (one of the Khoekhoe languages) word kierie, meaning cane or walking stick. The name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other places.
Knobkieries were an indispensable weapon of war, particularly among southern Nguni tribes such as the Zulu (as the iwisa) and the Xhosa. Knobkieries was occasionally used during World War I. The weapon also being carried by British soldiers in Siegfried Sassoon's fictionalized autobiography.
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