This fantastic Zulu Iklwa is a guaranteed Zulu War bring back and dates to the late 1870’s. After the punitive attack on the Zulu capitol of Ulundi in 1879, many such trophies were collected by the troops and brought back to the UK as souvenirs. Finding one now-a-days however is not so easy!
The long 40cm hand forged blade is approximately 4.5cm at its widest and is in good condition with a wonderful patina and minor age related pitting that adds to its character. The top few millimetres of the tip is missing, which is quite common with these battle used spears. The tips of the Iklwas' had a tendency to break off in contact with something hard, such as when parried by a rifle or on contact with bone.
Traditional Zulu woven palm binding secures the blade firmly within the wooden haft. The woven palm binding is in good condition and remains tight. There is some slight loss of the ilala palm binding at the top near the tang but the binding overall remains undamaged.
The 96.5cm haft has a wonderful patina and flares nicely at the end.
While the Zulu King, Ceteswayo, was responsible for providing his Impis with shields, the individual Zulu warrior was responsible for his own weaponry. As such, the length and breadth of a warriors Iklwa blade was very much a status symbol. The more steel a warrior could afford to purchase the wealthier and more important he was.