This Iklwa was probably a Zulu War bring back. Many such trophies were collected by the British troops and brought back to the UK as souvenirs after the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
The 372mm blade has a flattened diamond section with a raised medial ridge. The blade is 60mm at its widest and is in good condition with areas of dark tarnish and shallow pitting that add to its character.
While the Zulu King was responsible for providing his warriors with shields, the individual Zulu warrior was responsible for his own weaponry. As such, the length and breadth of a warrior’s Iklwa blade was very much a status symbol. The more steel a warrior could afford to purchase and have forged into a blade, the wealthier and more important he was. This iklwa was probably the property of a younger warrior, one that would have fought as part of the horns in the Zulu bull head attack formation.
The blade is secured firmly within the haft and a section of cow tail was added to strengthen the bond. The cow tail has a dark aged colouration and is in good condition.
The 758mm haft has a wonderful dark colour and flares nicely at the end. The haft has warped slightly and has three small age related cracks. The former owner treated the haft with Danish Oil and the cracks are stable. The largest crack (which is small) is shown for reference.
This Iklwa has a total length of 1,130mm and will make a great addition to any Anglo-Zulu War collection.
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