Become our sponsor and display your banner here
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

Article about: Looks like a Zulu item, this pic of my shield and spear show the battle axe , this one is Swazi, given to me when I was about 5 yrs old by the local Chief of the area.

  1. #1

    Default Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    Here's my latest finds for my Zulu collection. The Zulu's apparently had a morbid fear of the Martini Henry socket bayonet. In fact, they were more frightened of that than they were the 577/450 round. It is claimed that this style of axe was a partial answer to the socket bayonet. The blade was extended at the front to form a sword-like extension. Although what they hoped to achieve with this is debatable. The Martin Henry, when fitted with the bayonet, had a reach of around six feet, well beyond the capabilities of the axe - which was only about 27 inches.

    The shield was a recent purchase off the dreaded ebay. It is without doubt a genuine 19th century shield of a type known as the 'umbumbuluzo.' This was a small fighting shield often used in prefference to the much larger 'isihlangu' type. This particular example measures 30X15 inches. I believe I dropped lucky with this one. It hadn't been on ebay for much more than an hour and had a 'buy it now' price of 200. That may seem expensive for a rather battered and buckled example. But after soaking in water for five hours, I was able to straighten it out reasonably well and add a new pole to help keep it rigid. An example in the condition it is in now could set you back in excess of 500 from a dealer.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF0367.jpg 
Views:	1239 
Size:	204.6 KB 
ID:	488262Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF0369.jpg 
Views:	1291 
Size:	182.3 KB 
ID:	488263Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF0361.jpg 
Views:	899 
Size:	203.4 KB 
ID:	488264Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCF0365.jpg 
Views:	173 
Size:	225.3 KB 
ID:	488265Click image for larger version. 

Name:	New_1_New_1_DSCF0382.jpg 
Views:	527 
Size:	217.2 KB 
ID:	488266Click image for larger version. 

Name:	New_1_DSCF0385.jpg 
Views:	420 
Size:	250.0 KB 
ID:	488267
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    That's an interesting looking axe for sure!...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    Very interesting and unusual items, thanks for showing!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    A fascinating collecting focus!

    nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  5. #5

    Default Re: Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    You're getting some nice pieces together now Steve!

    The Commoner's axe is very nice, Often these are from different Bantu tribes like the Sutu, Swazi or Tsonga, and were often traded between themselves. But the design of yours is, imo, definitely Zulu. It certainly appears to be a purpose made battle axe rather than merely ceremonial just by looking at the style and heft of it, it's practically a knobkerrie with a hooking/stabbing blade attached for pulling down opponents shields and thrusting.

    I believe that these types of battle axe's were soon dropped from impi use shortly after the Zulu war of 1879 due to the changing face of warfare and the availability of basic firearms, but were still used in sacrificial ceromonies when cattle were ritually slaughtered. It's a lovely piece, made for purpose, and not a mere lightweight symbol of tribal stature/office or tourist item.

    Again, with the shield, I believe that too is a genuine item rather than a tourist piece. The previous one was not convincing for me, but this one certainly appears right. It's an interesting field in which you've started collecting, and getting very popular and therefore expensive, so I wish you all the best and get as much while you can!

    I'm looking forward to see whatever you pick up next!

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    Hi Ned, and thanks for the complements. I must admit that I entered into the restoration of the shield with some trepidation. I really wasn't sure what would happen. I had contacted a woman in the restoration department at the Royal Armouries in Leeds for advice on the best way to go about it. After aknowledgement from her over the request there was no further contact, so I just jumped in feet first.

    Now it's funny you should mention about wanting to see what I pick up next. About 40 minutes ago I won an item on ebay for the princely sum of 13.57p. It was advertised as an old African tribal shield. Looking at the pictures it looked like a Zulu dance shield, and it is definately old as well. It has to be well worth the money if it is a period item - even if it is only about 18 inches in length!

    regards,
    Steve.
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    Very interesting indeed. Really nice, Steve. Thanks for showing.

    Luke

  8. #8

    Default Re: Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    Fascinating topic Steve, and great history in these items..........!
    Regards,


    Steve.

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    You did an outstanding job on the shield friend.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Zulu Axe Stabbing weapon

    Very educational. I knew nothing about these before reading this thread.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Zulu weapons

    In Bayonets and trench knives of the world
    12-16-2015, 09:21 PM
  2. WTK: What is this weapon?

    In World Firearms
    02-09-2012, 05:27 PM
  3. 03-11-2010, 12:58 AM
  4. Need help to ID edged weapon

    In Bayonets and trench knives of the world
    02-04-2010, 05:36 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •