indented neck and leaf shaped blades on antique zulu assegai spears

Two Zulu Assegai spears dating to the 19th century

Two very nice antique Zulu 'Assegai' spears dating to the 19th century. These early weapons characterise the Nguni tribes, often portrayed as warlike due to their successes in battle notably against the British during the Anglo-Zulu Wars of the mid 19th century. These spears were used for war, along with the knobkerrie club, the oval cowhide shield, and whatever other weapons could be scavenged or traded for including rifles and other european arms. These particular examples are in wonderful untouched coundition with good age patination throughout, the metal shafts and blades have not been overcleaned and show the gentle wear sustained from good age. The spearheads are tightly fixed to their wooden shafts with shrunked 'tubes' of hide, usually described as from cowtail, these form a hard strong collar which makes the join very strong, one of the spears has an additional section of woven steel wire to the upper section to reinforce this. The shafts are wooden and original length, again a nice glossy patina to the surface. Length of the longest spear is 47 inches, the second just slightly shorter.    african