Traditional Zulu shields have been used by the Zulu tribesman in battle for hundreds of years which dates back to King Shaka Zulu. As the world has evolved, the Zulu shield is no longer used in the battle field instead is now used for traditional Zulu ceremonies such as funerals and weddings.
Our Zulu shields are handmade by an 80 year old Zulu warrior and his 3 apprentices in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The Zulu are the largest ethnic group in Southern Africa. Zulu shields are handcrafted from cowhide or commonly known in Zulu terms as Nguni cattle. Nguni cattle are native to Southern Africa and play an important role in the daily living of the Zulu people.
Back in the day, cowhide color patterns would play a role in who carried what Zulu shield. The rare large white color shield would be kept for a Zulu chief or a high-ranking Zulu warrior. The more common color such as Black and white would be for a normal Zulu warrior. During battle, this would help to know who was in command.
A club, spear and a center shaft make up the Zulu shield. The spear is known as the Assegai and the club is known as the knob-kerrie. The long shaft runs down the center of the shield and is known as Mgobo. The shaft can be removed and has two purposes – gives the Zulu shield extra support so that it does not bend and would enable the Zulu warrior to rest his shield on the ground in a vertical position while holding the shield in front of him as protection.
Zulu shields look amazing on a wall and are a great conversation artifact.
Shield measures 8" H x 4" W
Shaft Height: 9 Inches
Measures 9" L x 4" W