Film Zulu Dawn:Lt. Col. Pulleine: His Lordship is of the cetain opinion that it's far too difficult an approach to be chosen by the Zulu command. Col. Durnford: Yes, well... difficulty never deterred a Zulu commander.
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  PublicationsPublications  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  
Latest topics
» Service of Re - dedication of the grave of Lt Col FV Northey.
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:43 pm by Herbie

» They fell like stones
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:11 am by 90th

» Mansel letter?
Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:13 pm by Drummer Boy 14

» Braves mens blood
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:36 pm by 90th

» The Battle of Isandlwana
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:26 pm by xhosa2000

» redcoats with Durnford
Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:50 am by 90th

» Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies
Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:44 pm by ADMIN

» Lamaci, Natal
Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:49 pm by Mike Morley

» Shepstone's last stand
Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:44 pm by xhosa2000

» Hamers 'rocketeer'
Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:27 pm by SRB1965

» Cairns east of Isandhlwana
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:48 pm by rusteze

» William Henry Orchard
Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:08 pm by Frank Allewell

» Lt Col Northey grave rededication
Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:46 pm by John Young

» Captain Charles Lacon Harvey, 71st Regiment
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:43 pm by ADMIN

» South Africa 1877-79, 1 bar 1879 CAPT: C.W. MURRAY 61st FOOT;
Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:21 pm by ADMIN

Brev. Lt-Col. R.H. Buller, VC, Staff
Brev. Lt-Col. R.H. Buller, VC, Staff: 2/60th KRRC-Zungwini,Hlobane, Khambula, Ulundi [Mac and Shad] Isandula Collection
Anglo-Zulu War 1879 - Dr David Rattray

Display results as :
Rechercher Advanced Search
Top posters
Frank Allewell
Mr M. Cooper
Fair Use Notice
Fair use notice. This website may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorised by the copyright owner. We are making such material and images are available in our efforts to advance the understanding of the “Anglo Zulu War of 1879. For educational & recreational purposes. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material, as provided for in UK copyright law. The information is purely for educational and research purposes only. No profit is made from any part of this website. If you hold the copyright on any material on the site, or material refers to you, and you would like it to be removed, please let us know and we will work with you to reach a resolution.
Top posting users this month
Frank Allewell
John Young
Drummer Boy 14
Julian Whybra
Most active topics
Isandlwana, Last Stands
Pte David Jenkins. 'Forgotten' Survivor of Rorke's Drift Returned to Official Records
Durnford was he capable.5
Durnford was he capable.1
Durnford was he capable. 3
Durnford was he capable.2
Durnford was he capable. 4
The ammunition question
Pte David Jenkins. 'Forgotten' Survivor of Rorke's Drift Returned to Official Records
The missing five hours.

Share | 

 Zulu Shield

View previous topic View next topic Go down 


Posts : 628
Join date : 2009-01-20
Age : 39

PostSubject: Zulu Shield   Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:08 pm

This is a Zulu dance shield used at weddings. It was collected by Antoinette Powell-Cotton at Hluhluwe a small town in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in 1935.

The making of Zulu shields, both for ceremony and war, was a specialized craft. Hide was taken from the back of an animal, pegged out in the sun to harden and dry then buried under manure for at least two days before being pounded with stones. The characteristic oval shape was cut and a central stick support secured by leather loops. Two columns of small horizontal slits were cut in the face of the shield and supple pieces of leather interwoven between them down each side of the stick to give the central section a double thickness.

Warrior Elites
Small cow-hide shields such as this were developed into larger versions, known as Isihlangu, in the early 19th century by Shaka kaSenzangakhona, a great warrior king and innovator who transformed Zulu warriors into a potent military machine. Shaka also introduced a new short, stabbing spear and a new style of fighting whereby the Zulu could barge his enemy off balance with the shield, or use it to hook around hid enemy’s shield, pull it across his body and stab him under the left arm. These new weapons and methods, combined with tactical brilliance on the battlefield allowed the Zulu to conquer their neighbours, consolidate economic and military power, and resist European invasion for a long period.

The Zulu military system was based on the close bonding of unmarried men grouped by age. Brought together in a barracks at about 18-20 years old, a group of 350-400 men developed a strong identity as a ‘regiment’ or impi thanks to insignia such as the patterning on their shields. Each impi had its own kraal of cattle, and King Shaka assigned each a specific hide patterning. Impi kept their shields turned face-inwards under their arms while charging the enemy, until the last moment when the entire regiment turned their shields to face the enemy - who would only realise which of Shaka’s regiments they faced with seconds to spare. This idea that the shield represented one’s military identity is enshrined in the Zulu expression, "to be under somebody’s shield", meaning to be under their protection.

Yet the different colours and markings on shields did more than just identify a specific impi. Great warriors had white shields with one or two spots, the young and inexperienced had black shields whilst the middle warriors had red shields. This demarcation formed the basis of the Zulu's famous battle formation imitating the horns, chest and loins of a cow, which is thought to have originated in hunting as a means of encircling game. During combat, the youngest and swiftest warriors, carrying dark shields, made up the 'horns', attempting to surround the enemy and draw him into the 'chest', whereupon the elite white shields would destroy him.

After a year of basic training, young warriors were sent home to tend their family cattle herds, mobilising for active service for four months of each year thereafter. Impi were disbanded when the men reached their late thirties and, under Shaka, it was only then they could marry. However, by the time of Zulu War of 1879, in the reign of Cetewayo, the marriage age was much younger and married warriors were no longer regarded as inferior and could bear a white shield in battle. Whether a Zulu warrior was active or retired, his shield remained an important symbol of his status upon entering marriage.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Back to top Go down


Posts : 9347
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 61
Location : Melbourne, Australia

PostSubject: shield on ebay.   Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:08 am

Back to top Go down


Posts : 9347
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 61
Location : Melbourne, Australia

PostSubject: zulu shield   Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:23 am

Back to top Go down

PostSubject: Re: Zulu Shield   Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:02 pm

Back to top Go down


Posts : 1606
Join date : 2009-09-21

PostSubject: Re: Zulu Shield   Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:14 pm

luzitanos Welcome to the forum. Very interesting image. Is this something to do with wargaming.
Back to top Go down

PostSubject: Re: Zulu Shield   Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:10 pm

yes i make it for wargamers you can find more in


our i can post it there if are a topic :)
Back to top Go down


Posts : 3624
Join date : 2008-11-01
Age : 58
Location : KENT

PostSubject: Re: Zulu Shield   Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:14 pm

luzitanos. Thats some website.
Back to top Go down

PostSubject: Re: Zulu Shield   Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:09 pm

yes is a web site with free paper military figures, vehicles, planes, ships

ships i only have make some kriegsmarine
Back to top Go down

PostSubject: Re: Zulu Shield   Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:55 am

can anyone tell me if
uMbonamb “The Evil Omen”
uMbonambi "The Evil Seers"
as the same than
and Ufalza the same as uFalaza
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content

PostSubject: Re: Zulu Shield   

Back to top Go down
Zulu Shield
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Jump to: