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 Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.

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biohome1



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PostSubject: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:38 pm

I am fortunate enough to own a Shield and spear picked up from the battlefield of Ulundi but have a few questions which someone out there may know..

Which Zulu regiment. I think inGobmakasi ? although the shield looks black its very,very dark brown.

The end of the spear shaft is carved, is this of any significance ?

Because its never been on display its in near perfect condition ( well for something that had a few thousand blokes shooting at it )

The leather is like iron but it retains about 99% of its hair on the front. the back is well worn in the centre area from I presume being carried on someones shoulders?

I have owned it over 25 years and its see`s daylight about once a year ( wife will not have it hung up)

Prior to my ownership it lived out of sight and never displayed.

Would appreciate any information anyone can give.
[img][/img]
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John

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:33 pm

biohome1. See the link below helps.
http://www.1879zuluwar.com/t2724-zulu-regiments
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JohnB



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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:55 pm

I am sure I have read somewhere that by the time of Ulundi, there were difficulties with supplies of cowhide so that it became more difficult to distinguish between regiments purely by the colour of the shields. Can anyone confirm this?
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90th

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PostSubject: zulu shield and spear from Ulundi Battlefield    Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:17 am

Hi Biohome1 .
Welcome to the Forum we hope you enjoy your time on here . Idea . Is it possible you can post a photo on the forum
of your shield ? . There would be many here wishing to see it . Looking forward to seeing it myself ! .
cheers 90th. Idea .
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ADMIN

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:33 am

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Photo's by forum member. Biohome1
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biohome1



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PostSubject: iNgobaamkosi Regt   Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:25 pm

Thanks for the information received.

I am told it is iNgobamakosi Zulu Regiment.

I never gave the dimensions for anyone interested the shield is 65cm x 44cm and the spear is 135cm tip to tip.

I never thought of its value but its not insured and maybe should be ? not until I saw what replica Zulu shields fetch did I realize how expensive the original things must now be.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:48 am

65 x 44 is really small for a battle shield ? This sounds more like a ceremonial shield. A full size isihlangu shield is twice that.

Regards
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biohome1



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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:42 am

I have no idea of what was the correct size of a battle shield I can only tell what little I know of its history.

I live in North Staffordshire and its my understanding the local regiment at the time took part in the battle of Ulundi ?

I picked the shield and spear up about 25 years ago from a local antique /curio shop where the man who sold it me said it had been bought home by a soldier from the Zulu war and kept in the family but never liked by anyone had spent its life out of sight , someone had died and the new generation current owner could not get rid of it quick enough.

My only reference to what a shield and spear of the time looked like was when good few years ago the local city museum ( i presume because of the local military connection) staged a zulu wars exhibition, they had exhibits they had borrowed like Cetshwayos shield from a regimental museum and various other Zulu shield and British weapons. plus the theme music from the film zulu playing low in the background.

The shield I have in size looked the same but I do not remember where the ones on display came from , it was interesting they had no complete spears just the heads but again mine was identical.

The only thing I can say for sure is it feels right and is most certainly old, the leather is like metal and the hair on the back of the shield is intact at both ends but worn away in the centre ( you can see on picture of my hand through the handle ) from I presume being carried on someones shoulders over a long period of time, would a ceremonial shield have these signs of wear ?

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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:04 am

Biohome

Hi, didnt mean to doubt the authenticity of the shield, merely its usage. A war shield was up 120cm tall and proportionalty wide. It effectivly covered a warrior from chin to knee. Ceremonial shields were used during everyday activaties plus stick fighting etc. So yes it could easily have the same sheen as a war shield, possibly more as it would be used more often.

Regards
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old historian2

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:35 am

umBhumbluzo (plural: abaBhumbuluzo) – Shorter war shield introduced by Cetshwayo in the 1850's during the civil war against Mbuyazi. Only 3.5 feet long compared to the longer traditional war shield, isihlangu, which measures at least 4 foot.
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Mr Greaves

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:37 am

I'm not sure there was a standard size. See link below.

http://www.africancraftsmarket.com/Zulu-shields.html
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:44 am

Mr G
Mostly toys for tourists.

regards
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:25 pm

I recently read in Zulu Rising that there was a hide shortage in the run up to iSandlwana, particulary in the case of younger warriors in regiments such as the uVe, meaning some warriors had to make do with whatever colour or pattern hide was available.
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Shinyblades



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PostSubject: Re: Zulu shield and spear from Ulundi battlefield.   Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:07 pm

Hi. Just reading about the shield owned by biohome1 from ulundi , I also have a shield measuring 130cm. X. 68 cm , or 51" x 26 3/4" all cream in colour and with a few small Ginger patches at the centre area , very heavy weight leather, now like Flint and with some minor hair loss , very similar to the one on page 67 of nothing remains but to fight ( the defence of rorkes drift 1879) , and described as a full size war shield of the uthulwana ibutho taken at ulundi and White with red patches , all I know about mine is that it was brought home from Rhodesia during ww2 by a royal airforce man , Maybe it was from ulundi ,we can always dream , All the best for now Shiny blades
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