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 Zulu Shield

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Posts : 1
Join date : 2013-03-02
Location : Fort Erie Ontario (1812)

PostSubject: Zulu Shield   Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:18 pm

Hello, I'm new to this forum, so please forgive me if I'm posting in the wrong area.

I recently purchase a Zulu shield. It is black and white with wooden shaft mounted through loops on the back of the shield. I have seen photos of large shields (I would estimate 5'-6' tall) and the small fertility shields. My shield is approximately 4' tall. What info can I glean from the experts regarding this shield?
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Posts : 2308
Join date : 2010-07-02
Age : 39

PostSubject: Re: Zulu Shield   Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:13 pm

Hi Rose. Welcome to the forum. Are you able to post a photo of the shield inquestion.

Here's some information to be getting on with.
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Ken Gillings

Posts : 205
Join date : 2009-10-20
Age : 71
Location : Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

PostSubject: Re: Zulu Shield   Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:18 am

Rose, here is a copy of the slide I use for my talk on Zulu military systems. Note that shields were issued to the amabutho when they reported for their duty at the main ikhanda (military barracks):

Several types: small courting shields, dancing shields and the man-sized war shield
Normally cut from one hide
Decorated by two slits cut lengthwise and intertwined with strips of hide of contrasting colour (iGabelo (pl iliGabelo))
Role of the iGabelo is to strengthen the shield, keep it stiff and to assist the amabutho in swinging it around rapidly
Centre stick sharpened and used to jab or trip opponent
Top projection used to protect face or head
Used in close combat to hook the left edge of their own shield behind the outer edge of the enemy’s shield, to expose the enemy’s left flank to the iklwa…

Regards, Ken
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