Short spear Iklwa

Zulu people, South Africa

19th to very early 20th Century

This is a top Iklwa short spear from the Zulu people of South Africa.

Shaka of the Zulu invented that type of stabbing spear with a shorter shaft and a larger, broader blade, and it completely revolutionized weaponry and combat in Southern Africa (see the Shona short spear in our present selection). This weapon is  known in Zulu as the iklwa, after the sound that was heard as it was withdrawn from the victim's wound. At the time of Anglo-Zulu wars the traditional spear was not abandoned, but was used to range attack enemy formations before closing in for close quarters battle with the iklwa. This weapon was typically used with one hand while the off hand held a cowhide shield for protection.

This example is exceptionally well balanced. The butt is flared and the wirering in brass and iron indicates a Chief spear from around 1880 -1914.


The Iklwa comes from a British private collection and then the collection of Jaxon Rice in Johannesburg. It is in very good condition and sits on a custom base by Romain Laforêt.

H: 114 cm  (44 3/4 inches)  / Blade: 36, 5 cm (14 1/2 inches)

Price : 1750 Euros enquiry