Short spear

Shona people, Zimbabwe or South Africa

19th to very early 20th Century

This superb stabbing spear fully bound with woven brass wirework comes from the Shona people of Zimbabwe or South Africa.

Such spears were passed down from generation to generation in a lineage, and were used in religious rituals to symbolise the presence of the owner's ancestors. Certain Shona warriors were traditionally believed to be under the spiritual influence and guidance of deceased hunters, known as shave spirits, so they also carried a spear or a knife as a symbol of their spirit ally.

This superb work comes from an old French  estate and I date it to the end of the 19th to very early 20th Century. That exact type with the additional  little spear head at the butt is illustrated in "Industrie des Cafres du Sud-Est de l'Afrique" by Muller and Snelleman (1893), Plate III (see illustration). The spear is in very good condition, with the woven brass wirework instact, and sits on a beautiful custom base by Romain Laforêt. 

H: 112 cm  (44 inches)

Price : 900 Euros enquiry