E0133: Zulu- Shield


Classification Category:
3:Personal Artifacts ➞ Clothing ➞ Accessory
tag: "Zulu shield. Miss Otte."
animal ➔ hide/skin ➔ leather
53 cm L
32.5 cm W
1.5 cm H
Zulu Shield play a vital role in the traditional Zulu's battles. They have always been handcrafted from cowhide or more commonly known in Zulu terms as Nguni cattle. Nguni cattle are native to Southern Africa and play an important role in the daily living of the Zulu people. Nguni cattle determines the wealth of a Zulu man by the cows he has. When a young man intends to wed, he has to first pay the father of the bride a set amount of cattle agreed between them before he can have her hand in marriage. Sometimes you can find shields made from other hides such as Zebra and Kudu these shields would not be considered authentic Zulu shields. Cowhide color patterns will play a role in who has what Zulu shield. The rare large white color shield will be kept for a Zulu chief or a high-ranking Zulu warrior and the more common color such as Black and white would be for a normal Zulu warrior. This would help in battle to know who was in command in the confusion of fighting. 2 clubs and a center shaft usually would accompany the Zulu shield.
Source Locality:
Natal, South Africa
Acquisition Date:
Zulu oval shield made of leather.