blade: 13 1/2"
blade width: 2 7/8" maximum
hardwood shaft: 26"
weight: 2 lb 10.0 oz
A short stabbing spear that replaced the earlier assegai throwing spear in the early 1800's. Popularized by King Shaka, the ruthless military genius who united the many Zulu tribes into one strong Kingdom (circa 1818-1828). The iklwa was used in conjunction with a large oval hide shield - the shield aggressively utilized to bash an enemy's shield aside and to leave him vulnerable to a strong underhanded stab. Shaka's advances in warfare were a far cry from the earlier tactics of large shields and throwing spears. Popularized in western culture via the 1986 mini-series Shaka Zulu, starring Henry Cele. (If you have *any* interest in this culture and time period and you haven't seen the series, I highly recommend that you see it soon.)
Original Zulu Iklwa are becoming rare and hard to find - see the Antiques Sold section of my site for some spectacular examples. This modern reproduction isn't quite up to the brutal magnificence of the originals, but it's a rather nasty fellow all on its own. Polished high carbon tempered steel blade, brass wire reinforced socket, hardwood shaft. The "iklwa" is said to be named for the sound it made as it was stabbed into an enemy's body - or perhaps the name is just relative to the intestinal fortitude it takes to stand face to face with an opponent and gut him with such a long and oversized blade.