African Crafts Market

African arts, crafts, game skins, horns & skulls online store

African Nguni cow hide

Nguni bags Nguni cushions Nguni footstool Nguni shoes
Welcome to Nguni Cow hides

Nguni hides have become a very sort after home decor accessory through out the world. The Nguni cattle originate from the hills of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa and Nguni cattle get their name from the different tribes of Southern Africa. These cattle have been past down from generation to generation of traditional Africans and is the traditional way to tell the wealth of a tribe or tribesman.

The Nguni skins are found with a combination of different black, brown and white patterns and no two will ever be the same. The marking on a Nguni hides is the same as a fingerprint is to a human and the traditional Zulu's are able to tell his cattle by these patterns.

AFRICAN CRAFTS MARKET has a wide range of products and hides that use Nguni hide as its feature. View our main African crafts website and see the wonderful Nguni hide items available Visit us at

View our Nguni hides at African Nguni hides

Nguni cowNguni cow

Items crafted out of Nguni hide include the Zulu shield which is notorious with King Shaka and is battles

African Zulu shieldsZulu shieldsAfrican shields

Black and white Nguni hide White Nguni hide Brown and white Nguni cow hide Ngnun cow hide
Facts about this animal

Nguni cattle derive their name from the black tribes of Africa, collectively known as the Nguni people. Nguni cattle descend from both Bos Taurus and Bos Indicus cattle and entered Africa around 8000 years ago. As the tribes migrated south into Africa they took their cattle along. Through natural selection and environmental interaction the cattle evolved into the hardy breed we know today as the Nguni. As the tribes settled in different areas, distinctive cattle ecotypes developed, but are essentially still Ngunis.

Bulls are medium sized and weigh between 500kg and 800kg. They are muscular and display typical male characteristics with well developed, muscular, cervico-thoracic hump

The cows are small and weigh between 300kg and 400kg. They are feminine with sleek, delicate lines around the neck and forequarter and a prominent wedge shape with the weight in the stomach and hindquarter area.

The coat shows a variety of colours which may appear as whole colours, mixed colours or as specific colour patterns. Six whole coat colours under which white (Umhlope), black (Mnyama), Brown (Emfusi), Red (Embomvu), Dun (Mdaka) and Yellow (Mpofu) exist in Nguni cattle, while eight colour patterns occur. The Zulu names appear in brackets. Besides the fact that there are theoretically 48 colour patterns the Zulu and Swazi people describe 77 different colour patterns in order to ease identification and ownership of cattle. These different colours and colour patterns are playing a very important role in the social and cultural life of the African people.

Horns are crescent-shaped in bulls and characteristically lyre-shaped, thinner and longer in mature females. They are round in cross-section and dark, especially at the tips.


Scientific classification

  • Name: Bos taurus
  • Conservation status: Least concern / abundant

AFRICAN CRAFTS MARKET is a company situated in South Africa that has many Zulu pieces of art available for sale, from the lovely Zulu bead work and grass weave baskets through the traditional Zulu shields. To view the items that may be of interests to you go to our gallery pages on our website at

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We work with crafters throughout Africa to find a vast range of handcrafted items and then send them worldwide.

All items are produced in Africa by local Africans

We ship worldwide