35 cm Zulu dancing shields
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Zulu dancing shield
Region: South Africa
Material: Nguni Cow hide
Size: 35cm (H)
African cattle hide 35 cm Zulu shields
Size: 35cm (Hide) Total length 55 cm (center shaft) - image above
An African Zulu dancing shield that is used during traditional Zulu dancing ceremonies. Dancing shield are traditionally smaller than battle shields as they has held in one hand while preforming a dance. At the back of the shield is a leather handle that is used to hold the shield and does not have any clubs such as the spear and knob-kerrie. The shield has been crafted from treated Nguni cow hide and therefore can be exported to any country,
Zulu shields were originally used in battle. However, in our modern times they are mainly used for traditional Zulu ceremonies; such as weddings and funerals. Zulu Shield were mainly used for protection. The Zulu war-shield could be tall enough to cover the owner’s body and it is in an oval shape that can withstand any spear from penetrating it. Formal training was not in use until King Shaka Zulu took over the Mthetwa army and revolutionized the Zulu weapons.
The making of Zulu shields, both for ceremony and war, was a specialized craft. Hide was taken from the back of an animal, pegged out in the sun to harden and dry then buried under manure for at least two days before being pounded with stones. The characteristic oval shape was cut and a central stick support secured by leather loops. Two columns of small horizontal slits were cut in the face of the shield and supple pieces of leather interwoven between them down each side of the stick to give the central section a double thickness.
These ornamental shields are made by traditional Zulu craftsmen as a means to their income . The Zulu people are found i in South Africa. The area that they can be found is called KwaZulu Natal. Zulu art and traditional works are some of the most beautiful you will be able to find anywhere in the world.
Read up on the history of the Zulu shield on our website
A true collectors item. All sizes listed are approximate.
The African handcrafted Zulu shield you purchase and receive may differ just slightly in size, look, and/or color from the African Zulu shield shown in the picture because each Zulu shield is handcrafted by individual artists.
Zulu shields are crafted from Nguni cow hide in the natural colour of the hide. Let us know your colour choice when you order your shield. These Zulu shields have the 3 clubs attached, the spear known locally as an Assegai, the ball club known locally as the Knob-Kerrie and then the center shaft known locally as Umboko.
A selection of the Zulu shield patterns and colours. Each one is unique and no two will be exactly the same. Email us if you are wanting a specific colour choice or you can leave that up to us