EXCELLENT ZULU WAR SHIELD, IHAWU, POSSIBLY 1879 VINTAGE
A good Zulu shield of the ihawu type, 32 x 18 ins. Although the ihawu was often a type carried as a personal war shield a number of this type have been linked to the Zulu King’s amabutho in 1879, including one recovered by John Chard VC, of Rorke’s Drift fame, at oNdini, after the battle of Ulundi (now on display in the Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham). This example certainly reflects the construction styles of the pre-war period and the age to match; if it is an 1879 example, the colours are those of the uKhandempemvu ibutho, who played a prominent part during the war, including iSandlwana. Shield is in good sound condition – stick may have been cut down. There are the remains of a label on the back, largely illegible, although it may bear a number – possibly an old museum accession number. There are also splashes of blue paint on the back, presumably from when it was mounted on a wall at some point. A nice piece.