An excellent 19th century Zulu war-shield, ihawu. The age and appearance are generally suggestive of an 1879 pick-up; although it is true that the majority of warriors went into battle carrying the larger isihlangu and umbhumbhulozu pattern regimental war shields there are suggestions that smaller shields were sometimes cut to regimental patterns. There is, for example, a shield in the Royal Engineers Museum in Chatham which was 'souvenired' by John Chard VC from King Cetshwayo's royal homestead at Ulundi, and which is in the colour of the uThulwana regiment, although being similar in size to this example. This example is 31 x 19 inches, and is in the colour of the uMxapho regiment; the uMxapho were quartered at the kwaNodwengu royal homestead in the days before the battle of Ulundi, and a number of larger patterned shields in this colour (white flecked with grey) exist which were looted by British troops after the battle of Ulundi. Shield is in good condition with minimal hair-loss and original stick.