This scarce leaf-bladed Zulu Isijula was a Zulu War bring back and pre-dates the Anglo-Zulu War. After the punitive attack on the Zulu capitol of Ulundi in 1879, many such trophies were collected by the troops and brought back to the UK as souvenirs.
The 70mm hand forged leaf blade (not including the tang) has a flattened diamond section with a raised medial ridge. The blade is in very good condition.
The tang of the blade is secured firmly within the haft and woven wire was added to strengthen the bond. The haft of the spear has an age crack below the wire binding but remains strong and has a great patina. The woven binding is in excellent condition and the blade is firm in the haft. The butt of the haft has a section of cow tail added. To the Zulu, cows were a highly valued asset and cow tails were often awarded by the king to reward loyalty and bravery.
While the Zulu King was responsible for providing his warriors (Impis) with shields, the individual Zulu warrior was responsible for his own weaponry. Traditionally, Zulu warriors carried at least two isijula into battle along with their iklwa and often an iwisa (knobkerrie/club). The first isijula would be thrown from several meters distance, the second as they closed with their enemy, distracting them for the deadly attack with their iklwa.
This Isijula has a total length of 1,355mm (135.5cm).
This is an excellent example of a Zulu warrior’s throwing spear and will make a great addition to any Anglo-Zulu War collection.