Zulu Wars period C.1880s. 61 ½” length. Dark wood haft, slightly swelled at the middle and tapering toward the moderately flared butt. Fine wire work socket. Small leaf shaped point on long iron bolster. Owing to their unique function as thrusting and parrying weapons, Zulu assegais show far more individuality of form than other African spears. Their length and balance are functions of the warrior’s stature. Their form and balance reflect the owner’s skill and particularly, fighting technique. Zulu warriors were rigidly trained in use of the spear but in battle they embraced the aspects of that training most effective for the individual. While this spear is perfectly functional in expected circumstances, it has the added ability to perform a rare and risky maneuver, the kill through an enemy’s shield. The form of the point and length of the bolster, specifically suit it for that task, which, of course, must be executed successfully every time as a failure is fatal to the practitioner.