Colonial period, late 19th century. 63 5/8" length. Medially ridged elongated spatulate form point with small base lugs. Opened seam conical socket. Matching base piece or "grounding spike." Dark brown wood shaft. Fine age character with good color throughout. The iron with original light tool finish and black forged finish. Cattle were central to Maasai culture, providing milk, blood, on special occasions, meat, and directly represented wealth. Protection of the herds was the responsibility of the youth. The predators were lions, and neighboring tribes, for which cattle theft was not only morally wrong but an imperative endemic to their culture. Maasai youths were require to kill a lion with the spear to achieve warrior status. That was done by killing the lion in its charge by embedding the base piece in the earth and manning the spear in the face of the final attack while the lion impaled on the spear. At that time, every Maasai warrior had undergone that heart stopping test and survived. Records of failed defenses or defenses against neighboring cattle thieves are rare and represent an unexplored history of these amazing weapons.
Stock Number: 99-272

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