Late 19th-early 20th century. 65 ½” length. Long elegant spear point with strong medial ridge, lugged base and conical socket. Keenly sharpened point, the field with black forged finish. Original polished wood hand grip and opened conical seamed base piece with stipple edge square section transition and tapered shaft with faceted tip. Metal with frosty light pitting retaining its crisp original surfaces. Grip with fine patina and evidently not disassembled from the time of its collection. Maasai youth were charged with protecting the cattle from lions and thieves, primarily Kikuyu warriors. To achieve warrior status, they were required to kill a lion with the spear, a feat which was accomplished by receiving the lion’s charge with the spear butt dug into the ground and the lion being impaled by its own inertia. The warrior’s survival depended on the lion’s instant death so the spear must have been positioned for a heart wound and held steadily during penetration.