Zulu War Shields

  • Anglo-Zulu War
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Another important (if not the main) component of a Zulu Warriors equipment, The War Shield was developed even before The amaZulu became a fierce fighting force. Most “warrior” Nations in Africa created some form of War Shield to protect their soldiers. In the early phase, Zulu Shields were quite small (along the lines of a European Buckler Shield or Targe). As their tactic and weapons progressed, so did the need to redesign their War Shield. Redesigned to be large (length), they were around 5.5 to 6 feet long and were 3.5 to 4 feet in width. Made of a wooden frame, the Shield was covered with several layers of cow or bull hide. This was placed “damp” and allowed to dry or “cure” in the Sun. This created an amazingly tough and strong Shield. The War Shield was also used to identify the different Regiments (so they could be recognized in the field by Commanders). Traditionally, the “darker” the Shield, the more “Veteran” the deployed Unit. Different patterns of animal hide denoted the “skill level” of a Regiment as well.