Ngoni spears are popular among many hunters in different parts of the world. This spear was widely used in Countries on the Southern part of Africa. This spear was invented by Ngoni people found in countries such as Tanzania in East Africa and other countries in southern part of Africa including Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa. This type of spear has been modified to meet the modern needs and cultures of people in different parts of the world. This spear is similar to other African traditional spears with slight variance in terms of features it possesses and its origin. For example, the Ngoni spear has great resemblance with the Zulu spear as the two weapons were invented by people from the same cultural background.
Historical background of Ngoni Spears
- Use of Ngoni spears is closely connected to the migration of Ngoni people in the early 19th These migrations were caused by Zulu wars in the southern parts of Africa leading to disruption of many traditional African communities. This explains why the Ngoni people needed a reliable weapon to defend themselves from their enemies. During these wars, people from Ngoni community were scattered and being continuously disrupted by other kingdoms.
- The invention of Ngoni spear in the early 19th century was important as it was used as a weapon. This spear was used by Ngoni warriors in the battlefield to fight for their community. In fact, the warriors from this community conquered people from other regions making their military team strong. The victory in the battles using the Ngoni spear made them a ruling class more than an ethnic group. Their successful conquest of other kingdoms using this spear continued till 1921. It was the role of men to feed their families hence using this spear to hunt in the forests. It is important to understand that Ngoni people engage in farming involving crops growing and raring of animals. In this case, the spear was used by herders from this community to protect cows, sheep and goats from raiders and wild animals.
- Due to migration of the Ngoni people, the use of this spear spread to other parts of South African region and later found its way out of Africa. This has led to modification of the original Ngoni spear bringing about a durable generation of the spear. Today, use of this spear is not restricted to people of Ngoni origin as it is being used by people who engage in hunting as a recreation activity.
Features of Ngoni Spears
Ngoni spears are simple in make but durable and potent in their combat. Here are the features of this type of spears;
- Spear handle– The handle of Ngoni spear is wooden and relatively long. The handle is derived from hardwood making the spear durable. The shaft is designed to accommodate a firm grasp with a single hand allowing one to throw it towards the target or to pierce the target several times while still holding the spear. This spear is commonly used with a Zulu shield.
- Blade– The spear has a short blade with a sharp pointed end. The neck of the blade is inserted into the tip of the wooden shaft. In order to keep the blade in place, glue should be applied on the neck of the blade before inserting it into the shaft.