Friday, 1 March 2013

Zulus (Thousands of Them)


With the success of our painted British Anglo Zulu Infantry we have now added the Married and Unmarried Zulus to our range of painted figures. These figures are from the Warlord stables. Each unit is painted and based on laser cut ply

The Zulu army was a formidable foe. Well-trained, well-led, and well-equipped for campaigns, the Zulu regiments were the terror of Africa. Created by the great Shaka, founder of the nation, each regiment was composed of small companies who trained together, and a regiment could be 1,000 men strong.They were then brigaded together to form divisions that could move at great speed and with drilled precision, forming the classic Zulu attack formation of the Horns of the Buffalo.

The military system formed units into married and unmarried units, so a cadre of young men would be forced to remain unmarried on the King's orders until they had “washed their spears” in the blood of their enemies. They are armed with throwing spears, smooth bore muskets and the deadly stabbing short spear whilst their patterned ox-hide shields help identify their parent regiment.

Once they were blooded, and only then, would they sew in the characteristic head ring which is the symbol of a mature and married warrior, showing his much enhanced status in society.

These then are the finest warriors of a fierce and proud army of 40,000 men, eager to preserve Zululand from all invaders, Swazi, Boer or British!

Usuthu! The feared Zulu war cry of 'Kill!' shouted by hundreds of brave, fierce warriors would put fear into the hearts of most men. The men shouting this battle-cry  have a lot to prove as they are the unmarried warriors of the Zulu impi's. Zulu tradition held that until they 'washed their spears' in the blood of an enemy of the King they could not choose a girl to marry, so closing and killing an enemy ensured a bride and a greatly enhanced status.

These young bloods moved swiftly in extended order, sniping with their selection of antique firearms or hurling long spears some 30 yards with great accuracy.

Although generally stripping down for close quarter fighting, a Zulu dressed in full regalia was an awe-inspiring sight, with monkey tails, otter fur, cow tails and crane feathers creating a look that might overwhelm a foe by looks alone.


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