Gogo knobkierie, Tanzania
wood, pigment
20" tall x 4.5" deep (tip of nose to back of shaft)
early to mid 20th century
ex European collection


An older knobkierie with an expressive face carved into the head. There is
an old stabilized crack on the head which was previously filled.

"A Knobkierie, occasionally spelled knopkierie or knobkerry, is a strong,
short wooden club with a heavy rounded knob or head on one end,
traditionally used by Southern African tribes including the Zulu, as a
weapon in warfare and the chase. The word Knobkerrie derives from the
Dutch knop (knob or button), and the Bushman and Hottentot kerrie or kirri
(stick). The weapon is employed at close quarters, or as a missile, and in
time of peace may serve as a walking-stick. The head, or knob, is often
ornately carved with faces or shapes that have symbolic meaning. The
knobkierie itself serves this function in the crest of the 2000 new federal
coat of Arms of South Africa. The name has been extended to similar
weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other
places. " -
For additional detail click on any thumbnail to see the high resolution version of the image.