Club, knobkerrie or iwisa
This type of wooden club, with a carved bulbous head, is from Africa. It is often called a 'knobkerrie', and Zulu people also call this type of weapon an 'iwisa'. It is not known where in Africa this knobkerrie is from. Knobkerries are made with very hard wood, often iron wood, for strength. They are a close-quarters weapon, but can also be used as simple walking sticks. Knobkerries appear on the national coats of arms of South Africa and Lesotho.
This club was donated to the Museum by George W. Smith, a Reading bank manager and local history and archaeology enthusiast, who amassed a large collection of historical, archaeological and ethnographic artefacts. He held the post of honorary Curator of Archaeology and Geology at Reading Museum and was also a member of the Museum and Art Gallery Committee at the Town Council.
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