The Iwisa, also known as a knobkierrie, is a wooden club used in Southern and Eastern Africa, a strong wooden club topped by a bone crushing knob. It was the Long-Range weapon of Shaka Zulu.
The Iwisa is a long handled wooden club, about two feet long, ending in a thick knob. Sometimes, the knob or head is ornately carved with faces or shapes that have symbollic meanings.
Before Shaka's reign, most Zulu tribes used throwing spears. However when Shaka removed these spears for the Iklwa, the Zulus became more focused on close combat. The Iwisa was used mainly to replace the old throwing spears, as its light weight made it more practical as a side-arm projectile.
- Long Range
- 2 feet
- 1 lb
- African Hardwood
The Iwisa was thrown end over end as a distance weapon or used for clubbing the enemy's head in close range. In addition to the Zulu, this weapon was used by protesters and the police opposing them during the Apartheid era in South Africa. During peacetime, it could also function as a walking stick.
Similar weapons have been used by other tribal societies. The Algonquin Native Ameircans used a variation of the tomahawk known as the Demon's Head.