MAf 13650

Please find more information about the object below the image.

Producer unknown to us


Africa, Tanzania

Prior to 1905

Wood, iron

Spoils of war during the Maji-Maji resistance from 1905–1907

Transferred to the museum by the Imperial Colonial Office in 1907

Maf 13650

During the Maji-Maji War from 1905 to 1907, the Germans confiscated so-called "spoils of war" on the territory of what was the colony of German East Africa at the time. This was considered German state property. The Leipzig museum director at the time, Karl Weule, who was in German East Africa on a research trip, selected 500 arrows, 1300 spears, 100 bows, and drums and ammunition belts and had them shipped to Berlin in six crates. Therefore, these spears are testimony to the short but no less brutal German colonial rule on the African continent.

Through an academic exchange with Tanzanian colleagues in 2019, it became clear that the resisting local population probably changed the original function of the spears during the war. Although they were not made as a defensive tool but for attacks, their original use has not yet come down to us in detail.

Stefanie Bach