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The knobkerrie was a versatile accessory typically carried around by adult men in southern and eastern Africa. Featuring a heavy, bulbous head, the knobkerrie had a whittled-down shaft. If long enough, it could be used as a walking stick. Many were much shorter, though, and were primarily used as a defensive or offensive weapon against human or animal attackers. Hence, they were a form of protection for men often out alone in the bush looking after cattle, combining portability with significant striking power. Many of them were notched in the head, which increased their ability to shatter skull and bone. Nor was it uncommon to add metal tacks as well to add to this effect. Many knobkerries were also overlaid with copper wire or leather, especially on the shaft, presumably to improve grip.
from Morton, Dimensions of Power (South Bend, 2018)