African Tribal Chess Set - Zulu / Xhosa


Purchase this gorgeous hand-crafted African tribal-themed chess set from Gala Star today! This set features chess pieces based on the indigenous Xhosa and Zulu tribes, and a beautiful chessboard, all of which are hand-cast and molded from sculpted pieces and then hand-painted. This lovely piece of African themed art is a stunning gift or piece of décor for lovers of Africa and its cultures.

The themed tribal chess pieces consist of the following playing pieces which have dark and light bases for the opposing sides:

  • The king - Zulu chief/Xhosa chief
  • The queen - Zulu matron/Xhosa matron
  • The knight - cheetah/lioness
  • The bishop – Zulu sangoma/Xhosa witchdoctor
  • The rook/castle - Zulu hut/Xhosa hut
  • The pawn – Zulu warrior/Xhosa warrior

Gala Star crafting and material details

Both the set’s chess pieces and board frame are cast by hand in polystone (a unique mixture of crushed stone and resin) and painted by hand in incredible detail by our exceptionally talented team of South African artists using high-quality Winsor and Newton oil paints. The chess board itself is also intricately designed and then hand cast, as are the molds that are used for the chess pieces.

The wooden playing squares are a laminate made from koto and cherry wood. The wooden chessboard as well as the playing square laminate are treated in accordance with international import standards and requirements. The board is then set in its polystone frame which boasts a stunning African design.

Each set (board, pieces and frame) takes approximately six (6) hours to be crafted from start to finish by our extremely skilled and talented artisans and craftspeople, with some time allocated during the process for the paint to dry.

Budget options

The set is available either in its entirety (board and playing pieces) or just the playing pieces. We introduced both the pieces-only options to accommodate a more limited budget. Most of our clients purchase the set in its entirety because it is truly a one-of-a-kind collector’s item.

Size (unpacked)

Playing figure height: 11.2 cm; Playing figure base diameter: 3.2 cm; Board size: 38 cm x 38 cm x 3 cm; Board playing squares: 4 cm x 4 cm

Size (including Board) and packed in box:
Packed size including board: 47 cm x 47 cm x 10 cm

Weight (packed) = 4 kg


We take the utmost care in packing our gorgeous chess sets, such that they are delivered to you safely and in their entirety after the shipping process. The set is wrapped in bubble wrap so that it can absorb any shock while in transit, without sustaining any damage.

The complete set is placed in a sturdy double-walled cardboard box which contains polystyrene packing peanuts which further protect the set during shipping. While we take the greatest care to ensure that the set gets to you in one piece, we know that accidents do happen – so, if any pieces arrived damaged, we will replace them entirely at no cost to you.

Shipping Information

All Gala Star products are manufactured in South Africa and therefore shipping takes some time and incurs some costs. Shipping costs to the USA, UK, and Europe from South Africa vary in terms of time and cost.

For Gala Star orders under $150, please note that shipping is still to be added to your order.

We are currently offering free shipping on orders over $150 using EMS, but upon order will also offer a shipping upgrade for speedier and more accurate shipping times for orders over $150.

Please refer to our shipping policies page for further details.

Sales tax, VAT, and customs duty

Please note that for all our customers outside of USA and outside South Africa, we do not calculate sales tax, VAT, import or customs duties and these may be due upon the product arriving at your customs office.

For our South African customers, please note that all prices including shipping are quoted excluding VAT (15%) which will be added to the price at checkout. Gala Star is a registered VAT vendor in South Africa.

For our USA customers, we will add any sales tax to your orders where we qualify for Sales Tax registration.