The Miniature Zulu/Xhosa Tribal Chess Set


Add the flair of African tribal colours grandly worn by the Zulu and Xhosa tribes, as you commence on a spirited game of tactics and strategy that is adorned with the traditional attire of these two strong and determined clans.

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Although much of the Tribal culture in South Africa is being replaced by Western influences, there are still some vestiges of a once strong tribal tradition in the rural areas. Many of which are evident in their celebrations. Some of the old ways and modes of dress have disappeared forever and remain only in the memories of their descendents.  It is with this in mind that Gala Star wanted to honour these proud tribes by creating a unique novelty Tribal themed chess set, so that their history will never be forgotten.
In this tale of survival two of the oldest tribes in Southern Africa, return to their heritage in this struggle for territory over arable land. These two groups of people, each with their own language, culture, rituals, laws and traditions; both surviving and thriving off the land pit it out on our unique themed chess board.
This Zulu/Xhosa Tribal Themed Chess Set brings you closer to the centre of this tribal drama as you take on the roles of these two tribes.
These are but a few of the wonders of the traditions that were followed by these ubiquitous tribes of Southern Africa. It's the marvel of this authenticity, the richness of this heritage, and the grandeur of their tales that Kumbula encapsulates in this Zulu/Xhosa Tribal themed chess set, in every piece. All taking place upon a flawlessly crafted Kiaat, Koto or  Maple wood board.

Great care has been taken to capture their ways in this unique chess set. The Xhosa and Zulu people for example, have a rich history of manufacturing their own clothing, jewellery, weapons and crockery. Certain clothing for example would indicate a woman’s marital status or that a man was to soon be betrothed. Buildings were sculpted and decorated differently to indicate the rank of the owner. Hunters and warriors would fashion weapons from hard materials such as wood or stone. Jewellery would be woven from reeds with hours of care, delicacy and skill. Exceptional expertise would be used to weave reeds or carve out boulders into invaluable water pots, ultimately used to store and transport the precious commodity of water.
Hours of research, coupled with immediate exposure to these revered tribes, assist to ensure that they are captured historically true-to-life in this miniature Zulu/Xhosa Tribal themed chess set. The keen details of the virtuous warriors, the precise patterns of the ladies wraps, the complex carve of the water-pots, right down to the pose and position each member holds themselves in, ensures that when you take home this ground-stone chessboard it truly reflects South African tribal history.
All pieces in this unique chess set were sculptured in-house, produced from custom made, hand-designed moulds, followed up with hours of the finest attention in hand-painted colouring, with a focus on intricate detail, to give authenticity to this Zulu/ Xhosa themed chess set. The tallest chess piece in the collection is the revered Zulu Chieftain, standing rightfully tall at a height of 75mm, with all the chess pieces having a base diameter of 20mm. This fits perfectly on the 50mm2 chess squares on our ground stone chess board. As always, great care has been taken to neatly and securely package the 4kg chess set to prevent damage while transporting or storing.

More Information

The King chess piece:
The Zulu and Ndebele chiefs have been elected to lead this territorial battle for their respective tribes and assume the role of the King chess piece.

The Queen Chess piece
Every tribe knows what it is to lose the love of their matron. Protect your Matron and wield her strength in our heated chess battle.

The Knight Chess piece
Its of great importance for the king to get the messages across, and so a messenger plays a great role in this process. Given the versatility, pin-point cross-movements and perfection the Knight possesses, its only proper to have the highly trusted Xhosa and Zulu messengers represent it.

The Bishop Chess piece
The Zulu Shaman (sangoma) and the Xhosa Witchdoctor bring their wisdom and sorcery to rise or fall amongst their brothers and sisters in the last stand, calling on the power of their ancestral spirits, as our mystical Bishops.

The Rook/Castle Chess piece
The water-pot, the foundation on which all tribal life is built, is fittingly selected to be our Rook chess piece.

The Pawn Chess piece
The Zulu and Xhosa shepherds and cattle-herders had the important role of providing healthy, well-fed livestock for the survival of their tribe members. They join us as our Pawn pieces.

Xhosa chess pieces (light base)
King chess piece Xhosa Chief chess piece
King chess piece height 70mm
Queen chess piece Xhosa Matron chess piece
Queen chess piece height 68mm
Bishop chess piece Xhosa Sangoma (witch doctor) chess piece
Bishop chess piece height 65mm
Knight chess piece Xhosa Messenger chess piece
Knight chess piece height 52mm
Castle chess piece Xhosa Waterpot chess piece
Castle chess piece height 42mm
Pawn chess piece Xhosa Shepard chess piece
Pawn chess piece height 38mm
Chess pieces base diameter 20mm
Zulu chess pieces (dark base)
King Zulu Chief chess piece
King height 70mm
Queen Zulu Matron chess piece
Queen height 68mm
Bishop Zulu Sangome (witch doctor) chess piece
Bishop height 65mm
Knight  Zulu Messenger chess piece
Knight height 52mm
Castle  Zulu Waterpot chess piece
Castle height 42mm
Pawn Zulu Shepard chess piece
Pawn  height 38mm
Chess pieces base diameter 20mm
Themed Chess board information
Chess Board size playing square: 30mm x 28mm
Chess Board material kiaat/ koto/ maple wood
Chess Board frame material Ground stone - hand painted
Chess Boards size 285mm x 275mm
Chess Board Packaged dimensions 500mm x 500mm x 100mm
Chess Board Packaged wheight 2kg