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Knobkierrie, also spelled knobkerrie, knopkierie or knobkerry, are African clubs used mainly in Southern and Eastern Africa. Typically they have a large knob at one end and can be used for throwing at animals in hunting or for clubbing an enemy's head. The knobkierrie is carved from a branch thick enough for the knob, with the rest being whittled down to create the shaft.
The name derives from the Afrikaans word knop, meaning knot or ball and the word kierie, meaning cane or walking stick. The name has been extended to similar weapons used by the natives of Australia, the Pacific islands and other places.
Knobkierries are still widely carried, especially in rural areas, while in times of peace it serves as a walking-stick.
The head, or knob, is often ornately carved with faces or shapes that have symbolic meaning. The knobkierie itself serves this function on the current South African Coat of Arms, and Order of Mendi for Bravery. A knobkierrie also appeared on the flag of Lesotho 1987-2006, and on the Coat of Arms of Lesotho since its independence in 1966.
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