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Zulu Waiting to Advance
The Zulu who advanced on the mission station at Rorke’s Drift had been spoiling for a fight. They had been waiting in reserve most of the day during the Battle of Isandlwana, 22 Jan. 1879. They patiently watched as their comrades covered themselves in glory through the decimation of the red-coated invaders. Most of the Zulu left in reserve were married men, all in their 40s. As married men they wore the isicoco, or headring made of twisted grasses and woven into the hair, plastered with gum, and polished with beeswax to a glossy black sheen. Their total force was estimated at 4,000 and was set to storm the outpost and its 156 British defenders but still they had to wait as the unmarried iNdluyengwe regiment was first to attack.
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