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DateOriginal Topic
16th January 2004Pennies, Shillings & Crowns
By patrick
It is known that the Zulus looted the British dead after their victory...we know they took the weapons and ammo, and possibly many other items that they found to be of use.

but I wonder, how much money would have been found in the pockets of the dead? would the Zulus have left the coins alone? or would they have taken them, knowing their value? (one has to assume they had some knowledge about British money from trading...or am I wrong?)

how much cash would have been on hand with the Isandhlwana garrison?
17th January 2004Clive Dickens
This depends on when they where last paid speaking for myself we where paid on a Thursday and I had bugger all left come Friday,
17th January 2004Edward Garcia

There is a photograph of a clump of fused coins melted by the burning that took place in the camp after the battle. the image is shown on page 124 of Ian Knight's "Zulu: Isandlwana & Rorkes's Drift 22 - 23 January 1879". The caption says that thye may have been in one of the camps buring tents, hence their condition.

18th January 2004Patrick
Clive-- well, where would they have spent any money had they been paid in the field?

Edward-- yes, I have seen that photo..but there is still the possibility that some money may have been taken by the Zulus...and if so, how much would they have found on the dead or in the camp?
18th January 2004Trevor
Don't you think that sometimes the questions are a bit morbid on this site?
Were the dead buggerd?
What injuries did the drummer boys sustain?
Now we hit a new low. How much money on the dead! For gods sake take a reality check! Its one thing talking tactics. Its another thing to pick over the dead.
18th January 2004patrick

I believe my question is valid instead of morbid. the Zulus could have used any money taken off the British dead for trade purposes....we know they made use of the weapons and ammunition...could they not have used the money as well?

also, looting the enemy dead after a battle was not an action restricted to "primitive/uncivilized barbarians"; both sides did it during the Napoleonic wars.
19th January 2004Edward Garcia

I have not found any references to British money – coin or paper being collected and used by the Zulus after Isandlwana.

After the defeat of Lt Col. George Armstrong Custer at Little Big Horn in 1876 the victorious Plains Indians collected guns, ammunition, horses and clothing – things that they needed to survive. If my memory serves me correctly an abundance of paper money was noted lying about the scene of the fight by U.S. troops who arrived after the Indians had withdrawn. They simply had no use for it – except for use as tinder perhaps. In their dealing with white traders they almost always resorted to barter to acquire any items in trade. At the same time many native peoples put certain ritual import in items such as coins and medals. Also at Little Big Horn only one member of the 7th Cavalry was not mutilated after death – Myles Keogh. When his body was found it still had the Papal medal that he had received form Pope Pius IX around his neck and it is generally believed that his remains escaped mutilation because the Indians feared the “medicine” of the medal. I suppose it is possible that the Zulus may have also preferred to leave coins – with their portraits of “The Great White Queen” alone. Supposition? Yes, but well within the realm of possibility.

Overall I have a feeling that the situation after Isandlwana may have been similar with the Zulus busying themselves picking up rifles, ammunition and such and performing their important rituals while leaving any other “useless” things behind.

19th January 2004Clive Dickens
Oh PLEASE ,PLEASE it was only an off the cuff remark never meant to be taken seriously
19th January 2004paul neville
Hey Trev,
I would much rather have someone go through my pockets when I was dead than bugger me or cut my stomach open, or chop off parts of my body to use in their medicines. Remember the only stupid question is the one that is not asked.
19th January 2004paul neville

In case you did not know this: War does tend to be morbid and not pleasant for those involved.
23rd January 2004patrick
I am merely asking a question...not trying to be morbid......

I based my question on the supposition that the Zulus had some experience trading with whites, and they may have had some awareness of the importance and value of coin money......

of course, arms and ammunition along with edible food would have been of greater interest the the victorious Zulus, but some of the other items in the camp and amongst the dead may have been of value or interest to them as well....