African rungu

“This looks like an interesting lethal weapon” I told myself and began to imagine the many killer strikes I could do with it.

I was in an African Fair in Dubai and of course, anything that looked like a weapon interested me. So I was really surprised that when I inquired about it, the pleasant-faced lady seller answered “It’s a massager.”


She then explained, “You see, Africans travel long distances and we use these for our aching muscles” and showed me how she softly stroked her back with it.


Well, even if it’s a massager, it still looked like a weapon so I bought it. At AED 60 (about USD 16), I must say that it’s a good buy considering that it’s made of really black Kenyan ebony wood.

At home, Google informed me about my purchase.

A rungu is a wooden throwing baton used by African tribal warriors for hunting and warfare. See, I was right afterall!

Rungus are typically 18-20 inches long with a slim shaft and a ball at the end
Rungus are typically 18-20 inches in length with a long narrow shaft for handle and a heavy knob at the end


What’s interesting is,the lady seller was right: it’s also a massager and now, some spas offer African Rungu massages. She just either did not know it or just did not tell me that it’s also a weapon.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

Oh, whatever. I’m just pleased that my Arnisador mind can already spot a weapon and now I have another one to add to my collection.

Imagine doing the Arnis strikes with this. Oh wow!

Good life!


Here’s a video of some Kenyan men having an informal spear and rungu throwing competition. Rungu throwing starts at about 1:00

If you have trouble viewing the video, click here.


2 thoughts on “African rungu

  1. shamanwarrior1984 November 20, 2013 / 3:12 AM

    I really enjoyed your article about the rungu. I am ALWAYS on the lookout for new and interesting weapons. If you like this weapon, you may be interested in looking into the Iklwa, or short spear. The Iklwa was invented by Shaka Zulu, and makes a very, very deadly weapon, especially in the hands of a trained eskrimador.

  2. Running Honeybee November 21, 2013 / 8:06 AM

    Wow! I like what you said, … “I’m just pleased that my Arnisador mind can already spot a weapon” 🙂

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