African Big Horn Cattle

The Ankole-Watusi Big-horned African Cow and Home Decor Products

The Ankole-Watusi big-horned African cow is a striking animals that has extremely long and elegant horns. The horns for these big-horned cows are imported into Vietnam where a lot of home decor objects and jewelry is manufactured.

The Ankole-Watusi big-horn African cow is a medium-size cattle that have very longhorns. These cows are found mainly in Africa. The cow is not an endangered species so cows are sold as meat and the horns are then also sold to make home decor and jewelry items. This ensures that every part of the cow is somehow used and nothing goes to waste.

The Ankole-Watusi big-horned cow is considered an important domesticated animal in many parts of Africa. The cattle also has a very interesting history.

What is the Ankole-Watusi Big-horned Cow?

The Ankoloe-Watusi big-horned cow is as the name implies, a medium-size cow that has two very large diameter horns on the top of its head. These cows are many times called African longhorn cows as they can be mainly found in Africa.

History of the Ankole-Watusi Big-horned Cow

The long-horned cow was first known to be in Egypt as early as 4000 B.C. You can see pictographs of the cows in some of the ancient Egyptian pyramids. Slowly over a period of 2,000 years, this cattle started to migrate south to African from the Egyptian Nile area.

By 2,000 BC some other cattle (Longhorn Zebu) from Pakistan and India also reached Africa and this breed of cattle was interbred with the Egyptian cattle. This produced a new breed of African cattle which is known today as the Ankole-Watusi big-horned cow.

This cattle has been interbred for centuries, so there are variations of the cows in diferent parts of Africa. In Uganda the Nikole’s tribe called their cattle as Ankole and in Rwanda and Burundi they call it Watusi. So hence the name Ankole-Watusi as a combination of both names.

Ankole Watusi Cow in Uganda, Africa.
Ankole Watusi Cow in Uganda, Africa.

The Sacred Ankole-Watusi Cow

Traditionally the Ankole-Watusi big-horned cow was considered to be a sacred animal. The cows supplied some milk to the owners, but their milk output is said to be very little compared to other brands of cattle. For some time the cows were rarely killed for their meat though their meat is said to be a lower fat content than some other cow meat.

Because of their appearance with the longhorns, some Ankole-Watusi cattle was exported from Africa to zoos and game parks around the world. Most notably were the zoos and game parks in Germany,. Sweden and England in who imported the cattle in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Fun Facts About the Ankole- Watusi Big-horn Cows

Here are some fun facts about the Ankole-Watusi Big-horn cows:

  • A well-bred Ankole-Watusi appears elegant and graceful.
  • The cattle may be spotted or a solid color.
  • Horns are long and symmetrical with the base size in proportion to the horn length. Circle shapes on the horns are preferred.
  • The Ankole-Watusi cow weighs 800 to 1200 pounds. The bulls weigh 1000 to 1600 pounds. The newborn calves weigh 30 to 50 pounds.
  • During the daytime, the baby calves will sleep with an “auntie” cow for protection. At night the herd will sleep together with the baby calves in the center of the group and the larger cows in the outer ring. The larger cows will use their horns to protect the herd.’
  • The horns on the full-grown cows or bulls are formidable weapons against any threat or intruder.
  • A typical cow only produces about 2 pints of milk per day.
  • The milk is about 10 percent fat.
  • They are tolerable to extremes in climate and weather and do well in extremely hot weather.
  • The meat is said to be low in fat and has lower cholesterol than other forms of commercial beef.
  • The cattle are not on the endangered list.
  • The cattle are considered to be one of the earliest confirmed domesticated animals. Records show that some version of the cattle has been domesticated at least 6,000 years.
Ankole Watusi Cow horns used as table legs.
Ankole Watusi Cow horns used as table legs.

The Ankole-Watusi Cattle Horns

The Ankole-Watusi cattle are not killed for the horns. In fact today the cattle are used as a source of beef, so the cows are killed to provide beef.

For many farmers in Africa, these cattle help provide them the income they need to be able to survive. They can sell not only the meat but the horns and other parts of the cow.

It can be said that this unique cattle not only gives its hide for leather but also its horns. The Ankole-Watusi horns can be cut, polished, and made into a variety of items for home decor products and jewelry.

The Ankole -Watusi Horns And Vietnam’s Horn Village

What may surprise a lot of people is that Vietnam imports a lot of Ankole-Watusi horns to be used in the horn village outside Hanoi Vietnam. The handicraft village is a traditional Vietnamese village that has been using buffalo horns, bones and other natural materials to make home decor objects, cups and jewelry for hundreds of years.

In recent years, Vietnam has imported many of the Ankole-Watusi horns to be used mainly in the jewelry manufacturing. The horns are brought into Hanoi unpolished. The factories will then take the horns and polish them as they would any buffallo or other horns that find locally in Vietnam.

One reason they import these horns is because the horns for the Ankole-Watusi cattle are usually a white or cream color and this is a color that many people prefer for both the jewelry and home decor items.

Even though Vietnam needs to import these horns, they have a competitive advantage as they have the knowledge and equipment to be able to handle the manufacturing of the horns. Many of the factories have CNC machines which mean the horns can be cut into a very intricate shapes and sizes.

If you are interested to find out more about Vietnam’s Handicraft villages and in particular the horn village you can read our blogs on Top 10 Vietnamese Handicraft Villages, And Why They’re Still Important by clicking here.

Ankole Watusi horns used as decoration on a box.
Ankole Watusi horns used as decoration on a box.

Home Decor Products for the Ankole-Watusi Cattle Horns

There are many items that can be used for the manufacturing of the Ankole-Watusi cattle horns. Here are some of the items we have used to manufacture with the horns:

  • Table legs – We have used the horns for legs for a table. One of the things you need to do for these legs is that we need to pick out the legs which are similar so that the table will be steady enough.
  • Artifacts – We have also used the horns as artifacts. The horns once polished can make some wonderful artifacts.
  • Lamps – We have cut part of the horn and used it as a lamp base. Each piece is polished so that the natural beauty of the horn will show through.
  • Decoration – We have used some of the horns as decorative elements such as a handle for a box or tray.
  • Jewelry – One of the major ways that the Ankole-Watusi cow horns are used is to make all kinds of jewelry. Everything from necklaces to bracelets.

The Ankole-Watusi big-horned African cow is a beautiful animal. Not only is the animal rich in history but it’s horns are able to produce some wonderful home decor and jewelry products.

If you would like to find out more about how you can develop products with the horns of the Ankole-Watusi big-horn African cow, we would love to talk to you about how we can help you. You can contact Anita by clicking here.

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Mother of pearl, which is also known by the scientific name of nacre, is a pearl layer on the inner layer of the oyster shell. This pearl layer of the oyster is taken off the outer oyster shell. Then the leftover inner pearl shell is cut into various small shapes and sizes to then be glued on to various home decor products as mirrors, boxes, trays and lamp bases.

You can learn more by reading our blog What is the Mother of Pearl Shell Used in Home Decor Products? by clicking here.

What is Spun Bamboo?

Spun bamboo was invented in Vietnam over 800 years ago as a way to give a cheaper alternative to the home decor and home utensil materials that were then being used. Spun bamboo is called spun bamboo as it is spun out pieces of bamboo and then the bamboo pieces are glued together into a form. This production of spun bamboo helps women in these villages to earn an extra income. Spun bamboo is a great natural product and can be used in a variety of home decor and kitchen products.

To discover more about spun bamboo you can read our blog on What is Spun Bamboo? Using Spun Bamboo in Product Development by clicking here.