European blade in an African context
I am posting this recently acquired weapon in this section, as the blade is of European origin. I believe however the knife/short sword was used by tribal peoples in the Cameroon Grasslands area of Western Africa.
After posting in the Ethnographic section of the forum, suggestions are regarding the blade ... that it is/was a very large cake knife, with the hilt scales possibly made from "gutta-percha". The knife on its own is 50cm long and the point has been rounded off I think. I can see no markings to the blade. The maximum blade spine width close to the hilt is approx. 4mm and the blade is only slightly flexible.
Can anyone provide more information on the knife blade and its origin ?
Thanks in advance.
Hello Colin. Just wanted to say what a cool piece this is! Very strange that the knife wouldn't be maker-marked, as most 19th c. cutlery and such usually was...unless this was truly made for export to the continent?? Some chap had great ingenuity to come up with this 'chopper', I suppose? Is the skin crocodile? Savannah monitor? Neat piece!!
Thanks Mark, glad you like it. As you say, strange there is no maker's mark to the blade, unless after removing the rust something will be revealed.. Given the size of the reptile scales, I am reasonably sure the skin is from the belly of a crocodile.
Presumably, the knife was a trade item that found its way into the interior of the African continent. Coastal West Africa of course had continued contact with Europeans and their manufactured goods early in African history.
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