Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Dukari moon marks on North African blades
I recently came across this illustration which is of course a Scottish basket hilt in what is regarded as a 'ribbon hilt' (or beak nose) and dates into late 17th c.
What is remarkable in that the typical Solingen type blade used in most of these swords has the twin opposed 'man in the moon' marks placed astride the longer central of three fullers.
I have long wondered where the idea for these twin moon marks used almost consistently in native made blades in Saharan regions, mostly of Hausa origin.
It is unclear how long these marks which are known as 'dukari' on these Saharan blades have been used, but it certainly began sometime in 19th c but perhaps even earlier.
We have presumed that the markings on European trade blades coming into North Africa influenced native blade markings, and were perceived with meanings in accord with the folk religion and symbolism.
The 'moons' on this clearly German made blade on a Scottish sword of the latter 17th century provides a compelling suggestion that European blade marks indeed influenced blade fullering as well as these moon markings.
Has anyone seen other examples of these twin moons on European blades?