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Old 11th April 2017, 02:20 PM   #1
thinreadline
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Default Help with 3 'Cross of Agades' daggers

I am trying to sort out my collection and would really appreciate opinions on the ethnological / geographical origins of these three . Most books classify them as Tuareg ... but further perhaps more detailed opinions are sought, thank you.
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Old 11th April 2017, 06:54 PM   #2
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Tuareg teller arm daggers
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Old 11th April 2017, 07:59 PM   #3
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Tuareg teller arm daggers


Thanks Marcus , but as I indicated I was aware of that much , but clearly the scabbard forms are from ethnically different traditions and what I was hoping to elucidate is exactly what the geographical or ethnic significance of these differing designs is.
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Old 11th April 2017, 09:54 PM   #4
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Excellent approach Redline!
These 'telek' arm daggers are indeed very much Tuareg, but it must be remembered that that classification, as you have observed, is quite broadly applied. The Tuareg confederations of Berbers are dispersed over Saharan regions through Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria and Libya and are pastoral nomadic people. They were keenly aligned with trade routes through all these regions, so as you can imagine their material culture was equally well dispersed.

These examples have the familiar Tuareg 'cross of Agadez', which though signifying that key region in Niger, was actually only one of the many variants of Tuareg 'cross' known (There are as many as 22). The actual symbolism is often debated, however it is generally held that the cross in their parlance represented the four cardinal directions, or four corners of the world. Items with this were typically presented to a son by his father in rites of passage, signifying this meaning .

While the telek (an arm dagger worn hilt down on the upper arm) often had these 'crosses', by no means were these the only hilt forms.
As far as regionally, though these crosses are known collectively as 'Agadez' crosses, they are as observed indicative of various regions which seem to have their own favored interpretations. Some of these may be quite subtle, and probably quite often misclassified by observers as the trade factor has dispersed these items considerably.

A great source of data on these kinds of forms etc. in jewelry (which often transmits to weaponry motif) is "Africa Adorned" by Angela Fisher. A well illustrated fascinating book which offers great insight into the style and forms of ethnic peoples in Africa.

The scabbard forms here, as well as the arm loops, offer some potential for perhaps more regional classification, but it will take some research!! We can say these are Tuareg telek (or gozma), and possibly the hilt cross shapes might offer some clue .
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Old 11th April 2017, 10:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Excellent approach Redline!
These 'telek' arm daggers are indeed very much Tuareg, but it must be remembered that that classification, as you have observed, is quite broadly applied. The Tuareg confederations of Berbers are dispersed over Saharan regions through Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria and Libya and are pastoral nomadic people. They were keenly aligned with trade routes through all these regions, so as you can imagine their material culture was equally well dispersed.

These examples have the familiar Tuareg 'cross of Agadez', which though signifying that key region in Niger, was actually only one of the many variants of Tuareg 'cross' known (There are as many as 22). The actual symbolism is often debated, however it is generally held that the cross in their parlance represented the four cardinal directions, or four corners of the world. Items with this were typically presented to a son by his father in rites of passage, signifying this meaning .

While the telek (an arm dagger worn hilt down on the upper arm) often had these 'crosses', by no means were these the only hilt forms.
As far as regionally, though these crosses are known collectively as 'Agadez' crosses, they are as observed indicative of various regions which seem to have their own favored interpretations. Some of these may be quite subtle, and probably quite often misclassified by observers as the trade factor has dispersed these items considerably.

A great source of data on these kinds of forms etc. in jewelry (which often transmits to weaponry motif) is "Africa Adorned" by Angela Fisher. A well illustrated fascinating book which offers great insight into the style and forms of ethnic peoples in Africa.

The scabbard forms here, as well as the arm loops, offer some potential for perhaps more regional classification, but it will take some research!! We can say these are Tuareg telek (or gozma), and possibly the hilt cross shapes might offer some clue .


Thank you Jim ... many many useful pointers here . As is often the case even with Western 'modern' edged weapons, the metal part ie the knife or sword . lasts indefinitely but its scabbard does not ... and so the owner may need to commission a scabbard locally .... hence I feel that whilst the knife itself tends to be fairly unchanging stylistically , the scabbard in contrast will reflect the local fashion and materials . We see this often for example with the takouba scabbard .
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Old 11th April 2017, 10:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thinreadline
Thank you Jim ... many many useful pointers here . As is often the case even with Western 'modern' edged weapons, the metal part ie the knife or sword . lasts indefinitely but its scabbard does not ... and so the owner may need to commission a scabbard locally .... hence I feel that whilst the knife itself tends to be fairly unchanging stylistically , the scabbard in contrast will reflect the local fashion and materials . We see this often for example with the takouba scabbard .



Exactly, and this is even more so the case in North Africa. The typically rugged conditions experienced by these nomadic tribes called for frequent refurbishing of weapons much as most materials. In cases where weapons were traded or handed down, even hilts were either replaced or repaired.
The blades of course, most durable of all, have survived in these desert regions for many generations, even centuries.

In the case of the scabbards, as with most weapons, I consider the present one the most recent chapter in the working life of the weapon. As once told by a friend some time ago, a Fulani, the scabbard (in his language) was termed 'holga', which meant 'house'. I thought, much as with people, the sword (blade) simply had moved many times to new houses.
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Old 12th April 2017, 06:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Exactly, and this is even more so the case in North Africa. The typically rugged conditions experienced by these nomadic tribes called for frequent refurbishing of weapons much as most materials. In cases where weapons were traded or handed down, even hilts were either replaced or repaired.
The blades of course, most durable of all, have survived in these desert regions for many generations, even centuries.

In the case of the scabbards, as with most weapons, I consider the present one the most recent chapter in the working life of the weapon. As once told by a friend some time ago, a Fulani, the scabbard (in his language) was termed 'holga', which meant 'house'. I thought, much as with people, the sword (blade) simply had moved many times to new houses.


Ha ha ... that is very true ! The same of course is particularly so with Japanese swords ..... the blades of which ( perhaps more particularly due to fashion than wear ) were frequently rehilted, re -tsuba - ed and rescabbarded over the centuries. So much so that many of the weapons surrendered to the Allies at the cessation of hostilities in 1945 proved to have blades several hundreds of years old despite their modern ( regulation ) fittings. As they say, though we shouldnt judge a book by its cover, nevertheless the cover itself may have a story to tell.
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Old 12th April 2017, 11:29 AM   #8
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As far as I know, these types of dagger were used by a number of different tribal groups in the Northern Nigeria area and further afield. The one on the right, with the brass scabbard should be from Bida, and made/used by the Nupe people.

They are reasonably common finds here in the UK., due no doubt to the colonial history.
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Old 12th April 2017, 12:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by colin henshaw
As far as I know, these types of dagger were used by a number of different tribal groups in the Northern Nigeria area and further afield. The one on the right, with the brass scabbard should be from Bida, and made/used by the Nupe people.

They are reasonably common finds here in the UK., due no doubt to the colonial history.


Thank you Colin. Spring's African Arms & Armour also describes the brass scabbarded types as Nupe .
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Old 12th April 2017, 05:18 PM   #10
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Excellent Redline (I like that moniker BTW, reminds me of Redline 6000, old racing days!)......so the axiom should be, 'you shouldn't judge a sword by its scabbard' in the same convention.

Colin thank you for the input, and its great when we can all get together to compare information and ideas. With me as the novice here, I spent most of yesterday digging through every resource I could find to see if there was any sort of potential for regionally or tribally identifying these Saharan daggers.

It seems Briggs (1965) spent quite a lot of time in Tuareg areas, but was geographically mostly in Algerian regions. In his venerable work, he has used a Northern and Southern demarcation for tribal forms of takouba, which, for me at least has proven challenging. It seems hard to apply this to confederations of nomadic people typically moving about over five countries and vast areas of Saharan desert.

One thing I did discover is that the 'Agadez cross' as seen on the left and right examples in the original three posted here, is indeed that known as 'Agadez', but it is one of 21 cross forms, each attributed to other primary Tuareg locations. I found that Agadez (in Niger) was a kind of key point or center in a sense, and for example, the green leather used in scabbards was apparently produced there, and traded for use through Tuareg networks.
The Agadez cross seems prevalent symbolically on many of these daggers as well as on the Tuareg camel saddles.

The other forms of cross seem to be used primarily on jewellery, and not as I presumed in other hilts, though the center dagger here seems to be a variation of the Agadez with arms splayed upward.

Trying to find consistancies in the elements of these daggers, in comparison to other examples I found, it seems that splayed arm configuration may be most aligned with 'Northern' types, from Algerian regions into the Fezzan regions of Libya. I would say this categoric area must include northern Niger as well.
It seems clear that the 'arm daggers' are but one prevalent form of Tuareg daggers, and that that characteristic feature seems to predominate in those areas. The other type, more of a belt dagger resides congruently but more in other areas perhaps .

Turning to scabbards, while we agree these must be a secondary classification feature, one thing I notice is the distinctive open loop on the tip of the scabbard. These seem to prevail on Hausa or Nupe weapons in the same 'corridor' from N. Nigeria into Algeria and Libya.

It is tempting to think that the 'arm ring' form of telek is situated more to Algerian, Libyan, and Niger regions as the same feature is well known on much smaller daggers worn in the same manner as Sudan. This is of course by free association and realizing such arbitrary assumption is easily defeated, however worthy of note.

Naturally most of what I am observing is from research hoping to learn more on these Tuareg daggers, and I look forward to your thoughts as well of course as hoping for Iain to join in. Its fascinating to learn more on weapons I have known little on, and I appreciate the knowledge you guys openly share here.
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Old 12th April 2017, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Excellent Redline (I like that moniker BTW, reminds me of Redline 6000, old racing days!)......so the axiom should be, 'you shouldn't judge a sword by its scabbard' in the same convention.

Colin thank you for the input, and its great when we can all get together to compare information and ideas. With me as the novice here, I spent most of yesterday digging through every resource I could find to see if there was any sort of potential for regionally or tribally identifying these Saharan daggers.

It seems Briggs (1965) spent quite a lot of time in Tuareg areas, but was geographically mostly in Algerian regions. In his venerable work, he has used a Northern and Southern demarcation for tribal forms of takouba, which, for me at least has proven challenging. It seems hard to apply this to confederations of nomadic people typically moving about over five countries and vast areas of Saharan desert.

One thing I did discover is that the 'Agadez cross' as seen on the left and right examples in the original three posted here, is indeed that known as 'Agadez', but it is one of 21 cross forms, each attributed to other primary Tuareg locations. I found that Agadez (in Niger) was a kind of key point or center in a sense, and for example, the green leather used in scabbards was apparently produced there, and traded for use through Tuareg networks.
The Agadez cross seems prevalent symbolically on many of these daggers as well as on the Tuareg camel saddles.

The other forms of cross seem to be used primarily on jewellery, and not as I presumed in other hilts, though the center dagger here seems to be a variation of the Agadez with arms splayed upward.

Trying to find consistancies in the elements of these daggers, in comparison to other examples I found, it seems that splayed arm configuration may be most aligned with 'Northern' types, from Algerian regions into the Fezzan regions of Libya. I would say this categoric area must include northern Niger as well.
It seems clear that the 'arm daggers' are but one prevalent form of Tuareg daggers, and that that characteristic feature seems to predominate in those areas. The other type, more of a belt dagger resides congruently but more in other areas perhaps .

Turning to scabbards, while we agree these must be a secondary classification feature, one thing I notice is the distinctive open loop on the tip of the scabbard. These seem to prevail on Hausa or Nupe weapons in the same 'corridor' from N. Nigeria into Algeria and Libya.

It is tempting to think that the 'arm ring' form of telek is situated more to Algerian, Libyan, and Niger regions as the same feature is well known on much smaller daggers worn in the same manner as Sudan. This is of course by free association and realizing such arbitrary assumption is easily defeated, however worthy of note.

Naturally most of what I am observing is from research hoping to learn more on these Tuareg daggers, and I look forward to your thoughts as well of course as hoping for Iain to join in. Its fascinating to learn more on weapons I have known little on, and I appreciate the knowledge you guys openly share here.


Salaams Jim, As you note earlier the Tuareg Jewellery form is closely related in tradition:

Quote'' Cross of Agadez from http://anakomvoyages.com/tuareghistory.html often worked in Silver. The Agadez cross is the most important piece of jewelry for a Tuareg. According to some sources the Agadez cross is traditionally given by a father to his son when he reaches around 15 years of age. This is the age a boy becomes a man and is free to travel anywhere he wishes. The four points of the cross represent the four corners of the world".Unquote

I note from http://camelphotos.com/camel_saddle.html the peculiar forked saddle made in Agadez by blacksmiths is also a related design feature incorporated also in the Agadez cross idea.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 12th April 2017, 11:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Jim, As you note earlier the Tuareg Jewellery form is closely related in tradition:

Quote'' Cross of Agadez from http://anakomvoyages.com/tuareghistory.html often worked in Silver. The Agadez cross is the most important piece of jewelry for a Tuareg. According to some sources the Agadez cross is traditionally given by a father to his son when he reaches around 15 years of age. This is the age a boy becomes a man and is free to travel anywhere he wishes. The four points of the cross represent the four corners of the world".Unquote

I note from http://camelphotos.com/camel_saddle.html the peculiar forked saddle made in Agadez by blacksmiths is also a related design feature incorporated also in the Agadez cross idea.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Very interesting Ibrahiim
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Old 13th April 2017, 07:41 AM   #13
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Just to echo what's already been said, the examples shown I would place as manufactured in Hausa or Nupe territory, in particular Bida for the example with the brass scabbard.

One thing to keep in mind, place of manufacture does not mean the place of use. Goods from Bida or Hausa cities were used widely by the Tuareg as well.
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Old 13th April 2017, 08:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Iain
Just to echo what's already been said, the examples shown I would place as manufactured in Hausa or Nupe territory, in particular Bida for the example with the brass scabbard.

One thing to keep in mind, place of manufacture does not mean the place of use. Goods from Bida or Hausa cities were used widely by the Tuareg as well.


THank you Iain but for this reiteration and confirmation As a collector and frustrated amateur curator I always feel the need to pin items down to geographical locations or tribal associations ... and frequently this simply isnt as straightforward as it is with European items . Having said that , pre 18th C ,the region of manufacture of European arms & armour was no indicator of 'end user' status , to use modern jargon ! I suppose all this is what makes our hobby so fascinating .
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Old 13th April 2017, 08:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Excellent Redline (I like that moniker BTW, reminds me of Redline 6000, old racing days!)......so the axiom should be, 'you shouldn't judge a sword by its scabbard' in the same convention.

Colin thank you for the input, and its great when we can all get together to compare information and ideas. With me as the novice here, I spent most of yesterday digging through every resource I could find to see if there was any sort of potential for regionally or tribally identifying these Saharan daggers.

It seems Briggs (1965) spent quite a lot of time in Tuareg areas, but was geographically mostly in Algerian regions. In his venerable work, he has used a Northern and Southern demarcation for tribal forms of takouba, which, for me at least has proven challenging. It seems hard to apply this to confederations of nomadic people typically moving about over five countries and vast areas of Saharan desert.



One thing I did discover is that the 'Agadez cross' as seen on the left and right examples in the original three posted here, is indeed that known as 'Agadez', but it is one of 21 cross forms, each attributed to other primary Tuareg locations. I found that Agadez (in Niger) was a kind of key point or center in a sense, and for example, the green leather used in scabbards was apparently produced there, and traded for use through Tuareg networks.
The Agadez cross seems prevalent symbolically on many of these daggers as well as on the Tuareg camel saddles.

The other forms of cross seem to be used primarily on jewellery, and not as I presumed in other hilts, though the center dagger here seems to be a variation of the Agadez with arms splayed upward.

Trying to find consistancies in the elements of these daggers, in comparison to other examples I found, it seems that splayed arm configuration may be most aligned with 'Northern' types, from Algerian regions into the Fezzan regions of Libya. I would say this categoric area must include northern Niger as well.
It seems clear that the 'arm daggers' are but one prevalent form of Tuareg daggers, and that that characteristic feature seems to predominate in those areas. The other type, more of a belt dagger resides congruently but more in other areas perhaps .

Turning to scabbards, while we agree these must be a secondary classification feature, one thing I notice is the distinctive open loop on the tip of the scabbard. These seem to prevail on Hausa or Nupe weapons in the same 'corridor' from N. Nigeria into Algeria and Libya.

It is tempting to think that the 'arm ring' form of telek is situated more to Algerian, Libyan, and Niger regions as the same feature is well known on much smaller daggers worn in the same manner as Sudan. This is of course by free association and realizing such arbitrary assumption is easily defeated, however worthy of note.

Naturally most of what I am observing is from research hoping to learn more on these Tuareg daggers, and I look forward to your thoughts as well of course as hoping for Iain to join in. Its fascinating to learn more on weapons I have known little on, and I appreciate the knowledge you guys openly share here.



Thank you Jim , jolly interesting . BTW my Thin Read Line moniker derives from the name of my former business as a seller of out of print British military books ... and of course is a typical silly English play on words !
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Old 13th April 2017, 01:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinreadline
THank you Iain but for this reiteration and confirmation As a collector and frustrated amateur curator I always feel the need to pin items down to geographical locations or tribal associations ... and frequently this simply isnt as straightforward as it is with European items . Having said that , pre 18th C ,the region of manufacture of European arms & armour was no indicator of 'end user' status , to use modern jargon ! I suppose all this is what makes our hobby so fascinating .


Yes, it is always tempting to be able to assign a nice neat attribution to an item but of course much harder in practice!

How do we classify a sword with a blade made in Germany, a hilt made in Kano and collected off a Tuareg warrior?

Over the years of collecting and researching Sahel arms I've thankfully found less and less of a need to try and pigeon hole things, which is probably good for my health!
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Old 13th April 2017, 02:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinreadline
THank you Iain but for this reiteration and confirmation As a collector and frustrated amateur curator I always feel the need to pin items down to geographical locations or tribal associations ... and frequently this simply isnt as straightforward as it is with European items . Having said that , pre 18th C ,the region of manufacture of European arms & armour was no indicator of 'end user' status , to use modern jargon ! I suppose all this is what makes our hobby so fascinating .


I think the term 'end user' works well in the challenging circumstances of classifying weapons. As I have mentioned before, in most cases, 'blades' (in essence the 'sword' entity) have usually long working lives, often through generations and changed hands whether through trade, capture, or many means.
Those involved in the serious investigation of the history of swords recognize that these are veritable icons of history themselves, and as such carry various elements and clues which reflect an often chronological story of their past.
While collectors generally want a concise and specific classification for each weapon, which is neat and impressive, such categoric placement ('cookie cutter' method) is not always possible. The multitude of exceptions and variations, particularly in ethnographic forms, desperately require additional description to properly understand any degree of their true history.

It is indeed fascinating as what we investigate as we study these weapons is in effect almost a forensically based effort, and what we learn from these examples is wonderfully dimensional history.

Iain has tenaciously shown these methods in the remarkable research he has completed on Sahelian and North African edged weapons in general. His years of research focused not just on the weapons, but those peoples who used them. With these studies have not only advanced our knowledge of these weapons, but proven that the study of ethnographic weapons is a viable factor in anthropological and historic disciplines. Most importantly not just learning about the weapons, but their history THROUGH them.

Redline, your posting of these examples has been an exciting and fascinating experience as I realized I needed to know more on these daggers, and like you, trying to see if any regional attribution was possible. Despite knowing what I have described and potential futility from the profound dynamics with movement and exchange with these arms, I have spent days and nights 'in the Sahara' (figuratively) going through every resource possible.

It seems there is a modicum of categoric classification possible, provided the proper qualification and description is maintained, but as we see, it takes considerable research, comparison and study.

I thank you so much for this wonderful adventure!!

On the Redline, I do know of the famed 93rd at Balaklava, and was immersed in the study (mostly of the "Light Brigade") in many years of study from youthful obsession with Tennyson's powerful poem.
As you well note, the plays on words are thoroughly part and parcel of the English language, which make it such a colorful one, but most daunting for those trying to learn it in many cases.

For me as I noted Redline was a term from 60s racing days of high horsepower engines, when 6000 rpm was the 'redline' on the tachometer, the point where your engine reached 'critical mass'! I remember the corvette I drove where I literally never looked at the speedometer, but watched the tach!
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Old 13th April 2017, 03:19 PM   #18
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Thank you thinreadline for this thread and thanks to the participants for sharing their knowledge which has made it so interesting. It never ceases to amaze me the wealth of knowledge available and freely given on this forum.

I was given, many years ago, a couple of knives similar to the ones in your thread and have long considered them to be for the tourist trade (mine I mean) due to the shortness of the hilts in comparison to yours and any others I have seen when trying to find a match with mine. The shortness and angularity of my hilts uncomfortable in the hand and I cannot see that any self respecting Tuareg would give them tent room. Having said that I would like to know if my consideration is correct or not.
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Old 13th April 2017, 06:27 PM   #19
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Thank you thinreadline for this thread and thanks to the participants for sharing their knowledge which has made it so interesting. It never ceases to amaze me the wealth of knowledge available and freely given on this forum.

I was given, many years ago, a couple of knives similar to the ones in your thread and have long considered them to be for the tourist trade (mine I mean) due to the shortness of the hilts in comparison to yours and any others I have seen when trying to find a match with mine. The shortness and angularity of my hilts uncomfortable in the hand and I cannot see that any self respecting Tuareg would give them tent room. Having said that I would like to know if my consideration is correct or not.
Regards
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Well Miguel there are others better qualified than I to answer your question . However one possibility is that they are daggers made for children ... I have seen scaled down Kaskaras which were described as such . If these were European weapons they might even have been described as salesmen's samples ... though I doubt this is the case here. I rather like them however !
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Old 13th April 2017, 07:50 PM   #20
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Well thank you all for your input on this topic , I have found it most enlightening and indeed thought provoking . I take your point to heart Iain re the virtual futility of attempting to pigeonhole every weapon ... I suppose my long career as a botanist with a strong interest in taxonomy has spilled over into my hobby , driving me to wish to classify everything I see !
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Old 13th April 2017, 09:33 PM   #21
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Well Redline, I just realized that the 'read' was the wordplay (bonk!) and very clever in dealing in military books.....well done! Being astute is not one of my best traits

So you're a botanist, now there is a fascinating field!! and your inclination toward classification now well understood. We've had some most interesting discussion on botanical motif in decorating weapons, and in styling.

I had not thought of childrens weapons regarding Miguels examples, and that is indeed a distinct possibility.

Whatever the case, these carry the distinctive symbols and motif that is so inherently important in the traditions and conventions of these tribes in the Sahara. That four petal device well aligns with the crosses we have been discussing, and occurs often on takouba mounts in these regions.
Even in the case of 'souveniers' these items reflect the powerful and often mysterious history and traditions of these people, and Tuareg material culture is highly regarded artistically in ethnographica.

"..the sober truth about the Sahara...is more mysterious than
anything that has ever been written about it, even by the
most irresponsible spinner of fairy tales, for the very fact
is that very little is yet known about the peoples who live
there".
-Lloyd Cabot Briggs
"Tribes of the Sahara" (1960)

However......clearly.......we are learning!!!
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Old 13th April 2017, 11:49 PM   #22
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Well Redline, I just realized that the 'read' was the wordplay (bonk!) and very clever in dealing in military books.....well done! Being astute is not one of my best traits

So you're a botanist, now there is a fascinating field!! and your inclination toward classification now well understood. We've had some most interesting discussion on botanical motif in decorating weapons, and in styling.

I had not thought of childrens weapons regarding Miguels examples, and that is indeed a distinct possibility.

Whatever the case, these carry the distinctive symbols and motif that is so inherently important in the traditions and conventions of these tribes in the Sahara. That four petal device well aligns with the crosses we have been discussing, and occurs often on takouba mounts in these regions.
Even in the case of 'souveniers' these items reflect the powerful and often mysterious history and traditions of these people, and Tuareg material culture is highly regarded artistically in ethnographica.

"..the sober truth about the Sahara...is more mysterious than
anything that has ever been written about it, even by the
most irresponsible spinner of fairy tales, for the very fact
is that very little is yet known about the peoples who live
there".
-Lloyd Cabot Briggs
"Tribes of the Sahara" (1960)

However......clearly.......we are learning!!!


Ah Jim , dont do yourself an injustice .... we struggled for years with customers mispronouncing and therefore misunderstanding our little joke .... read ( red ) was frequently pronounced 'reed' ... and then I would have to spend time explaining it all to them ! Well if you have to explain a joke , its not much of a joke ... so I often rued the day I chose that name ! Botanical latin is so much simpler !
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Old 14th April 2017, 12:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall

Iain has tenaciously shown these methods in the remarkable research he has completed on Sahelian and North African edged weapons in general. His years of research focused not just on the weapons, but those peoples who used them. With these studies have not only advanced our knowledge of these weapons, but proven that the study of ethnographic weapons is a viable factor in anthropological and historic disciplines. Most importantly not just learning about the weapons, but their history THROUGH them.


Very kind Jim but outside of the takouba my knowledge if frightfully lacking!

Regarding the example posted by Miguel I think this is a more recent work, I would guess from modern day Nigeria. It could well be simply a show piece to be worn at events like a durbar and thus not requiring any particular practicality in terms of handle size, but more of a fashionable accoutrement as part of tradition costume. Or it could be as suggest for a child, or simply an example of local brass work intended as a souvenir.

I certainly didn't mean to discourage attempts to arrive at a classification or attribution, we can certainly recognize elements that point to a place of manufacture and in some cases the last user with leather-work etc. providing valuable clues. While I doubt, due to the nature of these weapons and their role in society, we will ever arrive at something as precise as the tribal attributions possible for example with Congolese arms, there is always more to learn and puzzle out!
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Old 14th April 2017, 03:17 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by thinreadline
Well Miguel there are others better qualified than I to answer your question . However one possibility is that they are daggers made for children ... I have seen scaled down Kaskaras which were described as such . If these were European weapons they might even have been described as salesmen's samples ... though I doubt this is the case here. I rather like them however !


Thank you thinreadline, I think children`s daggers could well be a valid possibility and one that I had not considered.
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Old 14th April 2017, 03:22 PM   #25
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Regarding the example posted by Miguel I think this is a more recent work, I would guess from modern day Nigeria. It could well be simply a show piece to be worn at events like a durbar and thus not requiring any particular practicality in terms of handle size, but more of a fashionable accoutrement as part of tradition costume. Or it could be as suggest for a child, or simply an example of local brass work intended as a souvenir.

Thank you Iain for your above comments, they make perfect sense, much obliged.
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Old 14th April 2017, 04:06 PM   #26
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Some more information but all in French; Armes traditionnelles d'Afrique (agues, poignards, glaives, epees, tranches et couplets) Approche regionale et classification technique, morphologique et esthťtique. Tristan Arbousse Bastide BAR International Series 1098. 2003

only trouble is I have the first page last.
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Old 14th April 2017, 06:45 PM   #27
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Thank you Tim for this information, my hilts are very much like GL 01 10 now just have to translate the text
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Old 14th April 2017, 07:53 PM   #28
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I recently acquired one of these myself, nice to see so much information on them here.
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Old 14th April 2017, 11:19 PM   #29
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Very useful Tim , thank you . Now to brush up my schoolboy French of 50 years ago !
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Old 16th April 2017, 08:41 AM   #30
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There is a dagger very similar to that on the left of the image from thinreadline, in the book "Weapons and Implements of Savage Races" by Montague 1921. He ascribes it to Bornu, which was inhabited by the Kanuri people ?
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