Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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francantolin 14th May 2021 09:30 PM

ethiopian dagger ? or from Sahara ?
6 Attachment(s)
Hello dear members,
I just bought this small dagger, nothing special but I liked the ornaments on the scabbard
( seems small silver pieces and brass/copper pearls on leather parts)

The hilt is made of horn, not wood,
ending with a metallic chape/pommel ,
maybe made of aluminum.

The seller told me he took it bake from a trip in Sahara between Algeria and Niger 40 years ago.

It seems an authentic knife not just touristic stuff.
I wonder if it's not an ethiopian piece
( who travelled a little...) ??
( it looks like a small gurade-shotel hilt )

kahnjar1 14th May 2021 11:16 PM

I would call this a GILE and likely from Ethiopia region. Very nice piece IMHO.

Jim McDougall 14th May 2021 11:50 PM


Originally Posted by kahnjar1 (Post 262586)
I would call this a GILE and likely from Ethiopia region. Very nice piece IMHO.

Im with you Stu, the 'gile' has such a distinct blade shape, and these are used by the Afar people and associated tribes. The Afar region (depression) is in NE Ethiopia near Eritrea and these tribes extends into there as well as Somalia.

Duccio 15th May 2021 10:05 AM

Without a doubt an Afar Gile, every detail is absolutely coherent: shape of the blade, shape of the handle, materials and decoration of the scabbard, everything, in short.
And also the fact that it is not stuff made for tourists, but for practical use (generally the Afar were dedicated to pastoralism) seems to me to be evident. You are right to find a relationship with the shape of the shotel / gurade handle: the origin is the same.
Definitely no relationship with the Sahara or Algeria, unless, of course, it has not been sold or traded ...
Congratulations on your purchase.

francantolin 15th May 2021 12:04 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Thank you all for your comments
and help for fix the origin of the knife/dagger !!

I didn't know it was called a Gile.

I post two pictures of the hilt parts, a little translucence,
help me to confirm it is horn
( otherwise it was really difficult to say it wasn't wood , really look like...)

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