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colin henshaw 10th August 2021 04:42 PM

Unusual African knives for I.D.
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Here are a couple of African knives I acquired a little while ago. Usually this type is described as "Shona", from Zimbabwe, however there are a few unusual features being ... not an "ogee" profiled blade, copper strip bindings and the deliberate squared off tip.

The copper strips are associated more with the Congo area, the blunted tips are strange, perhaps to make them less lethal (could this be to satisfy some tribal or colonial authority law ?)

I'm inclined to place these knives tentatively to the Malawi area, but can anyone help out with more precise identification ?

Further information and/or comments are welcome.

Sajen 10th August 2021 10:08 PM

Hello Colin,
For me these are Shona daggers, called Baktawa but I agree with you about the unusual features. But I have to admit that they look not very old so the tips may be blunted to sell it more easily to tourists? :shrug:


ausjulius 11th August 2021 01:03 AM

yeah id guess it must be some weird legal thing as there is no historical blade like that in africa.. and its totally impractical. it a sort of modern version of the spanish banning points on blades in cuba and some parts of the phillipines in the colonial period. id guess wherever these come form they probably have some weird weapons law that might class these as arms..
like in some indian states swords must be sold blunt. but it may not effect the whole nation and thats why you see these oddities. probably from one province only that has such laws in place.

Tim Simmons 11th August 2021 05:21 PM

Ask a policeman if you can be stabbed with a screw driver?

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