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russel 23rd March 2014 03:33 AM

African Throwing Knife for ID and comment
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Hello all,

I recently acquired this African Throwing Knife, and would appreciate members' comments. I know little of this type of weapon and I own little in the way of african references. I suspect that this is an old and important example of its type, but I have been wrong before... :o

All comments much appreciated,


russel 23rd March 2014 03:39 AM

Dimensions: H = 37cm; W = 37.5cm

russel 23rd March 2014 08:50 AM

After a little research here and elsewhere (apologies for not doing this before posting), I think I think I can safely assume this is an Ngbaka-Mabo throwing knife. I would still like more information if possible. If anyone has the time and inclination to scan some references for me, I would greatly appreciate it. How old might it be?

Cheers, Russel

Tim Simmons 23rd March 2014 09:19 AM

Very nice one too.

Sajen 23rd March 2014 10:11 AM

Hi Russel, beautiful throwing knife! :) In Panga Na Visu it is described as Ngbaka-Manza, Gbaya, Mabo, Yangere, Bokoto in origin and named as moko-ndo, ngangba, za sali and nengele. I will take a picture later this day.


Luc LEFEBVRE 23rd March 2014 12:24 PM

Yes nice exemple, the models with copper dots are researched. It seems to have been covered with varnish, it was used at the first half of the 20th to prevent iron from rust.

Sajen 23rd March 2014 12:28 PM

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Hi Russel,

here the picture from Panga Na Visu, very similar knife.
Again, beautiful knife with good age IMHO.


russel 24th March 2014 07:22 PM

Thanks for the comments guys.

Detlef, thank you for the scan. Seems almost identical to mine.

Luc, yes I thought it may have been varnished. I don't have it in my hands yet but as soon as it arrives I will remove the varnish and post clearer pictures. Could you point me in the direction of some of the research done on these copper-insert types?

Could this date to the late 19th Century, or is it a later example?

Thanks again,

Luc LEFEBVRE 24th March 2014 09:53 PM

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Jan Elsen in the book "De Fer et de Fierté" says that the copper dot seems to be a production of the north of the territory of the Ngbaka Mabo, maybe the southern Gbaya.
The production of this type of knife began around 1900 to 1960, after the 2WW the quality is lower.
The X on the blade is the symbol of the spider a totemic animal for the Ngbaka Mabo.
Some other exemples...

Luc LEFEBVRE 24th March 2014 09:59 PM

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The types of my collection

Luc LEFEBVRE 24th March 2014 10:02 PM

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This last one, and old type, before 1900, a great work of forging.

russel 27th March 2014 05:58 AM

Thanks Luc,

That is great information, and beautiful examples. I am especially intrigued by the totemic spider symbolism.

Thanks again, Russel

manteris1 27th March 2014 06:32 PM

Very nice................................jimmy

Battara 28th March 2014 04:47 PM

I'm not into African, but this is a nice piece......I like it. :)

Great quality. Congratulations!

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