View Single Post
Old 2nd March 2021, 07:42 AM   #30
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
Jim McDougall's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,586

This has become an interesting look into the kinds of symbolism which influences the elements and decoration of various ethnographic edged weapons. While not necessarily directly connected, and many similarities are of course convergently created, one can only wonder how far influences can diffuse through the complex networks of trade.

In going through various references it is interesting to see how ancient weapon designs can occur atavistically, and to see the for example certain African weapons which are remarkably like some seen in ancient Egypt.

It seems that many of the tribal sword and edged weapon forms which are designed for certain traditional, official and ceremonial purposes often are decorated in artistic renditions of proverbs and other tribal references.
This character is found in many of these from the West African countries and into the Congo regions.

In accord with the design of this sword in the original post, I found this example captioned as a 'byongi parade sword' of the Ekonda people of the Congo. Naturally the teerm 'parade' is a western perception of a weapon used ceremonially in processions or events.

Note that the symmetrical features in this case are in the blade itself, while in the example featured in the orig post it comprises the hilt design.

The interesting look into the symbolism of various birds, chickens etc. as used in other cultural weaponry motif, compare well to the similarity of such zoomorphic representation with the 'hen' simile in West African adinkra symbols....and compellingly like the upward extensions on this hilt.

I would note here that animal horns may be possibly intended on those, and that with the Asante people in Ghana, the sword bearer wears a helmet with horns. I believe that rams horns are intended in this case, pertaining to a proverb concerning a ram. Perhaps the same convention might apply with this hilt to some such proverb ?
Attached Images
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote