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Old 21st August 2021, 04:41 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 795
Question Masai? Spear

Few things are as pleasing to me as to find a really nice spear, in which I admire and respect the workmanship, as I slog through summer flea market fields. This example came from a general booth at the Bouckville (NY) flea market this week.

My first thought, of course, is that this is Masai, based on the short wooden handle joining the blade section with the long forged iron butt section. I did find a few of this configuration in old posts here ( see and in old auction listings on the general internet.

I am aware of the 'elders' variant and of the typical forms, such as in the top image below, with a long parallel to slightly tapering blade and a bulbous feature at the termination of the edges near the socket.

The typical examples usually appear to be well made and are forged and or more usually hollow ground and are symmetrical in two planes.

This new acquisition has a long and wide leaf shaped blade and has what I have always considered to be more of a central African cross section with a flat facet opposite a concave facet on one face with the reverse facet through to the opposite side (though appearing the same if you rotate the blade 180 degrees). The balance point is exactly at the senter of the wooden section!

I am curious if any forum members can confirm that this is Masai and as to whether this variation represents an earlier form than typically seen or origin from a particular region within the overall Masai cultural range.
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