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Old 23rd April 2006, 08:28 PM   #1
Tim Simmons
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Question I do not know where else to go---

This is not a weapon but it is a martial image and I am a little stuck. If the moderators do not like it they Know what to do.

I got this martial carved figure this morning at a car boot sale for a few pennies. It is West African, surely? What is it? It looks like a lime stick but do Africans take lime? Is the hole important? Is it a soldier in British service or German West Africa/SW Africa therefore WW1 era? The stripes are British?

In the pictures there is one shot of a spoon handle with what I have found out is a representation of a German East African Askari. In the British Museum there a couple of larger ones on display. Total length 365mm length of figure 155mm. Any thoughts would be helpful
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Last edited by Tim Simmons; 23rd April 2006 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 30th April 2006, 11:22 AM   #2
fernando
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Hi Tim,
Here goes my fantasy.
I remember seeing Africans ( Mozambican Macondes ) making a variety of walking and hand sticks, with this type of atitude, to sell to the Army guys, to bring home as souvenirs. Servicemen were basically the only "tourists", in these ambiances.
I can't figure the rigth thickness of the stick end, in your piece. Couldn't it have been some 5-6 inches longer?
The hole could then be for a hand lanyard ( this the term ? ).
The soldier being naturally a British, with his colonial stouch hat, the same situation could take place with British colonies Natives handycraft, whether or not this be a stick ?
Kind regards
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Old 30th April 2006, 12:21 PM   #3
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Thanks Fernando, I did not really expect anyone to reply, I was just giving it a try. I think you are right, this a soldier in British service, German strips are different I believe. East or West Africa? that's a little more difficult. Here are more pictures of the stick part. It is clear that there are two tide marks where it has functioned as a dip stick in the past, as we all have at some time in our lives . So I am not sure it is a tourist thing as yet.
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Old 30th April 2006, 12:44 PM   #4
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Tim

I think there possibly one of two things there is a game called jackals and hounds which use similar type pegs or they could be knitting needles?


Lew
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Old 2nd May 2006, 01:39 AM   #5
Battara
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What about hair pins?
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Old 2nd May 2006, 02:24 AM   #6
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The first one reminds me of a Gurkha.
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Old 2nd May 2006, 02:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
What about hair pins?
GOOD GUESS BUT NOT VERY LADY LIKE HAIRPINS


LEW
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Old 2nd May 2006, 03:07 AM   #8
Jim McDougall
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I think Lew has made an excellent call on this one. This piece really is on the arcane side, but we all love a challenge!!! I am inclined to agree with Lew that this may well be a game piece, especially after the illustration of the gane using similarly fashioned stick pieces.
The figure is of course a native soldier as appears and likely in colonial British service, difficult to say WWI or II as the uniforms were seemingly not very much changed over these periods.
Best regards,
Jim
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Old 2nd May 2006, 06:56 PM   #9
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Kings African Rifles. I think this picture is circa 1930. The KARs were formed from the East African Rifles. Now I will look to the west.
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Old 5th May 2006, 03:52 PM   #10
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Off-the-wall suggestion: a needle for repairing canvas tents or whatever. It is a bit elaborate, but picture an awl, with a hole at the base for holding string. You stab it through the canvas, grab the thread and pull it through, re-thread it, and carry on. In the absence of thin, sharp pieces of metal, hard wood might have been the best substitute.
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Old 5th May 2006, 05:50 PM   #11
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That is a very good suggestion. It is one of those puzzling objects. I too think it has a specific function and has been in use. It may remain a mystery as the number of people alive in the UK with the relevant experience of colonial soldiers in East African most be coming to an end.
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Old 5th May 2006, 08:05 PM   #12
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Let's put them up, maybe it helps the imagination.
It could be, besides a handle stick, some sort of utensile, in fact. It might even have had two uses, one after the other, like the dip stick hipothesis, at a later stage in its life.
Surely not a needle, i would say. The idea is rational, but it doesn't match ... the orifice should be closer to the tip, and more worked up, besides other aspects.
The guy is a British colonial Sergeant and, for the matter, could still represent an Englishman, not an African serving in the British Army. This is a key point in determining this obect's reason of existance.
I bet Tim will pay a portion of " he kows what" to the member who will first tell us its utility.
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Old 5th May 2006, 09:20 PM   #13
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If somebody knows the answer, not only do they get a portion of fish 'n' chips, Haddock not Cod being the best fish, I will also treat them to a pint of strong bitter ale like Tadcasters Samuel Smiths or Ringwoods Old Thumper. Ehmmmm Beer .
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Old 5th May 2006, 10:25 PM   #14
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Now I see three tide marks on the stick - as if it were stuck repeatedly into something up to these three specific depths. Hm. Canvas needle was indeed a long-shot. For what purpose was it used that it would have acquired three distinct "depth" marks - one a couple centimeters from the tip, one half-way along, and one just above the hole?
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Old 5th May 2006, 10:37 PM   #15
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Hello,
If the stick was stuck into holes of varying diameters as they look in the picture of the game posted by Lew, the stick would eventually acquire marks at different parts along its length no? Bigger holes would mark it towards the top, smaller holes towards the bottom.

Manolo
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Old 6th May 2006, 12:30 PM   #16
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Cod would do, Tim ... and a Pint of bitter.

The size of the sticks in Lew's egyptian game is some five-six-seven times smaller than Tim's device. This would implicate in a huge game apparatus.
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Old 15th May 2006, 08:14 PM   #17
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Hi Tim
Just to keep it going.
This is a Tanzanian hair pin ( XX century ).
Its lenght is 300 m/m, which might make the difference to the purpose of
your piece. But look at the form... and ins't that a hole in the stick ?
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Old 15th May 2006, 08:43 PM   #18
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Fernando, that is excellent, that is it!!. The hole must be to keep the pin in place. The chips will be cold and the beer flat by the time you get it. Next time you visit the UK . People from larger drinking countries think in thier unenlightened state that UK beer is flat anyway, well thier wrong ok Thanks again, I like that.
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Old 15th May 2006, 09:40 PM   #19
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Hi Tim
History doesn't repeat. There goes the time i was wandering around U.K., and my only money could cover fish+ships and a packet of ten cigarettes ... do you still have those ? This time you come here and i'll have you testing boiled dryed cod+boilled potatoes, and actual draught beer.
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Old 15th May 2006, 09:50 PM   #20
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Yes you can still buy fags {as they are called in the UK} in 10s. I reluctantly gave up smoking some years ago, oh well one moves with the times. You are on with the salt cod I have never tried it.
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