Accession Number



Object Creation Date
circa 1900

Medium & Support
iron, copper, wood, and brass tacks

17 3/4 in x 6 5/16 in x 1 5/16 in (45 cm x 16 cm x 3.3 cm)

Credit Line
Gift in Memory of Rudolph B. Rottam

Subject matter
The leaf-shaped blade of this knife resembles an ikulimauang knife used by the Kuba peoples in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, the iron blade and the brass tacks found on the handle are similar to knives attributed to Ekonda and Konda peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This knife may have been an object of high status, as the iron and brass tacks suggest. Rather than a functional weapon, this knife may have been part of regalia. 

References Cited: 
Hurst, Norman. 1997. Ngola: The Weapon as Authority, Identity, and Ritual Object in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cambridge, MA: Hurst Gallery.

Physical Description
A knife with foliate-shaped blade ending in a fan-shaped tip. The blade is decorated with three columns of small raised bars intersected by two rows of small raised bars. The wooden handle is decorated with brass tacks on both ends and wrapped with wire, possibly copper, around the middle.

Primary Object Classification
Arms and Armor

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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symbols of office or status

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