Execution SwordArtist(s)NgombeArtist NationalityNgombeObject Creation Date20th centuryMedium & Supportmetal and woodDimensions
25 9/16 in x 5 11/16 in (65 cm x 14.5 cm)Credit LineGift of Susan B. and John F. UllrichSubject matter
The original function of execution swords like this one was to decapitate victims in ceremonial sacrifices. Ordinary criminals who had been condemned to an execution were very rarely executed by these swords. It is said that in the past, the funerals of important people included human sacrifices. In the twentieth century, animals were used for this role.
Blackman, Barbara. Blades of Beauty and Death: African Art Forged in Metal
. San Diego, California: Mesa College Art Gallery, 1990.Physical Description
The wood handle of this sword is wrapped in metal wire and embellished with a design of two stacked discs. The cutting edge of the sword runs along the length of one side. The cutting edge is made up of three half circles with the last and largest half circle forming a large, pointed hook. Primary Object Classification Metalwork Primary Object TypeswordCollection AreaAfricanRights
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metalwork (visual works)