Throwing Knife

Accession Number

Throwing Knife


Object Creation Date
20th century

Medium & Support
metal and leather

16 15/16 in x 13 3/4 in (43 cm x 35 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Susan B. and John F. Ullrich

Label copy

Subject matter
Throwing knives have been used across many regions of Central Africa, though they are no longer used as weapons. Aside from their previous function as weapons, throwing knives were—and in some cases, still are—used as prestige objects. Throwing knife shaped blades were also used as currency. 

References Cited: 
McNaughton, Pat R. 1970. “The Throwing Knife in African History.” African Arts, Vol. 3, No. 2: 54-60+89.

Physical Description
Knife with a leather wrapped handle and three perpendicular blades. The blades are covered with a pattern of small, incised dots. 

Primary Object Classification
Arms and Armor

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
knife currency (general currency)
symbols of office or status

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted