Ceremonial SwordArtist(s)AsanteArtist NationalityAsanteObject Creation Date20th centuryMedium & Supportiron, wood and brassDimensions
55 1/8 in x 15 15/16 in x 8 11/16 in (140.02 cm x 40.48 cm x 22.07 cm)Credit LineGift of Susan B. and John F. UllrichLabel copySubject matter
Another type of ceremonial sword used in the court of the Asantehene
, the ruler of the Asante, is the long sword called afenatene.
These swords have long, elaborate blades with thin metalwork ending in two or three large blades and they often have multiple handles. Motifs featured on the handles can also be found on linguist staffs or umbrella finials, which often communicate a specific proverb. The shaft of this sword features knots, which are also a motif seen in gold-weights. As objects of display, proverbs—and their messages—symbolized in some afenatene
would have been visible to those in the Asantehene's
MacLeod, Malcolm D. 1981. The Asante
. London: British Museum Publications Ltd. Physical Description
This sword with three barbell-shaped handles is attached to a wrought iron shaft ending in two large, curved blades. The shaft is composed of three sections of hourglass-shaped open work interspersed with knots. The two top blades have triangular cut-outs. Primary Object Classification Metalwork Primary Object TypeswordCollection AreaAfricanRights
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symbols of office or status