The Cutting Edge
West Central African 19th Century Throwing Knives in the National Museum of Ethnology Leiden
- Auteur : A. M. Schmidt, P. Westerdijk
- Editeur : Leyden
- Année : 2000
- Format : 22 x 28.5
- Nombre de pages : 111
Central African throwing knives constitute a unique category of weapons found nowhere else in the world. The products of extraordinary craftmanship and inventiveness on the part of Central African blacksmiths, they are objects of aesthetic appeal. The are also quite deadly.
African throwing knives constitute a unique category of weapons found nowhere else in the world. They were weapons of war and implements of the hunt. The end of the functional use of the throwing knife was during the last two decades of the 19th and the first decade of the 20th century. However, the end of traditional warfare did not mean that the throwing knife disappeared. Its persistence may be attributed to its potential to take on the role of ceremonial and ritual weapon and other completely new roles.
This group of knives came to the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, at the end of the nineteenth century. It is one of the earliest such collections and is closely associated with Dutch trade interests in the Congo. A number of related items are also included, such as hand weapons, axes with a bird-like form, ceremonial weapons, and shields.
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