Ethnographic Arms & Armour
Bibliography for Africa
Agthe, Johanna, Waffen aus Zentral-Afrika (Frankfurt: Museum für Völkerkunde, 1985)
(German and English language for the main body of the catalog and German only for the introductory chapter on the different types of African weapons by Karin Strauß) This is a catalog of holdings at the Museum für Völkerkunde in Frankfurt, which are represented by monochrome photographs and drawings of a full panoply of weapon and armour types.
Bivar, A.D.H., Nigerian Panoply: Arms and Armour of the Northern Region (Apapa, Nigerian National Press for the Department of Antiquites, 1964)
A short monograph documenting a few examples of old arms and armour from the regalia of the traditional emirates of northern Nigeria including swords, a flintlock pistol and mail shirts.
Briggs, Lloyd Cabot, European Blades in Tuareg Swords and Daggers, The Journal of the Arms & Armour Society [U.K.] Vol. V. No. 2. (1965), p. 37 - 92.
European trade blades of types found mounted in many styles and antique European blades are occasionally found mounted in takoubas as well as kaskaras. This monograph considers these occurrences in the context of trade and presents several examples.
Felix, Marc L., Kipinga: Throwing-Blades of Central Africa (Munich: Verlag Fred Jahn, 1991)
(German and English language) The largest section of this book is a catalog of high quality full page monochrome illustrations of throwing knives organized by styles which are further correlated with geographic regions. Sections on manufacturing, evolution and use are also included.
Fischer, Werner and Zirngibl, Manfred A., Afrikanische Waffen (Passau: Prinz-Verlag, 1978)
(German and English language) Organized by tribal groups, this book focuses on knives, daggers, swords, axes and throwing knives which are predominantly represented in large monochrome photographs with occasional interspersed color photographs.
Schmidt, A. M. & Westerdijk, P., The Cutting Edge: West Central African 19th century throwing knives in the National Museum of Ethnology Leiden (Leiden: National Museum of Ethnology & C. Zwartenkot Art Books, 2006)
This book documents the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden's collection of African throwing knives and is especially valuable to students of ethnographic arms as it documents a collection of blades with known provenance. A color catalogue of these arms is supplemented by a history of how the items came to be in the museum's collection by A. M. Schmidt and a general overview of the throwing knife and its place in the culture by P. Westerdijk.
Spring, Christopher, African Arms and Armour (London: British Museum Press, 1993)
An excellent overview broadly covering the entire continent from Morocco to Zululand. The work includes numerous historical photographs showing arms and armour being worn in addition to the expected photographs of the diverse weapon types. Three multipage sections of color plates are of uniformly excellent quality.
Westerdijk, Peter, The African Throwing Knife: A Style Analysis (Utrecht, OMI, 1988)
(English language with a Dutch summary) A doctoral dissertation setting forth a classification of throwing knife types with correlations to their distribution.
Zirngibl, Manfred A., Seltene Afrikanische Waffen (Grafenau: Morsak-Verlag, 1983)
(German, French and English language) A companion adding additional rarer types to the authors previous work with Werner Fischer. Again organized by tribal group, this book employs a majority of large color photographs.
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