Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Justin 26th November 2007 09:37 PM

Takouba question
I just received this takouba from ebay:

I was kind of dissapointed to find that the edge is blunt, doesnt look like it was ever sharpened, although there are notches in the edge like it has been used.Is this common on these or did I get a really nice looking tourist piece?

Dom 27th November 2007 10:33 AM

Originally Posted by Justin
or did I get a really nice looking tourist piece?

you did :shrug:
be serious ... 100 box and you was expecting an real antiquity :rolleyes:

cheap price .. cheap stuff :p

anyway, very nice sword for decor :D



katana 27th November 2007 11:11 AM

Sorry Justin,

I totally agree with Dom........ it looks too new, with no wear at the hilt. The brass work, especially the chape on the scabbard is crude , compared with usual Toureg workmanship.

Regards David

Justin 27th November 2007 11:32 AM

Thats what I thought , thanks for the help guys.

As far as the price goes I been pretty good at getting incredible deals, guess Ive become a little careless.

Jim McDougall 27th November 2007 08:36 PM

Hi Justin,
Its really tough to find old takoubas these days, and although this example is indeed not old at all, its important to remember that the takouba is still an important element of Tuareg costume. While they do of course sell these readily to tourists, I believe they still wear them as well. Naturally, as Lee Jones will attest, the weapon du jour is actually the AK-47, but the trusty takouba often is stubbornly worn at the side :)

I think the scabbard throat band is interesting, as the loose basket weave motif resembles certain blade motif from certain Eastern European trade blades (see the early makers marks thread and the Polish sabre blade with sacred heart motif).

While not truly 'antique' , it is still an authentic 'ethnographic' piece that serves as representative of the traditional form.

All the best,

Justin 27th November 2007 10:03 PM

You bring up a good point Jim, and that is why I didn't automatically assume that this was a tourist piece.I have seen plenty of photos and video of modern Touregs wearing Takouba's. As you point out, a Takouba sharpened or not is definately going to take a back seat as a weapon to a gun or bomb but that doesnt mean they aren't still worn and therefore 'used'.Likewise I have also seen the Afar carrying Gile's along with their Ak 47's of course...

When I first started collecting I bought a nice antique Takouba at a local flea market (would you believe I got it for 20 bucks?) and I turned around and sold it on ebay for 60 :( .Since then this is the third one I have bought, the sale fell through on the first two and now there is this one, I think by selling the first one I may have incurred the Takouba curse ! :D

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