Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Sudanese dagger set with damaged Monitor Lizard sheath? (

katana 16th May 2006 04:58 PM

Sudanese dagger set with damaged Monitor Lizard sheath?
6 Attachment(s)
I've just purchased this group of African pieces, searching on the Anthropology Collections web site I discovered that the daggers are from the Sudan.
I received them today and have cleaned them. The carved handles are interesting, symbolic of a diety perhaps? The sheath is fairly sound, middle 'tail' is obviously missing. The top of the sheath has remains of stitchwork, which indicates to me that the top section is missing. The blades have incised patterns which are different on each blade, although there seems to be certain 'motifs' that are duplicated.
There are several other items, ( I am doing a seperate post for them).
One of which is a spearhead which has a handle attatched, the handle has lizard (monitor ?) covering and may be relavent to the dagger set?

Please, any comments would be gratefully received, thankyou

katana 17th May 2006 07:48 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here are some of the images I found on the Anthropology Collections website,
Still am unable to link the carved heads on the daggers to a particular tribe or religion. These are attributed to central or Southern Sudan.

Tim Simmons 17th May 2006 08:12 PM

I wish I knew more about these. I have gone from holding them all in great reverence to dismissing them and other crocodile finished knife/sword as tourist bazar pieces. Some are I am sure tourist things even if old, sold in Egypt and so on. Some are undoubtably the real thing from the rise of the Mahdi and like the example you show, with supporting information some are indeed some kind of cultural item. I am not sold on the crocodile worship, in my mind that is too simple and just an afar view of the exotic. I have read that the crocodile is considered a reflection of kingship. The static animal seen basking every day at the river looking docile and a continuation of normality, yet at an instant the terrible latent almighty devouring power can be stirred, akin to that of the king. So crocodile bits and pieces on some artifacts might be quite desirable. If I see a nice set at a price I think okay, I will be the next one to fall under the spell.

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