Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Marcus 29th December 2015 10:27 PM

4 Attachment(s)
This just in from Oriental Arms. Artzi give a highly qualified attribution to the Bissagos islands. Any other thoughts? Also, what do you see in the ornamental elements under the handle? Elephants?
Happy New Year,

Sajen 29th December 2015 10:55 PM

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Artzi seems to be correct, see this link:

Marcus 3rd January 2016 01:39 PM

The picture provided by Sajen is probably the same source that Atrzi refers to, but he questions it (as do I). The Bissagos islands are quite sparsely populated and have been dominated by the Portuguese for several centuries. It is unlikely that the indigenous peoples had the metallurgical skills locally to produce the brass work of this dagger and scabbard, let alone the steel. I showed the piece a friend who has spent many years in various African nations. He suggested Morocco or some other North African origin. Perhaps the British Museum acquired their daggers in the Bissagos islands but they originated elsewhere. I wish I had started the thread with a different title because I fear that the Bissagos title biased the discussion.

Marcus 14th January 2016 08:36 PM


DaveA 15th January 2016 04:00 AM

Looks like a match, but ...
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Hey Marcus,

Thank you for the reference to my web site. I am compelled to admit that my identification of Senegal as origin for my three daggers (see photo) is provisional since I have only "word of mouth" providence of the seller on their origin (a reputable dealer in GB). Nevertheless, I think it is safe to say the daggers are NOT Tuareg, insofar as the design is quite different from familiar Tuareg weapons we've all seen. Influenced by N. Africa / Tuareg most probably. If one searches for "Senegal dagger" one will find a few other examples that resemble the weapon in this thread. I will follow the comments with great interest!

Best Regards,

Dave A. (A for Atkinson in )

DaveA 15th January 2016 04:07 AM

Caption for the picture
Originally Posted by Sajen
Artzi seems to be correct, see this link:

I found this picture on along with the following caption, which I belief describes the daggers left to right:
"Daggers From the Bissagos Islands, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and the Reguibat Arabs of southern Morroco, 19th -20th century AD"
Since the center two weapons have the same distinctive carved "elephant" decoration as the subject dagger, I suggest we consider Sierra Leone and Senegal as possible origins.


Dave A.

Marcus 15th January 2016 11:30 AM

Thank you David. Also, my complements on your web site.

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