Thread: Dahomey Hwi
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Old 26th July 2015, 01:50 PM   #11
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 568

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
A truly amazing hybrid Miguel, thank you for bringing it in here!

It has been a long time since we have discussed these Dahomean hwi it seems, and for those interested in further reading on them, Christopher Spring in "African Arms and Armour" has a good section about them.
He uses plates and data from "Sabres Decores du Dahomey"
Montserrat Palau Marti
Objets et Mondes, VII:4, 1967
These fascinating ceremonial blades on these hwi reflect the tribal animist traditions and often facets of the West African Vodun religion.

This does appear to be a French briquette sword as noted by Kubur, and these were around latter 18th century, well into the 19th. They were replaced my a gladius type sword M1831 but both seem concurrent in 1830s.
The hilt on this one seems likely 2nd Empire c.1854+
While the French did not colonize Dahomey until 1872, I have researched hwi which were collected there c 1856 by French officers.

Fascinating example reflecting the Dahoman traditions coupled with French colonial situations, and great historical possibilities,

Hi Jim,
I am really pleased that you like it. I have a copy of Christopher Stone`s book, in fact his article was what lead me to believing it was a Hwi, further research led me to thinking it was made from a French sabre but I have not yet been able to discover which dignitary carried it and what office, if any, did it represent, military or civil, still a lot of work to do. Thanks again for your comments.
Miguel is offline   Reply With Quote