EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Extremely well said Ibrahiim!
In rereading this thread, many of the entries all have made some very astute observations such as reference to the inscription on the blade. This does seem to be a native applied imitation of what was likely one of the 'magical' acrostics or letter groupings which seem to have had possible imbued values other than the letters themselves. These often appeared on various European blades and were on blades described in Oakeshott and others from quite early sword blades, so these woud have been prestigiously regarded indeed.
As also has been noted, many of these s'boula were indeed mounted with bayonets and typically from French colonial sources, well available in these Saharan and Sahelian regions.
Visual assessments of the features and character of weapon forms in determining regional placement are always of course well valued, but often compromised by the well known diffusion of influences and often weapons themselves through trade and other motivational factors. As I have often recalled, as noted by other arms researchers in many cases, weapon forms have no geographic boundaries.
The key is often to determine areas where the preponderance of the form exists, has been recorded and observed in accounts or iconographically in many cases.