Join Date: Mar 2017
Help ID'ing a spear-head/knife
I hope someone can help me identify the region of origin for an item I've had for a little less than a year now. It is a socketed spear head that has a carved wooden pommel inserted in the socket to form a very serviceable knife. The whole seems to be forged with some skill, and the dimensions are quite robust.
This was the only item I acquired from part of an estate that included quite a number of African weapons. Naturally, I assumed this too was African. However, I haven't been able to find examples of single edged spear heads from Africa (although it is a massive region, and I'm sure they must exist).
A key feature is the carved pommel. It depicts a head with four faces. Each face is deftly carved to show a distinct emotion. The execution is such that it suggests to me that this is an established motif. I found one such reference to a four-faced Buddha in India, and am also reminded of the three-faced pommels on Tibetan phurbas. That said, the overall aesthetic doesn't feel South Asian.
This is, however, a beefy and functional blade that was fashioned for utility. I'd love to know more about it's origin and the significance of the carved faces. Any speculation is greatly appreciated.
Thank you all for your thoughts.