In selecting this line up below there are some I have various questions about which I think I can find answers in due course thus your comments are welcomed.
My immediate reaction is that west African weapons must be related inter tribally as borne out by the similarities in these golock styles...The tendency to call them ceremonial is always there but my thought is that ceremonial may extend at least to executions... which were a sort of ceremonial
Indeed if they were only ceremonial why would they poison the blades..Thus I suggest these also were used in battle.
The depiction of a lion is interesting as being the big cat favoured by the tribal kings and not as once suggested as some sort of spin back from the Portuguese influence in the Indian Ocean and copied or taken from Kastane in Ceylon.
The sword from http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...68&page=2&pp=30
at #52 is shown below as fig 11 and is clearly a Lion Head but the accompanying literature assumes an Indian Ocean influence which of course it is CERTAINLY not.
In that case it is on a hilt and below it appears on hilts and on the blade in cut out form. It is suggested that in the case of West African designs this is a home grown device.
In looking at the cross geometry +
cut into the blade; I include the Black Crab quillons device favoured by the Portuguese shown below but am unable to say if this is co-incidental or copied in regard to the tribal blade. Religion seems a far off indicator and knowing the several uses of the cross format I tend to rule that out; although black magic "as a religion" may rule this straight back in !!
So some artwork~