Join Date: Mar 2005
There have been a number of knives posted in the past that have been variously surmised to have come from Senegal, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Mali, the Bissagos Islands, and the Reguibat Arabs of Southern Morroco. Recently, OsobistGB posted a thread (African daggers for identification) with a dagger that looks similar to one that I recently acquired. I am posting mine in hopes that the hilt decoration might provide further clues. Overall, my dagger measures about 14.75" (37.5cm) long (including the projection atop the pommel). The koummiya style blade is about 8.8125" (22.4cm) long and, next to the hilt, is sandwiched between two brass cheek pieces. Some of the designs on the cheek pieces are either silver inlay or silver plate. The hilt (without pommel projection) is about 5.25". It is made of a very heavy, very hard, black wood. The wood is inlayed with silver wire. All of the other metal pieces on both sides of the hilt are silver. The pommel decoration on the back of the hilt differs from the front. There is a brass band inset into the wood at the top of the pommel. The pommel projection is made of brass with a silver band around it. The silver band looks more like aluminum than true silver. The sheath is leather without wood lining or inserts. It also doesn't have any attachment devices so it must have been worn inside a sash or other article of clothing. The dagger appears to be of a higher level prestige than the sheath.