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Old 21st August 2009, 10:15 AM   #17
katana's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kent
Posts: 2,653

I could find little about the Dahomey English. As the French had several wars with the Kingdom....I used 'lateral thinking' and googled French equivalent words ie "armee amazone dahomey rasoir"....definately more info....some links are to Google books which are unfortunately in PDF format ...which cannot be translated via Babelfish.

Interestingly there was a seperate 'division' of the Dahomey which specifically used the 'razor' called the Nyekplonentos, also noted is the fact that these were not used against the French as they were not stragectically 'useful'. It would appear that the increased useage of firearms etc saw the demised of the razor....perhaps this is why there are very few, if any surviving today. (often imported Euro blades were usually re-worked by the 'smiths' makes sense that 'razor' blades were re-cycled to produce other swords / knives).

Below is some translations via Babelfish....

".....These great razors that can be far wrong to think used by European farmers have been described by mayor as weapons specific to women's regiments, "The Cloucloucaccala" [13]. Father Father Bouche citing this Borghero in 1861 to a military review in Abomey, describes these regiments that Europeans call "Amazons" in reference to ancient Greece: "Over three thousand women, two hundred, instead of rifles, are equipped with large knives in the shape of razors, which handle with both hands, and including a single slice a man in the middle. " Borghero even specifies that it is a "huge knife-shaped blades that can be opened and closed, the race almost a meter long and the blade all" [14]. For other authors, male regiments are also razor. Mayor describes such regiments of men created by King GlÚlÚ whose name, Niegpley, would mean "(company) by the razor sharp" [15].
The knives are reworked, they are the swords or razors. Blacksmiths fon - very popular - to adapt the material needs and tastes of their customers: They change the blades and handles supplied by the manufacturers or just the blades, when the metal comes from sales or exchanges of raw bars.
Here the imported material may be modified. The assimilation of knowledge of use is coupled with local know-how of transformation. ....."

"......The Nyekplonentos or "mowers" are equipped with large knives in the shape of a razor and slice the enemy in two......."

Regards David
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