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Old 25th August 2009, 11:03 AM   #21
katana's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kent
Posts: 2,653

Hi Ausjulius,
I did find a reference (now lost )that stated that the 'handle' of the razor was like a 'black stick'....which made sense, as it fitted the idea that they were used two handed.

The users of the razors were know as 'mowers'......I'm wondering whether they were positioned behind the 'front line' as the battle continued and the front line advanced, the enemy's dead and dying were decapitated or 'finished off' by the advancing 'back lines'. A terrifying psychological effect.
It would explain why they were not used against the French. The superior rifles (most Dahomians had muskets) would, with their superior range and accuracy, prevent any advancement of the Dahomian front line. Below are two drawings of several 'bas reliefs' found on the palaces....

one is ....."represented the throne is the King Kpengla (1744-1789). It is surrounded by a shotgun and a sword whose blade seems an original creation...."

The second shows a mound of decapitated heads with the victor ? King? a decapitated foe holding his arms up in surrender? exhaltation to the victors ??standing on top. Could that 'implement' be a representation of a razor ? perhaps half closed to show that its 'work' is now done ???? There is a curious 'apendage' at the rear of the handle...a spring mechanism ??

Regards David

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