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Old 26th August 2009, 11:27 PM   #23
katana's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kent
Posts: 2,653

Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
Looks like a Recade.

I'm inclined to agree with you. It would fit , afterall the Recade is a symbol of status. In Dahomeian society decapitated heads brought both monetary and 'status' rewards.

I have re-discovered the description of the razor having a 'black stick handle' .....what is clear from this extract from "Amazons of Black Sparta: the women warriors of Dahomey" by Stanley Bernard Alpern is the various, slightly conflicting descriptions of the razor....20 lbs seems incredibly heavy

".....One of Dahomey’s armes blanches were unique: a gigantic razor. Invented by one of Gezo’s brothers, it simply copied the standard European straightedge but was several times bigger, and is said to have weighed more than 20lbs. A blade about 24-30 inches long folded into a black wooden handle. (Burton put the blade length at about 18”; Skertchly corrected him.) When extended and held open by a strong spring, the razor measured 4-5 feet. It was carried over the shoulder. Vallon, who first reported the weapon, said it was made specifically for the Amazons who wore Bouet’s fireman’s helmets (which somehow had doubled from 50 – 100). He then dubbed them the Reapers. The razor was wielded with both hands, and, according to Borghero (who raised the total to 200 – 300) could slice a mine in half. Skertchly heard they were intended to decapitate enemy kings.
Maire claims the razors were not only for heads, but for enemy genitals, and that the Amazons “had to triumphantly bring these bloody and ignoble trophies back to the palace”

Burton termed the razors “portable guillotines” and thought if nothing else, “the terror which they inspire may render them useful”......"

Regards David
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