Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Well said Nihl, and the situation with many ceremonial, parade and bearing weapons can at many times be quite obvious, especially with those with abstract character as you have noted.
In many cases however, there are traditional circumstances, such as with the Tuareg and their well known takouba. Though these swords which were historically used as intended are still likely worthy as weapons, but actually as worn in modern times they remain traditional accoutrements . They are of course subordinate to the firearms which have become the weapon of choice.
In much of African tribal history, the primary weapon has always been the spear (as seen with the observations of shield 'hooking' to facilitate spear thrust). However with outside influences, particularly colonial of course, varying types of swords and edged weapons became notably present. In the Congo for example, the native interpretations of Portuguese rapiers were there. Naturally they had no concept of the swordsmanship used with the originals, so of course prestige was the case. An obvious example to be sure, but just to express the kinds of circumstances possibly at hand.