Join Date: Nov 2014
Yao tribal Knives
I posted these a couple of days ago asking for Id help - thanks to everyone that replied. Ariel suggested checking British Museum and a search of the online archive provided the answers.
My view is that these are East African , Malawi / Mozambique / Tanzania area and would even go as far as to say they are Yao tribe origin.
I'm fairly confident of the attribution but for those that have time - please check the Britsh Museum online image archive. Dont think I'm allowed to give a link but :
British Museum home page - Collection online - Knife ivory ( in search box) - tick images only - then search. Scroll through the page and there will be at least 5 or 6 knives very similar to the Ivory one with strong attributions.
Perhaps there needs to be some further discussion about this before confirmation hence the new thread?
For those like me that originally suggested the Asian regions , the Yao tribe built up strong links with slave traders throughout the 19th century eventually converting to Islam around turn of 20th century. This might explain why the knives have influences from both cultures - which caused the difficulties in identification.
The items held by the British museum were mostly gifted in the 1920's and 40's. These were from the estates of persons that were in Africa in a colonial capacity at or around the turn of the century.
Please let me know your thoughts ?