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Old 19th March 2013, 08:43 PM   #1
Iain
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Default Sudanese axe types

I was wondering if anyone has examples of Fur axes. I ran across a reference today in Nicholle's "Lawrence and the Arab Revolts" to the safariq (a heavy wooden axe), among the warriors of the Dar Fur sultanate.

I'm curious what it is and how it looks given that there's a specific term for it mentioned. I couldn't find anything about it other than in Nicholle's work.

Anybody have further info on this?

Cheers,
Iain
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Old 19th March 2013, 10:03 PM   #2
colin henshaw
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Hi Iain

The only thing I can think of are...the various wooden throwing sticks/clubs from that area, but they are not really "axes".
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Old 20th March 2013, 02:37 AM   #3
Jim McDougall
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Hi Iain,
I think Colin is right, I found this:

"..the Fur usually carry a quiver full of barbed throwing spears and a knife, but thier most distinctive weapon is the safaroq (pl. safariq) or throwing stick, made from the roots of inderab or kutr bush. Practically every Fur carries these and they are most expert in thier use. They chiefly emply them for killing hares and guinea fowl, but when the occasion rises, for injuring the legs of the horses ridden by thier foes".

"A History of the Arabs in the Sudan"
Vol. 1 (Darfur) p.113, H.A.MacMichael 1922 (1967)

It seems like this tactic corresponds with typical Hadendoa and other Sudanese warriors who often used the kaskara in hamstringing horses.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 20th March 2013, 09:39 AM   #4
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Hi Colin and Jim,

Well that didn't take long to clear up! All makes sense now. The word "axe" is just what confused me.

Attached a photo of what the subject item should be then. Circa 1965.

Many thanks for helping clear the fog out of my brain and seeing this for what it is.
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Old 20th March 2013, 03:55 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Iain, that looks remarkably like the simple line representations shown in MacMillan. Wonder how Nicolle could have interpolated the word axe?
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Old 20th March 2013, 04:01 PM   #6
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Hi Jim,

Only thing I can think of is that the curve in the throwing stick reminded him of an axe shape?

To be fair, my understanding is that some of these were indeed used like a club and not exclusively thrown. Much like the metal Ingessana throwing knives - which were apparently cappable of being thrown but demonstrated as more of a sword-like weapon see Ingessana Throwing Knives (Sudan) M. C. Jedrej Anthropos , Bd. 70, H. 1./2. (1975), pp. 42-48.

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Iain
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