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Old 2nd August 2011, 04:59 AM   #1
imas560
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Default Central African Wrist Knives

Hello all,
bought something I don't normally get into but they caught my eye. They were listed as "Two Central African Tribal Wrist Knives". The description included the following: "A pair of hand forged wrist knives of Toposa traditional design with animal rawhide guards inside and out". I am not familiar with these and was hoping to give a talk at my next Arms Club meeting. Any info in relation to the knives in general (i.e. usage) and specifically (i.e. region, possible date) would be most appreciated.
Many thanks.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 06:46 AM   #2
asomotif
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As far as I know, the wrist knifes are more eastern Africa. rather than central Africa. I see them regularly with a tribal art dealer that visits kenya on yearly basis.
There are some nice pictures of a fight with these knives in Lenie Riefenstahl's book "AFRICA". The fight she pictured is an organised fight, like we would have boxing fights. On the web I found this picture.

I am sure more will follow from other forumites

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 2nd August 2011, 07:28 AM   #3
imas560
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thanks Willem
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Old 3rd August 2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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Here are some pictures from Riefenstahl's book.
According to the book here she visits the Nuba of Kau.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 5th August 2011, 12:15 AM   #5
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Default Turkana "Ararait" wrist knife

Hi,

This wrist knife is from the Turkana tribe in Kenya and it is called by them an "ararait".

The knife is made out of rectangular piece of sheet metal iron, then hammered and bent into a disk shape with flat upper and lower surfaces. The outer edge is curved and sharpened. Although the ends nearly touch at the outer tips, they have been cut and an angle so that they slope in and away from each other towards the center of the knife. The center has an oval hole to accommodate the wrist. A leather strip guards the wrist from the interior of the blade. Another strip wraps the outer edge in day-to-day wearing, and removed for battle.

The British banned the making and wearing of these objects during colonial rule as they were considered lethal in close-combat fights. Nevertheless, the Turkana are a war-like tribe that continues to wear and use this weapon.

Pictures: My ararait, and a drawing of a Turkana warrior from 1888.

Best Regards,

Dave A.
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Old 5th August 2011, 12:17 AM   #6
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Default Turkana warrior 1888

Oops, forgot the picture.
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Old 5th August 2011, 03:40 AM   #7
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Thanks Willem and DaveA, great info for my talk. Much appreciated.
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