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Old 6th November 2011, 01:06 AM   #1
asomotif
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Default TRUMBASH KNIFE WITH IVORY HILT, MANGBETU ?

I picked up this Trumbash knife with an elefant ivory hilt.

The knife is probably in the Netherlands since 1938 but the seller had no further details. (thought it was a harvesting tool with bone handle)

Any idea on age and tribe ?
Mostly they are described to Mangbetu, but could this one be of a neigbouring tribe ?

Thanks in advance for any comments.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 6th November 2011, 06:16 AM   #2
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Hi Willem

Nice find. My guess is around 1920s-30.
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Old 6th November 2011, 10:42 PM   #3
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Thanks Lew,

That would fit nicely with the date given by the seller (collected in 1938)

But is it Mangbetu ?
The shape is much more rectangular than other examples of trumbash knives that I found on the forum.
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Old 8th November 2011, 09:05 PM   #4
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In my opinion it is Mangbetu but made for tourists. I do not know if it was made around 1920-1930. It could be also much later in age. The ivory handle is not well balanced with the rest of the blade and the handle itself seems not worn at all. I would say it is made of two pieces rapidly put together. This fit well with a piece made for tourists also if some touristic knives were very well made. The blade has not the classical Mangbetu hexagonal or polygonal spines typical of the tribe. Also the spines have been realized very rapidly and without much care. However the blade is burnished a fact that is not so common. I do not see characteristic of neighbouring tribes
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Old 8th November 2011, 09:06 PM   #5
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In my opinion it is Mangbetu but made for tourists. I do not know if it was made around 1920-1930. It could be also much later in age. The ivory handle is not well balanced with the rest of the blade and the handle itself seems not worn at all. I would say it is made of two pieces rapidly put together. This fit well with a piece made for tourists. The blade has not the classical Mangbetu hexagonal or polygonal spines typical of the tribe. Also the spines have been realized very rapidly and without much care. However the blade is burnished a fcat that is not so common. I do not see characteristic of neighbouring tribes
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Old 13th November 2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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Hi Asomotif, I was too fast to reply because I had in mind the various knives of Mangbetu and nearby tribes published in the booklet written by Elsen 2000 Tribal Arm Monograph N.3 Sickle weapons. Today I was watching the book of Elsen 2009 Fatal Beauty: Traditional weapons from Central Africa. ISBN 978-98601-8462-4 and at pag. 209 n.221 I found a knife almost identical to your one attributed to the Bod-Meje that are neighbours of the Mangbetu. Sorry for the error.
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Old 13th November 2011, 06:36 PM   #7
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The tribe is Bodo-Meje
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Old 13th November 2011, 09:46 PM   #8
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Thanks Mauro, interesting development.

Fatal beauty would be a nice addition to my bookshelf, but unfortunately the book is more expensive that this knife

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 26th November 2011, 08:38 PM   #9
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I received this scan for reference from Freddy.
Thanks
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Old 10th December 2011, 01:28 PM   #10
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I am locking this thread due to pending sale on swap.
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