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Old 10th June 2020, 05:33 PM   #1
gp
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Default MASAÏ DAGGER

looking forward to your comments / feedback on this Masaï dagger

total lenght : 61,5 cm
blade lenght: 34 cm

what age would you think ?

thnx a lot
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Old 10th June 2020, 06:40 PM   #2
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Interesting. Its a very different blade than I have seen in contempoary use with the northern parts of the tribe's range. The shape suggests a very different kind of swordsmanship than the ones I saw (a double edged blade that slightly widens towards the tip with a short point almost in the shape of a Calabi triangle and leather scabbard). The point change could be due to fairly strict government regulation of weapons in some areas, but I don't think the example shown would butcher a cow quite as well. This one's overall appearance as is, is shaped like maybe it is carried in the hand. Sword cane or cattle prod? Or does it get a wrap on the scabbard that would attach it to the wearer or help it be retained by sash?

What is the length of the blade? Do you know the name of this example? There didn't seem to be a specific name for Maasai blades when spoken about in mixed ethnic groups. All big blades were simply called pangas, but terms tended to be simplified so everyone would understand (4-5 different first languages in a group of any size. Their range is a giant mish mash of distinct cultures).

Sorry I don't have any answers for you GP, only more questions. My one useful comment is I was told that in some areas new blades were still being produced from leaf springs. From what I remember most blades I saw were factory made with fake U.K. markings as a sign of quality. Kinda how a running wolf, or gurda marking was used in the 19th century.

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Old 11th June 2020, 08:48 AM   #3
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I don't think that we see here a Masai dagger. I would look to North-West Africa for your dagger. Masai workmanship look very different.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 11th June 2020, 10:53 AM   #4
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Maybe I am completely wrong but I think it remind me of this one....

Best,
Stefan
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Old 11th June 2020, 04:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre
Maybe I am completely wrong but I think it remind me of this one....


Yes, would say that this is very similar!
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Old 11th June 2020, 05:00 PM   #6
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Thank you gents ! It looks indeed like Senor Hombre’s picture.
The guy I got it from had bought it from an antique dealer who told him it was approx. from around 1900 and used by the Masai for cattle as a kind of rod / cane and also to get blood from the cows neck. No further info though. Hence my question to you professionals to shed more light on this item as sellers can tell fancy tales. But a nice piece was my first opinion....so I didnt bother that much about its origin. So THNX again

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Old 11th June 2020, 06:18 PM   #7
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Like said, I think it comes from somewhere in North-West Africa, Sahel.

The example from Stefan also was never clear determined, maybe one of our members who collect African weapons will know more!
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Old 12th June 2020, 07:50 AM   #8
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Hi
see this example from Lew's collection

http://vikingsword.com/lew/w0193/w0193.html

he had it labelled as a African Shi-Havu (Congo) Short Sword

looks v similar
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Ken
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Old 12th June 2020, 12:46 PM   #9
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Hello Ken,

by Shi-Havu swords are never covered in leather and they are very different in blade shape, the knife in question is for sure not from Central Africa.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 12th June 2020, 07:11 PM   #10
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checking the internet I also found a West African Dagger from the Mandinka Tribe which come close but then again not really...
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Old 12th June 2020, 07:45 PM   #11
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also found on the internet this antique African Taureg tribal dagger knife with woven leather sheath... comes closer but what do you think..?
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Old 19th September 2020, 08:53 PM   #12
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thnx / go raibh maith agat to Kmaddock for pasting the link in another request, looking at the blade and all leather scabbard and handle... it comes close to this one:
http://vikingsword.com/lew/w1044/w1044.html

what do you think?
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