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Old 13th June 2024, 02:43 PM   #1
Pertinax
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Default Ceremonial sword, Hemba/Luba, D.R. Congo

A new sword has arrived in my African collection.

The Hemba (Luba Hemba) people (or Eastern Luba) are a Bantu ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Quite a rare item; I only came across a couple of specimens from this ethnic group.

A special feature is the very massive handle - a pommel with one body and two faces.

Specifications:
total length 620 mm, sword length 590 mm, blade length 380 mm, blade width at the hilt 65 mm, blade thickness 3 mm, weight with sheath 1000 g, weight 620 g

By all indications, this sword is some kind of symbol of power or status.

Each Hemba clan has a kabeja, a figurine with one body and two faces, male and female, on one neck. Sacrifices are made to the Kabeje, who pass them on to the spirits.
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Old 13th June 2024, 02:53 PM   #2
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Additional photos
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Old 13th June 2024, 07:36 PM   #3
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enclosed 2 more interesting links concerning tribal maps

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...8&postcount=47

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...1&postcount=46
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Old 13th June 2024, 08:18 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=gp;291551]enclosed 2 more interesting links concerning tribal maps

Thank you gp

Very useful information
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Old 13th June 2024, 10:19 PM   #5
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Very nice and complete example!
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Old 14th June 2024, 08:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen View Post
Very nice and complete example!
Hi Detlef, thanks!

Now comes the pleasant task of cleaning.
Regards, Yuri
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Old 14th June 2024, 09:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pertinax View Post
Hi Detlef, thanks!

Now comes the pleasant task of cleaning.
Regards, Yuri
Please share pics after it!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 14th June 2024, 09:26 AM   #8
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Judging from the appearance of the masks, kifwebe, depicted on the handle and scabbard, I would say Songye rather than Luba. It is often difficult to attribute an object to a people, especially when use and design are so close. Interesting piece.

Best regards
Marc
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Old 14th June 2024, 09:37 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Sajen;291567]Please share pics after it!

Necessarily.

Regards, Yuri
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Old 14th June 2024, 10:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc M. View Post
Judging from the appearance of the masks, kifwebe, depicted on the handle and scabbard, I would say Songye rather than Luba. It is often difficult to attribute an object to a people, especially when use and design are so close. Interesting piece.

Best regards
Marc
Hi Marc, thanks!

Yes, very similar to Songye.

You're right, Hemba and Songye's ancestors migrated from the Luba Empire, so they have a lot in common.

On the Hemba people, I found information on the Kabeja cult. There are figurines for Songye Janus Two Faced, but I have not found a description of the cult.

Regards, Yuri
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Old 14th June 2024, 04:12 PM   #11
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Thanks to Mark's help, I am amending the identification of the sword.

The sword clearly belongs to the culture of the Songye people.
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Old 15th June 2024, 01:16 PM   #12
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Thank you for the vintage picture of the warrior.I always considered the shield that he has ,with the carving and face to be made for tourists, but it appears that I may have been wrong based on the photograph.
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Old 15th June 2024, 09:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
Thank you for the vintage picture of the warrior.I always considered the shield that he has ,with the carving and face to be made for tourists, but it appears that I may have been wrong based on the photograph.
Thanks to the forum, we have the opportunity to exchange information and gain new knowledge.
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Old 22nd June 2024, 04:46 PM   #14
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Cleaned and tidied up the sword. Here is the result:
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Old 22nd June 2024, 07:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pertinax View Post
Cleaned and tidied up the sword. Here is the result:
beautiful faces ! my compliment; very nicely cleaned !
Enclosed 2 pics from Kifwebe masks, the 2nd from the Brooklyn Museum
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Last edited by gp; 22nd June 2024 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 22nd June 2024, 08:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gp View Post
beautiful faces ! my compliment; very nicely cleaned !
Enclosed 2 pics from Kifwebe masks, the 2nd from the Brooklyn Museum
Thanks gp

Last edited by Pertinax; 22nd June 2024 at 08:22 PM. Reason: there were already photos
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Old 23rd June 2024, 09:33 AM   #17
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Very good job, congrats!
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Old 23rd June 2024, 09:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen View Post
Very good job, congrats!
Thanks Detlef :п
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