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Old 22nd October 2015, 09:53 PM   #1
Protector
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Default African sword??

Here is another Mom&Pop antique store find. The tag said 'old sword' with no other info and the person running the store had no history. The education I have received here on the forums leads me to believe African? The leather outside of the sheath is hard as rock and there appears to be marks/signs/initials pressed into backside. When I found it at the store the blade was next to the sheath and with some wiggling the blade will start into the sheath, but I don't want to damage anything. Is there some treatment I can give the inside of the sheath to soften/loosen it up? Any special advice on cleaning it? Thanks again for all the help you guys give.
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Old 22nd October 2015, 11:52 PM   #2
Robert
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Hello Protector, This is not my field of interest, but I would say that this is indeed African and is called a seme. With the blade having no central ridge I would say this is most likely of fairly recent manufacture.

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Old 23rd October 2015, 02:25 AM   #3
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A PICTURE OF A SIMILAR SEME SWORD IMPORTED INTO KENYA DURING ITS COLONIAL DAYS THERE.MOST OF THIS FLAT TYPE BLADE SEEM TO HAVE BEEN TRADED MOSTLY TO THE KIKUYU TRIBE AND SOME OF THIS STYLE WERE Y\USED DURING THE MAU MAU REBELLION FROM 1952 TO 1960.
THE MASAI TRIBES PREFER THE SWORD BLADE TO HAVE A RIDGE DOWN THE MIDDLE LIKE THE BLADES ON THEIR LION SPEAR. A SEARCH OF THE FORUM USING SEME, MAU MAU OR MASAI SHOULD BRING SOME INFORMATION.
PICTURE #1 & #2. 57 CM. LONG, BRITISH SWORD WITH TRADITIONAL NATIVE MADE SCABBARD.
#3. SEME TRADITIONAL SWORD OF THE MASAI TRIBES NOTE CENTRAL RIDGE ON BLADE
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Old 23rd October 2015, 01:10 PM   #4
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the core of the scabbard may likely be wood, which of course you do not want to soften. they leather cover is likely varnished rawhide sewn with sinew. the grip on the seme is normally also covered in rawhide, either sewn or from a degloved cow tail shrink dried onto it without a seam. the newer ones seem to be dyed red. maasi like red. do NOT use soap & water to clean the rawhide. changes in humidity can cause dimensional changes. to clean, brush off ant loose dirt, wipe with a barely damp cloth & don't let it get wet. the saddle & horse industry can supply a rawhide cleaning cream. a saddle maker may be able to help you strech it a bit. mine is fairly stiff by the way
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Last edited by kronckew : 23rd October 2015 at 01:29 PM.
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