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Old 23rd October 2017, 09:07 AM   #1
Martin Lubojacky
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Default Diffusion of "civilisations" -Omo river dagger

The upper part (black) of the handle is from an umbrella (plastic). Also please note the enamel paint. The rest is very classical for the area (probably Mursi tribe).

(One can see such similar cases also in the case of Afar daggers and e.g. in decoration of various containers).
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Old 23rd October 2017, 09:52 AM   #2
motan
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Hi Martin,
Great, I love this kind of things.
Local artisans often used whatever they found. In Israel/Palestine early plastics and bakelite were used extensively for hilt material, files were used to forge blades and plastic coated electricity wires as decorative inserts. In Australia and Oceania, bottle glass was used for small blades and arrowheads and there are numerous other examples.
Your piece is unique in that the shape of the original item is still visible.
Naturally, such pieces are not in the top of anyone's wish list, but I still like them because they show the other side of artisan's ability: creativity and opportunism as opposed to tradition.
Eytan
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Old 23rd October 2017, 10:11 AM   #3
Martin Lubojacky
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Hi Eytan, I fully agree. I think you caught the core of the matter.

My dilemma now is, if to preserve the item like it is to document the reality, the development/influence (I think museums would act like this), or to "repair" the handle and to give it its tradditional shape (unfortunately I like traditional etno shapes ...). Martin
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Old 26th October 2017, 12:52 AM   #4
shayde78
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Martin,
Thank you for posting this! I love to see the ingenuity of man represented thru the creation of useful things out of discarded bits of other cast off things. In our mass-produced Western world too many of us fail to see the genius of simply 'making do'. For what my opinion is worth, please preserve it as is to honor its maker.
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Old 26th October 2017, 06:43 AM   #5
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Yeas, I will probably do. It will not be on the wall, but it should stay like it is now ...
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Old 26th October 2017, 10:47 AM   #6
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Hi Martin,
First, I think that if you modify your dagger, it will be worth absolutely nothing. As it is, it still has some value..
I think that most of us have some "drawer only" pieces that are nevertheles loved. It would be nice to have a thread dedicated to those sometime.

Mine are particulalrly ugly. Even the good ones from my area of collection are not particularly brilliant works, so the standard is not high.
Here are two. The smaller one is of unknown origin but it is quite old and not that badly made - just plain and ugly. The bigger one is typical Sinai "craftmanship" and shows similarity in decoration to some bedouin swords. The hilt material is some black plastic.
Got them as part of larger lot and I love them for their rustic charm (but keep them stashed in the drawer).
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