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Old 28th August 2008, 07:42 AM   #1
Bill M
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Default African dagger Somali / Danakil?

I am particularly interested in the wirework. This is quite fragile and it is unusual to see an older piece with it still intact. Possibly early 20th century.

Mostly have seen this on older Somali and Danakil spears. Blade has probably been over-cleaned by a previous owner.

As this is not my area of expertise, I would appreciate opinions from some of the Forum members who know African.
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Old 28th August 2008, 12:28 PM   #2
colin henshaw
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Interesting piece, a bit of a hybrid - the blade and sheath are of the Danakil type, whereas the handle and pommel are typically Somali, as is the wirework.

Nice condition, and I agree its probably 20th century.

Regards.
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Old 29th August 2008, 07:30 AM   #3
Martin Lubojacky
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I saw such daggers in antique shops in Addis Ababa, but only a very few (cca 4 pieces during 4 years, all of them were "tribyly used", nearly exactly the same incl. this nice carving on the sheath, just wirework was missing). Despite the fact it looks like a hybrid, I am convinced it is own style of some Ogaden (from Ethiopian side, also called Ethipian Somalia) ethnic group (afarised Oromos or maybe even Harari people ?).Vendors of antique artefacts in Ethiopia evaluated this style daggers more than classical Affar/Danakil/Issa/Darod/ or Kereyu daggers, maybe more than classical Somali daggers (I think they are more rare).Regards, Martin
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Old 30th August 2008, 04:37 AM   #4
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Hi Bill. Search under GILLAO OR BILLE' and youl'll see my dagger. I had the same problem in trying to identify it. It's a cross between a BILLAO and a GILLE', but it may very well be a legitimate form. Now I REAALY want to know more about it.... Cheers, RON
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Old 30th August 2008, 10:31 AM   #5
Martin Lubojacky
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Hi,
it really is a legitimate form, very probably comming from Ogaden and most probably from (or bordering) Harar region (I saw one in Harar, too). On www.ezakwantu.com it is labeled as Somali Danakil, which partially coincide with northern Ogaden. Regards, Martin (P.S. If I succeed to come home for a Christmmas, I will send you pictures, as I bought those daggers)
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Old 30th August 2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roanoa
Hi Bill. Search under GILLAO OR BILLE' and youl'll see my dagger. I had the same problem in trying to identify it. It's a cross between a BILLAO and a GILLE', but it may very well be a legitimate form. Now I REAALY want to know more about it.... Cheers, RON


http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=Bille

Ron,

I also Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllly want to know more, also.


Martin,

Thanks for providing the fascinating site! Artifacts of breathtaking beauty,

Here is a direct link to a little bit of info about the dagger and spear. I have a similar picture of a spear that is pictured in Tirri's new African book, but I do not have permission to post the picture I have. I'll ask. It is not the same picture as in the book.
http://www.ezakwantu.com/Gallery%20...20Weapons.h tm
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Old 30th August 2008, 12:48 PM   #7
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It sure looks like the dagger on the website is the same as mine! The website says that the dagger is not theirs, just shown for informational purposes.

Note the corrosion patterns, particularly the patch on the hilt where it joins the blade. The spring wire-work is easily moved and not indicative of exact placement.

WOW! And, thanks, Martin!
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Old 30th August 2008, 03:29 PM   #8
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Bill

Nice find. Spring work is similar to what is on my gile hilt. You can see the wire in the center of the coil anchoring it down to the hilt. As for yours it is the same dagger in both photos all the corrosion spots match perfectly


Lew
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Old 30th August 2008, 08:48 PM   #9
Bill M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUIEBLADES
Bill

Nice find. Spring work is similar to what is on my gile hilt. You can see the wire in the center of the coil anchoring it down to the hilt. As for yours it is the same dagger in both photos all the corrosion spots match perfectly


Lew


Nice Gille, Lew. Great patina!

I am curious about why makers of these weapons put such fragile spring wirework in such a vulnerable place as a hilt. Maybe that is why so many are missing?

I about fell off the sofa when I saw that picture of my dagger! As to the corrosion, I almost cleaned it off when I got the piece. Guess this is a good argument for not cleaning pieces!

I am getting the African weapons fever. Have been buying African artifacts for a while. Nice to have some weapons that go with the same cultures. Guess I need to find some Somali and Danakil pieces.
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