Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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drac2k 21st October 2020 08:03 PM

African War Club??
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I just picked up this war club or at least I think it is. It is 19" long, almost 4" in diameter at the head. It has the weight and feel of a fighting club, however, the face carving would make it impractical for such.
Does anyone know what this is and where it comes from?

Richard G 21st October 2020 08:56 PM

why not a picture of the face?

drac2k 21st October 2020 11:08 PM

A club so ugly that one can not see the face..........the last picture; I'll try to take a better one.

kronckew 22nd October 2020 01:12 AM

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My African face club discussion for comparison:

drac2k 22nd October 2020 04:42 AM

I think I found my long lost brother! With the offset head, I feel mine could be patterned after a Massi Rungu Club.

kronckew 22nd October 2020 06:50 AM

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Good possibility...
My rungu for comparison. One ebony, one from a lighter wood. Your back-of-the-head photo hints at a lighter wood, stained or fire blackened.

drac2k 22nd October 2020 08:54 PM

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3 more pictures that are a little better.

Lee 23rd October 2020 01:43 AM

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Lew had one of these in his collection:

drac2k 23rd October 2020 01:11 PM

Interesting comparison; are we sure that mine is African?

Duccio 23rd October 2020 03:41 PM

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Health to all,
of course I have no idea if it could be an object similar to that of drac2K, but I found this one, offered at an auction, defined as "This anthropomorphic Makonde sculpture is the plug of a medicine box. It would close a calabash, filled with magical substances. The face faithfully reproduces the traditional Makonde scarifications, aesthetic criteria valuing the members of the tribe."
From Mozambique.
This item is 24cm (about 10 inches) long.

Richard G 23rd October 2020 04:41 PM

The pierced ears suggest there was some form of decoration, which would not be of much help if it were a club. I suspect it is a wand or sceptre, that kind of thing, or even simply a toy or doll.

Tim Simmons 23rd October 2020 05:32 PM

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This one is bit of a beast. 55cm long the head is 15cm x 13cm a circumference of roughly 42cm, inlay with a white metal most probably aluminium. Sorry about the rubbish photo but a little sort of light and using the flash.

drac2k 24th October 2020 02:35 PM

Your example, though better carved than mine, I think more closely resembles the facial features of my club; especially the ears and the nose. Do you know where it comes from?

Tim Simmons 24th October 2020 05:50 PM

I am not completely sure but I think it may be from the former French Gabon.

drac2k 25th October 2020 04:52 AM

Awesome piece!

Tim Simmons 25th October 2020 09:17 AM

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Thank you. It is quite impressive and because it was hidden on a shelf when I liquidated the bulk of my collection, I have it still which I am pleased about. I base the Gabon origin on the style of head and faces of Gabon relicquary box carved figures. You can see from this example.

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