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Old 26th October 2020, 07:13 PM   #11
Marc M.
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Belgium
Posts: 45

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
This is a VERY nice takouba! and I just wanted to add some notes 'passim' from some years back. A guy who had been working in the Sahara and had acquired some takouba's noted one he had with a lion in a 'sphinx' like pose on the blade.
He got this in Ouagadougo, but said it had come from Arlit (north af Agadez)

The 1926 book, "People of the Veil" by Francis Rennell Rodd (p.233), notes that some 'masri' blades had the mark of a small couchant lion, and these marks on the blades were of course in line with the folk religion of the regions, imbued magic into the blades.
Rodd had been in the Air regions of Niger, which corresponds to the previous note of these marks in Agadez examples.

While the lion seems to have key symbolism in West Africa, it is interesting to note that these particular examples resemble trademarks using lion by C.Lutters & Co. from c. 1840s (Bezdek, p.147).

In the Sahara, the snake it seems has certain reference to a 'holy person' , and in Sudan it is seen on motif with the 'lohr' (prayer panel) along with religious symbolism. The snake is also often seen on Persian blades and symbolism, which often was prevalent Sudan.

There is a great deal of cross pollination of influences from Sahara into Sudan and vice versa, so it is hard to pinpoint exactly how these details fit together. But these notes perhaps might offer some insight into the takouba posted here.
Hi Jim
Thanks for your comment and the notes, i shall try too look them up.
Reading some recent and older posts on takouba's, there seems to be a great interest in the markings on these blades. beside this forum its hard too find any additionel info on these markings, especially the native ones.
We know that a lot of Europian blades came into Africa marked and unmarked, numbers are unknown i believe. Europian marks are mostly registerd so more easily traceable.Native markings are somewhat more difficult to date also place of origin and meaning. There is a great variety in quality and size of these markings. So just a thought, perhaps it could be an idea to start a thread where takouba and kaskara collectors post their blades with Europian and native markings for comparisation and discussion.
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