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Old 25th October 2020, 12:25 AM   #10
Jim McDougall
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,401
Default odds and ends from old notes

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.
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