Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Miscellania

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 16th September 2020, 01:50 AM   #1
gp
Member
 
gp's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 322
Default Old African scarification knives from Congo

Although I noticed African knives have been discussed occassionally here since appox 2007 , I could not find anything on Scarification (AKA tattoo) knives?
Whilst it was / is such an important part of their cultural heritage. Next pricewise, these knives are not cheap at all, compared to the "normal" ones...

Quite frequently present in pre 50-ies / 60-ies Africa, one does not see it anymore that often. Also North Africa, especially the Magreb.
I personally recall the first generation Amazigh women in the early 70-ies in the Netherlands and Belgium wearing proud their green coloured tattoos on their chin and forehead. But that's another story...

Back to the Congo. Enclosed a couple of pics of the scarification results and some of the knives, which are between 10 and 19 cm long.
A link on how this is done ( from Benin ) is not for the faint-hearted though...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lfhot7tQcWs
Attached Images
           

Last edited by gp; 16th September 2020 at 02:40 AM.
gp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th September 2020, 01:51 AM   #2
gp
Member
 
gp's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 322
Default

a few more. even in statues they were shown
Attached Images
     

Last edited by gp; 16th September 2020 at 02:07 AM.
gp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th September 2020, 03:37 AM   #3
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,830
Default

Moving this to Miscellaneous section.

Interesting pieces.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th September 2020, 08:32 PM   #4
gp
Member
 
gp's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 322
Default

Enclosed my latest "gain " : a Mangbetu dagger (sape or sapi), although its origin could also be Boa
It was used by both men and women, with or without sheath / leather scabbard.
Length is 16 cm and it is multifunctional: shaving, circumcision and scarifications.

The lady on the picture was photographed by Herbert Lang in Poko, August 1913 whose field notes confirmed that in his time many of these daggers were created to demonstrate wealth and status as well.
Attached Images
   

Last edited by gp; 27th September 2020 at 09:39 PM.
gp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2020, 03:52 AM   #5
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,830
Default

I have seen scarification up close on Nigerian fellow students (a sign of not ever being a slave nor their family).

Interesting to see the tools used. Must be crazy painful though.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st September 2021, 12:02 AM   #6
gp
Member
 
gp's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 322
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara View Post
I have seen scarification up close on Nigerian fellow students (a sign of not ever being a slave nor their family).

Interesting to see the tools used. Must be crazy painful though.
"a sign of not ever being a slave" even more; it showed their "belonging" such as tribe, position and membership to a (secret) society
Attached Images
        
gp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th September 2021, 04:11 PM   #7
Kmaddock
Member
 
Kmaddock's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Ireland
Posts: 408
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gp View Post
"a sign of not ever being a slave" even more; it showed their "belonging" such as tribe, position and membership to a (secret) society
Hard to see how it is a secret membership when you are displaying your membership so openly though

Regards
Ken
Kmaddock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd October 2021, 01:15 AM   #8
gp
Member
 
gp's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 322
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaddock View Post
Hard to see how it is a secret membership when you are displaying your membership so openly though

Regards
Ken

...not secret for the Congolese ( wrong word as there are so many tribes in what is called Congo) and or other Africans but secret for the colonial "masters" who in their "superiority" prejudice often either ignored or underestimated these cultures...and hence didn't understand these signs

Similar like the green tattoos of the North African women did not mean anything to the French and Spannish but would tell you a lot about the specific woman
gp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2021, 12:02 PM   #9
gp
Member
 
gp's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 322
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gp View Post
...not secret for the Congolese ( wrong word as there are so many tribes in what is called Congo) and or other Africans but secret for the colonial "masters" who in their "superiority" prejudice often either ignored or underestimated these cultures...and hence didn't understand these signs

Similar like the green tattoos of the North African women did not mean anything to the French and Spannish but would tell you a lot about the specific woman
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmaddock View Post
Hard to see how it is a secret membership when you are displaying your membership so openly though

Regards
Ken
just thinking, don't we in the EU and the Anglo-Saxon world have not also "secret" organisations people know about but only which only members the details...

think of f.i. Skull and Bones... , or less "heavy"some tie-wearing folks in the UK and Eire showing their belonging to Oxbridge, Eton-ic kind of schools which might bring priviliges in the concerned folks future ...Or as you live in Ireland, if your name is tied to a grandparent who had a certain status not only during the Troubles but since the eary 1920-ies...from either side
gp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.