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Old 4th April 2005, 07:03 PM   #1
Tim Simmons
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This was the first thing I bought this year back in february.I know it is a Congo spear but can not find any pictures of this type of spear to say which tribal region it may come from.Any opinions wold be helpful.This might be one for Freddy.Oa length 172cm, blade length 35cm.Thanks Tim
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Old 5th April 2005, 04:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
This was the first thing I bought this year back in february.I know it is a Congo spear but can not find any pictures of this type of spear to say which tribal region it may come from.Any opinions wold be helpful.This might be one for Freddy.Oa length 172cm, blade length 35cm.Thanks Tim
Hi Tim

Very nice spear! I agree with you it's from the Congo possibly Kuba?

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Old 5th April 2005, 07:17 PM   #3
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Hi Tim. Indeed a very nice spear.

I searched in some of my books and this is the result :

IJzerwerk van Centraal-Afrika (Ironwork from Central Africa) by H. Westerdijk

This type of spear comes from the Northwestern part of Congo and is attributed to the following tribes : Ngbandi, Bati, Benge Poto, Ngombe and "Gens d'eau". H. Westerdijk states that this type of spear blade is found over a wide area as the blades were probably traded. Each tribe fitted their own type of shaft to them.

Dodelijk mooi / Beauté fatale (Deadly beauty), an exhibition catalogue from the 80's

A similar spear is pictured in this catalogue, attributed to the Ngbaka, Ngome and Doko-tribes in Congo.

These types of spears are used for thrusting, not for throwing. You might have noticed that your spear is quite heavy. The idea is to thrust the spear through the shield of the opponent. This is also the reason why a lot of the thrusting spears from the Congo Basin have long and heavy spear blades.

Here are 4 similar spears from my collection. All have a spear blade with a similar shape and long neck. You might notice that the butts differ. Some end in a spike, others are blunt. But all have some kind of metal weight added to counterbalance the heavy spear blade. Often there's also iron or copper winding on the shaft. The grip of the spear can be carved on the more luxurious ones.
Look at the spear, first from the left, this one has a butt which has the shape of a small spear head.
Some even have a bell attached to the butt.

The total length of my spears varies between 1m58 and 1m86.
The lenght of the spear blades is between 20 and 44 cm
The length of the spear blades with 'neck' is between 65 and 86,5 cm.

I hope the pictures are clear enough.











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Old 5th April 2005, 07:19 PM   #4
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In a german book, Waffen aus Zentral-Afrika (Weapons from Central Africa) from the Etnografic Museum in Frankfurt am Main, I found two drawings with similar spears.





I hope this answers your question, Tim. The books, I quoted, are unfortunately not published in english (only in german, dutch and french). They are all not easily obtainable. If you can get them, don't hesitate. They are a great help for identifying your congolese weapons. Freddy
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Old 5th April 2005, 07:26 PM   #5
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Arrow Kuba spears

Lew,

Kuba spears usually have small diamond shaped heads. Sorry, but I can't show you a picture.

Still need a Kuba spear for my collection

Freddy
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Old 5th April 2005, 07:35 PM   #6
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Freddy you are a star,is that German book still available?I will post some more spear latter tonight.Thank you very much .Tim
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Old 5th April 2005, 08:06 PM   #7
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Hello all, I have two spear with blades the same shape, as the one the chap on the right is holding,the information with the picture is that these gentlemen are Lokele from near Stanley Falls which is western Congo I believe, and that they are holding dress spears.I shall post the one most similar first.Mine is not clean and shiney like his.Tim
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Old 5th April 2005, 08:20 PM   #8
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This one has the same shape blade,I do not think it is as old as the first one.It does not have the binding.I think it is a chiefs spear,the shaft is oddly thin and plain.The blade is 64cm long including the socket, with a total length of just over 2m.Tim
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Old 5th April 2005, 08:54 PM   #9
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You have seen this one before but not close up.This one is Kuba?
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Old 5th April 2005, 10:02 PM   #10
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Hello dear friends, what a beatiful spears!!. I want to show you my Ngombe spear.
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Old 6th April 2005, 07:43 AM   #11
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That is very nice, this one is from East Africa again I am not 100% sure which tribal group it is from,I just call it one of my Massi spears.If you think Congo thrusting spears are strong and heavy you have to handle one of these.Tim
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Old 7th April 2005, 07:42 PM   #12
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Hi Tim,

You are quite right as to the origin of the first two spears. I looked it up in 'Deadly Beauty' and the author gives the following tribes : Lokele, So, Mba, Hanga, Mongelima.

Westerdijk states that these types of spear were used by the So, Olombo and Lokele.

The third one, you showed, is not Kuba. It's definitively a Ngbandi spear, from the same area as the ones I showed. Only difference : the shape of the spear blade.

Here's a similar example to yours :







Look at the carved middle piece and the typical butt.


A Kuba spear has a much smaller and diamond shaped blade.

I found a picture in Westerdijk. The Kuba spear blade are the smaller ones on the left and the right (not the two in the middle)




Flavio,

In 'Westerdijk' your spear is attributed to the Sakara- and/or Ngando-tribe from Central Congo. He adds that this type of spear was also used by tribes living more to the south of this area : Kutu, Bole and Yela.
It's a war spear, with a shovel-shaped butt piece. Also the copper winding is typical for this type of spear. A flat strip of copper is used to wind around the shaft. Other tribes usually use thick copper thread.

Nice spear. I'm jealous.....I don't have one (yet)
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Old 7th April 2005, 08:04 PM   #13
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Thank you Freddy, wonderful information.I have another one but a little lighter.I aslo post the classic East African spear just simple elegant beauty,thanks Tim.
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Old 8th April 2005, 07:20 PM   #14
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Question Who knows ?

Nice Masai spear, Tim.

I also have a question concerning a spear point. I just picked this one up today. It's a bit of a puzzle to me.

Most spear blades from the Congo region don't have a tang. They are fitted over the shaft. This one has a tang....and I know it comes from Congo. It came to Belgium with a family when they had to leave at the independence of Congo.

It's a small piece, 26,4 cm in total, with a tang of 7,4 cm. There is some geometric decoration between the tang and the actual blade of the spear point.



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Old 8th April 2005, 07:39 PM   #15
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Hello Freddy,thats a bit of a puzzle.The tang spear is more of a southern thing.Did the donor leave the extreme south of Belgium Congo.It is not from southern Africa.These things are not set in tablets of stone , and we will come across surprises.Tim
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Old 8th April 2005, 08:18 PM   #16
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It could be Tshokwe, but I'm not sure. I just don't find any info on the way their spear blades were fixed to the shaft. I know the spear heads were small, but that's all.

Here are two more beauties :



Yakoma-tribe (possibly also Ngbandi) :



and

Nkundu-, Konda- or Lia-tribe :

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Old 8th April 2005, 09:10 PM   #17
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They are beauties,I am running out of spears, I still have a few up my sleave.Flavio might have one or two.This one is back to the south sahara and another chiefly status piece.The leaf shaped blade is 17cm long not including the decorated socket part.Tim
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Old 9th April 2005, 12:03 AM   #18
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Tim, you are allright. Here it's my Swazi spear from South Africa. I have also a recent, I think, Masai spear and a Turkana one (that is quite difficult to take a pictures: it's 2.54 m long!), but at this moment i haven't good pics.
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Old 9th April 2005, 01:51 PM   #19
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Hello Flavio,I would like to see the Turkana spear.I can see you have worked hard to display your collection,that makes me feel very lazy This is the big one,from the Sudan total length 3.06m, blade not including socket 38cm.It is a bit awkward having it hang around the home.It was probably used by somebody mounted on a camel.Tim
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Old 9th April 2005, 05:21 PM   #20
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Hello Tim GREAT Spear!! some time ago there is this pictures on the site. The spear seems the same. Now i haven't more pics of the turkana spear but it is similar to that of the pic.
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Old 10th April 2005, 07:59 PM   #21
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The Ngbandi, Bati and Benge also made very decorative spears. The handle and butt are basically the same as with the big stabbing spears, but the spear blades are beautifully forged.

They show a variety of hooks and twisted stemms. Probably these spears were more for show than for battle. Nevertheless, I would like to be hit by one of them.

The length of these spear tips is almost 68 cm.







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