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Old 31st October 2010, 02:31 AM   #1
katana
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Default Root Ball headed club...is it African ??

Hi,
acquired a ball headed club, has a lovely glossy patina and is extremely tactile and balanced. Approx 19" (48cms) OAL Ball is nearly 2" diameter. Wood is extremely hard and dense....not certain to wood species but some of grain pattern is visible in some of the pictures. Although on the smaller side, I think this a very capable weapon (my scientific testing method involved gently 'tapping' my head surprisingly painful for so little force.....so I can imagine a full bodied blow could fracture a skull )

Would anyone have any ideas as to origin ? All comments gratefully received, thank you

Regards David

The lighting conditions were not the best, has caused a 'yellowish' hue in most of the pictures
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Old 31st October 2010, 05:39 PM   #2
Tim Simmons
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It looks African to me. I had a similar club, much the same length but a bigger ball and more slender stick for throwing. It too had a line demarking head and stick. I felt sure that my piece was East African. It was on the forum but cannot find it now.
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Old 31st October 2010, 05:49 PM   #3
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A former colleague of my owned such a club. He brought it back from Kenia, where he was stationed by his former employer. He told me that they dug up the root of a tree, wind a wire on the root and covered the root with soil again. After a year the root was dugged up and on the place where the wire was winded the knob was grown.
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Old 31st October 2010, 08:07 PM   #4
Freddy
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I had a club quite similar to yours in the past. It came from Tansania (Gogo tribe). To me the head of this club resembles a monkey's head

Here are some pics :





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Old 31st October 2010, 08:12 PM   #5
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Thank you Tim and Henk ,
for confirming East Africa as the most likely origin. Thinking about it ...I would imagine that it is probably a throwing club but, would be 'handy' as an easily portable 'self defence' weapon. The patina suggests some age....late 19th, early 20thC ??

Kind Regards David

Hi Freddy ,
our posts 'crossed'.....thank you for pictures, nice clubs, again East Africa seems likely with your suggestion of Tanzania
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Old 31st October 2010, 11:07 PM   #6
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David,

That colleague told me how they used that club. The steel was hidden in the sleeve while the knob was resting in the hand. By trouble they releaved the knob and the steel slipped out the sleeve into the hand. It was not in the first place ment as a throwing weapon, although you can throw with everything if necesarry. But it was in the first place an easily portable 'self defence' weapon. Although he wasn't very handy with it, he showed me how it worked when he brought the club with him to the office.

About the age i cann't tell you a thing. But patina can give an estimation about age indeed. What i understood from my colleague is that they still grow or cultivate these clubs today.
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Old 1st November 2010, 04:18 PM   #7
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Hi Henk,
thank you very much for the additional information I agree it (the club) could be easily 'concealed' and it makes perfect sense that it is used for 'self defence'. Actually for this club to an effective throwing club the head would have to be larger and heavier.

Kind Regards David
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