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Old 15th January 2021, 07:52 AM   #1
Mefidk
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Default African dagger for ID

Hi folks
I just received this along with some 19C N.African swords. Its really quite a nice knife, and better quality than many I've seen. Its not something I know anything about - possibly Manding/Mali? Seems to have some age, but for all I know might be a standard tourist item.
Any pointers so that I can write something sensible on the tag gratefully received.
/Chris
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Old 15th January 2021, 08:44 AM   #2
Kubur
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Hi Chris,

This is not a tourist item at all!

It's a Mandingo dagger that you can find from Senegal to Ivory coast I guess.
Very nice...

The holes in the blade make me think that your dagger is connected somehow to Caboverde and Spanish influences.

So probably a 19th c. dagger from the coast.

Kubur
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Old 16th January 2021, 05:12 AM   #3
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Kubur has already given you all the correct info. I can only add that a knife with a similar hilt is the first item shown in "Panga Na Visu", where Zirngibl identifies it as Mandingo based on the leatherwork and states that these are encountered from Senegal all the way to Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast.
A member of this forum, WoDiMi, who has an excellent site with pretty much any African weapon you can imagine, shows a few of these and also identifies them as Mandingo:

http://www.africanarms.com/gallery?7...dagger-37-5-cm

http://www.africanarms.com/gallery?0...agger-36-42-cm

http://www.africanarms.com/gallery?4...-39-7-cm-54-cm

http://www.africanarms.com/gallery?m...dagger-53-7-cm

Really nice dagger, congratulations!
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Old 16th January 2021, 07:45 AM   #4
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Thank you Kuber & TVV - I will correctly label and display with pride then
Nice to find something good by accident.
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Old 16th January 2021, 07:48 AM   #5
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and what a fantastic website WoDiMi has - thanks for linking to it.
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Old 16th January 2021, 12:18 PM   #6
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What a collection!!!! I hope WoDiMi has thought about its preservation as a whole collection on his demise. To see it broken up would be a tragedy.
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Old 16th January 2021, 05:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
What a collection!!!! I hope WoDiMi has thought about its preservation as a whole collection on his demise. To see it broken up would be a tragedy.
I have no idea what Wolfgang's plans are for his collection, but since we are all only temporary holders of our items, the natural thing is that they all pass to other collectors to cherish and enjoy. I do not see anything tragic in that, the tragedy would be if they all end up in the storage room of a museum that has little interest in studying and displaying them. Now, if he were to publish a catalogue of the collection, that would be fantastic and I would want a copy for sure.
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Old 16th January 2021, 05:50 PM   #8
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Here, here Theodore. Well said!
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Old 16th January 2021, 06:24 PM   #9
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I am with you guys that it should be ideally seen as a whole collection some how.
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Old 16th January 2021, 06:51 PM   #10
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Many knives on Wolf-Dieter's website are already sold to other collectors, but remain figured on his website.
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Old 17th January 2021, 05:25 PM   #11
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Chris, this is a very nice Mande' dagger from the Western Sahara regions complete with sheath, certainly 19th century. Here is one from my collection made of ivory but unfortunately missing its sheath. You got lucky with a very nice catch!

Best,
Geoff
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Old 18th January 2021, 10:22 PM   #12
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Hi,
I am not arguing with any of the experts here. Just want to add my perspective. Mandingo/Mandinka/Mande people is quite a large group that is present in several countries and associated with several types of daggers.
I think that this one may be from slightly to the north of Mandingo area - namely Mauritania or Western Sahara.
A dagger somewhat similar to this one was discussed in the forum (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ght=Mauritania) where it was called Moorish dagger from Mauritania. The designation "Moorish"could also relate to the shape of the hilt which is somewhat reminiscent of much earlier daggers from Moorish Spain.
Anyway, the one in the picture was sold on ebay sometime ago and was described by the seller as 'Assanya dagger, from the neighbours of the Tuareg".
The opinion of an ebay seller is generally a very bad source, but this one is specialized in North and West African weapons and I know him to be quite reliable with his descriptions.
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Old 20th January 2021, 09:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
Hi,
I am not arguing with any of the experts here. Just want to add my perspective. Mandingo/Mandinka/Mande people is quite a large group that is present in several countries and associated with several types of daggers.
I think that this one may be from slightly to the north of Mandingo area - namely Mauritania or Western Sahara.
A dagger somewhat similar to this one was discussed in the forum (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ght=Mauritania) where it was called Moorish dagger from Mauritania. The designation "Moorish"could also relate to the shape of the hilt which is somewhat reminiscent of much earlier daggers from Moorish Spain.
Anyway, the one in the picture was sold on ebay sometime ago and was described by the seller as 'Assanya dagger, from the neighbours of the Tuareg".
The opinion of an ebay seller is generally a very bad source, but this one is specialized in North and West African weapons and I know him to be quite reliable with his descriptions.
Good observation by Motan. The sophisticated construction and style of these daggers (as originally posted by Mefidk), also the inclusion of those small brass circles as decoration in the wood is more akin to Tuareg work/influence. Although they are often ascribed to the Manding/Malinke I feel they are actually from further north, although no doubt there was crossover involved.
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