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Old 2nd May 2021, 11:19 AM   #1
Sajen
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Default Need help to identify a Congo (?) dagger

I just have won a big African dagger, it's 52,5 cm overall, could it be a Lengola dagger?
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Old 2nd May 2021, 09:13 PM   #2
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Nice piece - congratulations
Just trawling though some books and Lengola does seem to be closest in blade form. The blade shape, narrowing at the base and central raised spine is very close. Less sure about the hilt because the only good example I found so far has a carved figural hilt. Overall size fits too. But this is just one example I found in Panga na visu.
I hope someone who knows more will chime in.
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Old 2nd May 2021, 10:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mefidk View Post
Nice piece - congratulations
Just trawling though some books and Lengola does seem to be closest in blade form. The blade shape, narrowing at the base and central raised spine is very close. Less sure about the hilt because the only good example I found so far has a carved figural hilt. Overall size fits too. But this is just one example I found in Panga na visu.
I hope someone who knows more will chime in.
Thank you very much for comment! It seems we have searched the same source! The example from panga na visnu is the only example I found with a similar blade shape, the only difference is indeed the figural handle.
I hope as well that someone with more knowledge I have will chime in.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 3rd May 2021, 10:06 AM   #4
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Great item. By the taper on the bottom of the blade, could this be a repurposed spearhead made into a sword? It was not an uncommon practice throughout countless societies to utilize captured weapons for the victor's needs.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 10:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
Great item. By the taper on the bottom of the blade, could this be a repurposed spearhead made into a sword? It was not an uncommon practice throughout countless societies to utilize captured weapons for the victor's needs.
Hello Drac2k,

A good hint and a possibility. But which spear head would fit?

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Detlef
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Old 3rd May 2021, 04:45 PM   #6
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Beautiful! Congratulations, interesting purchase.
The attribution to the Lengola people would seem correct to me too, but one could perhaps also evaluate the Lega people as a candidate: Lengola knives often have a more rounded shape on the sides.
I am less convinced by the possibility that it is a spearhead fixed to a knife handle, for a very simple reason: African spearheads are almost always "female", while knives always have a tang that enters the handle. .. doesn't it seem to you too?
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Old 3rd May 2021, 05:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duccio View Post
Beautiful! Congratulations, interesting purchase.
The attribution to the Lengola people would seem correct to me too, but one could perhaps also evaluate the Lega people as a candidate: Lengola knives often have a more rounded shape on the sides.
I am less convinced by the possibility that it is a spearhead fixed to a knife handle, for a very simple reason: African spearheads are almost always "female", while knives always have a tang that enters the handle. .. doesn't it seem to you too?
Thank you very much Duccio!
I have also contacted Wolf-Dieter Miersch who also stated that it's Lega knife and since the Lengola people are neighbours it will be one of this both possibilities.
Here is a Lega knife from his site: http://www.africanarms.com/gallery?9-lega-sword-56-cm which I've seen by my research but was jarred by the small iron pin in up from the handle!
He stated that these knives come with this pin but also without.
And yes, you are correct, African knives have nearly always a tang.

Best regards,
Detlef
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Old 3rd May 2021, 05:51 PM   #8
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Here a little bit more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lega_people
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Old 3rd May 2021, 06:06 PM   #9
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This looks right to me too. I found a couple more examples of knives of this form but without the figural hilt. Both examples have that same hour-glass shape, although neither are an exact match, one is also wound with copper wire.
These two examples (Fatal beauty, Chinese/English version figs 312-313) are attributed to Lega, Leka, Mituku, Lengola and Songola.
Blades look the same though.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 06:14 PM   #10
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Yes, all this are neighbouring ethnos, here another picture Wolf-Dieter send me before.
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