CLARKE and CLARKE Art + Artifacts
Mangbetu, Sickle Knife

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: African: Weapons: Pre 1950: item # 1007406

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CLARKE & CLARKE Art + Artifacts
7605 SE 27th Street
Mercer Island, Washington 98040

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Mangbetu, Sickle Knife

Called Trumbash by the Mangbetu, this artistically appealing knife has been the subject of much misinformation. According to both Werner Fischer and Verlag Morsak, this well forged knife was for prestige. Worn or carried at important events, it symbolized the importance and wealth of the individual owners. Iron had to be traded for at great expense and thus represented power in all its forms. This knife with its well crafted blade and traditional wood handle, was often considered a kind of currency in negotiating important agreements among the Mangbetu and their neighbors. The good quality blade has darkened with age, yet the craftsmanship is apparent. The wood handle is in the traditional shape often found on this style of knife. It has one crack as shown, but is in all other respects in very good condition. First half of the 20thC. Overall length, 14.5", handle 6", blade 8.5 x 7"

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