African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kuba Sword

Kuba Sword (N° 25558)

A masculine attribute, the Ikula ("peace") knife is not a weapon but a symbol of social status. This symbol of authority was also very weak. Kuba blacksmiths may have taken inspiration from Benin knives, which have a similar shape, introduced by the Dutch. It was following a royal decree that wooden knives appeared, the king forbidding iron on full moon nights. The blade is engraved with braided patterns repeated on the handle. The handle is made of wood, in its center copper inlays form small checkerboards.
Several tribes make up the Kuba group, established between the Sankuru and Kasaï rivers: Bushoong, Ngeendé, Binji, Wongo, Kété, etc... Each of them produced a variety of sculptures, statues, prestigious objects, masks, frequently decorated geometric patterns.
The Kuba, whose name means "lightning" also produced African tools and weapons, including throwing knives, which later became transaction values, and heavy war swords, Ilwoon.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, copper
Height cm46
Width10 cm
Weight0.78 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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