African art > Usual items > Mangbetu Knife

Mangbetu figurative knife (N° 18103)

Among the traditional African weapons, this knife, whose tapered curved blade is accompanied by a circular growth, has an elegant wooden handle with a stylized human motif, associated with ancestors whose spirits were revered. From an early age, upper-class children were compressed in the cranial box, held tight by raffia ties. Later, the hair was 'knitted' on wicker strands and a headband would enser the forehead to bring out the hair and form this majestic headdress accentuating the elongation of the skull.
Parade Arms above all, the Sickle Knives of the Mangbetu formed accessories appreciated during the ritual ceremonies danced and during visits. Established in the forest in northeastern Zaire, between Bomokandi and the River Uele, the Mangbetu kingdom was expressed through architectural works that fascinated European visitors in the 19th century. Several groups established in the south of the Uele were placed under the authority of the Mangbetu kingdom as early as 1820: Bangaba, Makere, Mamvu, etc. A proliferation of prestigious objects, as well as utilitarian objects, were produced for dignitaries.  

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Originex-collection allemande
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal
Weight0.70 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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