From the collection of: Iain Norman


Early to mid 19th century likely - Bornu Empire, possibly Northern Cameroon.


An interesting old sword from the border region between Nigeria and Northern Cameroon. This style of sword was apparently used in the areas controlled by the Bornu empire and as such would in fact be more properly called a kasakar (kaskara) in the dominant Kanuri language!

The pommel style is one that seems to be only found on very old swords. This example is iron. Small incised line decoration can be seen as well as an old repair.

Blade is native made, and of somewhat rough appearance with a large forging flaw on display! However the flex and hardness of the steel is in fact excellent. One of the better blades I have seen. A somewhat decorative single narrow fuller is present.

The hilt is leather and brass, the leather design looks original, there is some wear on the edge but it seems intentionally cut rather than just having disintegrated off the brass. The cross guard is iron and from what I can see poking under the leather probably didn’t have the full brass plate treatment at any point but was in fact hilted like this.

Overall a nice example of an old, hard working sword from within the regions of one of the greatest empires Africa ever saw.


Overall 91cm, blade 76cm.