From the collection of: Iain Norman

Attribution

Likely 19th century or early 20th century - Wute/Baboute, central Cameroon

Comments

This interesting sword is from central Cameroon from the Wute/Baboute people and can be seen in at least one historical photo as carried by a local archer.

The blade is unfortunately not in very good condition with extensive corrosion. It is of a slightly curved form with a single small fuller and two enigmatic marks. The marks are likely based on two symbols - the familar half moons and the so called "sickle" or "eye lash" markings usually associated with Northern Italy, but later used from the Caucasus to India. The marks on this sword consist of a half arch terminated by circles at each end.

The guard is a single piece of iron, the handle leather wrapped and the pommel a large flat disc with a small rounded protrusion at the end. Likely the end of the bar the pommel was flattened from. The pommel is decorated with geometric patterns.

This style of flat pommel is reminiscent of arm daggers in use by the Tebu and related peoples, while the small terminal can be observed also in some short sword styles in Sudan and the flat oval is also noted as a feature of the Fali people of Northern Cameroon/Nigeria. An interesting example of various influences merging into a fairly unique style.

The leather scabbard is typical of Sahel swords.

Measurements

Overall: 82cm