From the collection of: Iain Norman


Likely 19th century - Chamba.


Providing an interesting counterpoint to takouba this short sword bears some visual resemblance to takouba, particularly in the pommel. It is an entirely iron weapon. The Chamba people share something of a shared heritage with some of the larger Sahel empires and were marginalized over time due to their traditional religious beliefs and resistance to Islam. This included several migrations into what is now the border area between Nigeria and Cameroon.

The method of manufacture for this sword is easy to surmise. The blade is beaten out of the iron rods, the tang is flatter moving to rounded at the base of the pommel clearly showing this. The blade is thick and with a central ridge as each side is hammered to an edge. Next the guard is inserted over the tang and snugged to the base of the blade. Then the pommel is formed by twisting the tang rod into a conical stack which is later ground to a smooth finish. In this way the blade, tang, and pommel are integral giving excellent strength to the weapon. The pommel form is purely a function of the construction without decoration.

In combination with a shield, which would have been standard in warfare of the time, this small sword would have been deadly at close quarters. The raw, bare essentials approach in the design may give valuable insight into how the precursor to more modern takouba might have looked. 


Overall: 50cm or roughly 20 inches.