From the collection of: Iain Norman

Attribution

Likely 19th century - possibly Lobi although a kingdom in that area seems more likely?

Comments

A very puzzling sword, collected from the Lobi people in Burkina Faso the sword has many similarities with the weaponry of the Mandara mountain region. Possibly it would have been used against the Lobi - a hunter gatherer people - by one of the kingdoms that raided them for slaves, such as the Kénédougou Kingdom or the Guiriko Kingdom.

As the Lobi were known for the use of bows and poisoned arrows primarily it seems likely this sword is from another ethnic group and simply was found among the Lobi who may have acquired it in any number of circumstances.

The hilt is of two piece construction, the guard and the handle with the pommel incorporated into the latter in one solid piece. Both components are solid brass, heavily darkened with age and probably wood smoke due to long storage (weapons often being stored in the roof of the owner’s hut).

The blade is of a diamond cross section and rather heavy. There is little flex and a few kinks, presumably from poor storage conditions. The edge has some damage consistent with use.

Measurements

Overall: 81cm or roughly 32 inches.