Ngombe / Poto Ceremonial Short Sword – Mopamba

15351 Category:

Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo

Date: Early 20C.


The Blacksmiths of the Ngombe and Poto people greatly influenced iron work in all neighboring tribes and people (See Westerdijk below). This is also reflected in the production of blades. The Mopamba short sword is a good example and it exist in many tribes around. The Mopamba sword is characterized by the wide blade with “Ears” at the blade forte. The handle  is sometimes covered with hide or fur filled with herb and other medical substances to protect the sword bearer. In many cases this handle cover is lost.

A nice early exemplar is offered below. Classical blade shape lightly engraved in geometrical design. Dot chased brass blade forte and grip and with the original hide pommel wrap.

Blade length 17inches. Total 25 inches. Very good condition to age. original untouched patina on the blade. Minor blade nicks. Stitches of the pommel hide cover are lightly loose. Original and authentic early 20C. sword.

See also: Peter Westerdijk “African Metal Implements and Regalia” page 30, Fig. 18
 a nice representative group of five similar sword in Bowers Museum Santa Ana CA


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