Rare Dagger of the Tetela with Ivory Grip
Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo
Date: Early 20C.
Tetela and Genya people from Congo as well as others use daggers with a heavy diamond shaped steel pommel. Numerous suggestions for the actual purpose of this heavy pommel were given: To drop knife from the height of a tree, or to improve the balance and increase the blow of the blade. Both suggestions are non practical. The dagger is not balanced at all and the weight of the pommel diminish balancing. To drop it from the height of a tree is a very complicated task in the dense vegetation of the rain forest.
The heavy pommel is most probably a sign of status wealth and power, or for the use as currency. Classical blade delicately incised with lines and geometrical design. Ivory grip with a rather small pommel steel weight.
Blade 12 inches long. Total length 16 1/2 inches. Very good condition. Age crack on the grip. No scabbard.
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