African Axes - Status Axes - Currency Axes
Haches Africaines - Afrikanische Axt
Ceremonial Dance Hoe
Miniature hoes called Katemokavamwali were danced at Chokwe, Luchazi, Luvale and Mbunda female initiations called mwali in Angola, DRC - Congo and Western Zambia. Katemokavamwali literally means the hoe of the female initiate. Katemo is hoe, vamwali is of (va) women (mwali) or female initiate...so; Katemo ka vamwali. Katemokavamwali also dances at boys Mukanda ceremonies.
Ila Speaking Girl with a Katemokavamwali - Zambia Initialled Underside
The wooden blades underside has the initials IVD or MD - carved into a backdrop of a larger "D".
Blades were carved from wood or forged by an ironsmith. This example has a wooden blade, was once part of the Southern African Heinz Papen Collection and most likely dates to 1900 -1920.
Another - Mbunda or Related
Blades were carved from wood or forged by an ironsmith. This example has a rare ivory blade, as well as seven ringed ivory laminated sections on the upper hilt and haft.
By 1900 or before, there was an established tradition of laminating flywhisks, staffs and Chimbuya axes with sections of ivory. This is one of only two ivory inlayed Katemokavamwali known to us, both early collected.
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