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Gallery Ezakwantu

African Art  - Art Africain - Tribal Art -  菲洲艺术 - Afrikanische Kunst


Central and Southern African Tribal Art

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African Weapons

West African - North African - East African

..... and a dagger from Bosnia Herzegovina  ☺

Armes de combat de l’Afrique du Nord - Nordafrikanische Waffen








Throwing Knifes - Circa 1900


Lakka - Kapsiki - Falli


Cameroon -Nigeria




Throwing blade held at Tibbu-Männer


The cradle of throwing knives is the Sahara. Most likely they evolved from throwing sticks in the area of Kordofan and Tibesti in the Sudan and Chad.


South of the Mandara mountains in northern Cameroon and Nigeria are found the Kapsiki, Falli and Margi tribes. These people all share a related  form of throwing knife.


According to ethnological literature, the blade was intentionally shaped to represent the rooster, which played an important part of their beliefs.


These throwing knives served as weapons and were "worn" as status items.


Click this map to view the throwing Blades of Central Africa



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Berber Dagger - Morocco


Early Collected



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Ornamental daggers in Morocco intermingled with Moorish, Arabic and Berber cultures. This Berber dagger is from the central anti Atlas mountain region, south of the high Atlas Mountain range. The cord is old and original, as well as typical of the dagger type.




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Ceremonial Spear


Somali - Danakil Influence



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This circa 1900 Northeast African spear blade or head, displays wirework related to that of East and Southeast Africa. Arabs traded ideas and wire along the entire coastal region.


Be sure to click the thumbs above to view more detailed images of the artifacts extremely fine wirework.



Bill Marsh Collection



Wolf-Dieter Miersch Collection


The two items above exhibit related wire work to that on the spear blade on offer.


The dagger is Somali Danakil influenced and the spear Amhara or Somal.


Neither are owned by the gallery and only shown to assist with identification.




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Ceremonial Ethiopian Spear


Circa 1900  




The iron work patterns which appear on this four pronged spearhead, confirm it is of  late 19th century Ethiopian manufacture. This was obtained from the same old collection as the other spearhead above.




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Haussa - Tuareg Arm Knife




Tuareg -1907 Postcard




The Tuareg (also known as Twareg, Touareg, Amazigh, Imuhagh and  Itargiyen, are a nomadic pastoralist people and the principal inhabitants of the Saharan interior of North Africa. Today the Tuareg inhabit parts of Niger, Mali, Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso. 


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This Haussa / Tuareg knife or dagger would have originated in Mali or Burkina Faso, where the two peoples overlap. These were worn concealed under robes, strapped onto the upper arm.


Half the hilt is covered with finely decorated ironwork.



Tuareg History





Descended from Berbers in the region that is now Libya, the Tuareg are descendants of ancient Saharan peoples described by Herodotus, who mentions the ancient Libyan people, the Garamantes. Archaeological testimony is the ruins of Germa. Later, they expanded southward, into the Sahel.

For over two millennia, the Tuareg operated the trans Saharan caravan trade connecting the great cities on the southern edge of the Sahara via five desert trade routes to the northern (Mediterranean) coast of Africa.The Tuareg adopted camel nomadism along with its distinctive form of social organization from camel herding Arabs about two thousand years ago, when the camel was introduced to the Sahara from Saudi Arabia. Like numerous African and other groups in pre-modern times, the Tuareg once took captives, either for trade or for domestic purposes; those who were not sold became assimilated into the Tuareg community. Captive servants and herdsmen formed a component of the division of labor of these nomads.

In the late nineteenth century, the Tuareg resisted the French invasion of their Central Saharan homelands for the purpose of colonization. Tuareg broadswords were no match for the more advanced weapons of French squadrons, and after numerous massacres on both sides, the Tuareg were subdued and required to sign treaties in Mali 1905 and Niger 1917. In southern Algeria, the French met some of the strongest resistance from the Ahaggar Tuareg. Their Amenokal, traditional chief Moussa ag Amastan, fought numerous battles in defense of the region. Finally, Tuareg territories were taken under French governance and their confederations were largely dismantled and reorganized.


Niger - Tuareg

Before French colonization, the Tuareg were organized into loose confederations, each consisting of a dozen or so tribes. Each of the main groups had a traditional leader called Amenokal along with an assembly of tribal chiefs. The groups were the Kel Ahaggar, Kel Ajjer, Kel Ayr, Adrar n Fughas, Iwəlləmədan, and Kel Gres.




German  Tuareg


Following the independence of African countries in 1960s, Tuareg territory was artificially divided into the modern nations of  Niger, Mali, Algeria, Libya and Burkina Faso.







Galerie Ezakwantu

Southern African Tribal Art - African Art 


Central and Southern African Tribal Art


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