Tabwa Ceremonial Knife (Congo)


Tabwa ceremonial knife, Congo

Scabbard with ancestor detail, Tabwa ceremonial knife

Code: AS3

This is a tribal ceremonial knife from the Tabwa (also called Batabwa, Taabwa) tribe, located in the southeastern Dem. Rep. of Congo. The diamond shaped blade is too thin to be a functional weapon (although I have no doubt it would cut you nicely if given the opportunity). The hilt, representing an ancestor figure, as well as the face appearing on the scabbard indicate this may have been the property of a village chief or sorcerer, who alone were allowed to possess prestige items of ancestor worship.   The Tabwa are known for their excellent carving.

Read more about the Tabwa

Hilt with ancestor detail, Tabwa ceremonial knife