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Sickle-shaped knife. Ngbandi, Yakoma, DR Congo

Wood, iron. L 38 cm.
Swiss Private Collection


Ceremonial weapons are distinguished by their careful manufacture and decorative design, e.g. the ornamentation with valuable materials such as copper, bronze, ivory or fur.

Their original function is thus limited, so that their use as fighting weapons is no longer in the foreground. Rather, they signalised the social status and power of the bearer and were thus rather weapons of cult, pomp, dignity and status that were also used in barter trade.


Ceremonial Knife, DR Congo