A particularly fine example of this iconic weapon was used in the execution of slaves for the human consumption (cannibalism) market. Edward Glave was a travel writer and assistant to Richard Stanley (Stanley and Livingston). In 1890, he witnessed the execution of slaves bound seated with their heads encased in baskets secured to saplings bent over to provide tension. The neck was severed with a single stroke of a sword of this type and the head sent flying then pursued by the intoxicated bystanders. In the morning, vendors offered severed body parts for sale for human consumption. Tattoos on the members confirmed that they were the slaves that he had seen bound the previous night. His report and sketches of the incident were published in London that year. See This example is 27 ¼” in length with an elegantly figural blade finely chiseled in reeded panels along the scalloped back. The forte modeled as three parallel fullers with stipple band edges and three matching bands to the curved point. Copper tape wrapped grip and characteristic large double swelled terminal counterbalancing the blade. Aside from their colorful context, these are among the most sought African weapons owing to their wonderful sculptural appeal.
Item ID: A5216

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