Few African cultures can boast a history as long and as proud as the Kuba who live along the Snakuru River. Their history parallels Great Zimbabwe at its founding and grew along with the Benin. Kuba Chief Shamba-Bolongongo (1600-20) visited Benin and introduced the iconic Kuba knife ikula, which was subsequently represented in Benin sculpture. The Kuba prospered in a society which valued material things and ordinary objects, particularly those associated with the Royal Court, were made to the highest standard. Their geographic location and the ferocity of their warriors made them virtually free from the predation of slavers though they themselves were among the most feared of slavers.
Transitional period with fully developed wasp waisted blade with raised medial flat and offset edges within bands of incised lines. Wood hilt of fully developed form carved with bands of closely set transverse incisions, in transverse lines flanking large zigzag motifs, to the pommel, medial and flared base. That decoration either portending or imitating the bands of pewter inlay more commonly found. Surface encrusted trough with fine age/use character. 9" length blade.