Southern Sudan, C.1880-90, Mahdist War. Hardwood, 27 3/4" length, tapered from the center to the scarified grip and egg shaped terminal opposite. Small hole for a wrist thong. Skillfully made and finely finished. An extremely lethal weapon which, when secured to the wrist by the leather thong provided a leveraged extension to the owner’s muscular arm. Its use, at closest quarters, demanded "kill or be killed" dedication fueled by religious fanaticism, clearly equivalent to today’s suicide bombers. The self-sacrificial dedication of the Mahdi’s followers is graphically demonstrated by the statistics of the Battle of Omdurman, where 10,000 were killed, and 13,000 wounded at the cost of 47 British lives. Of all weapons facing the British .577 Enfield, the club had the least chance of success and must be considered nothing less than a suicidal attack.

Item ID: FNS1501

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