Second half of the 19th century. 11 1/4" length. Dark wood haft with flared butt and expanded terminal set with two clusters of trade tacks each side and a row along the front edge. 4 3/8" iron blade with flared crescent form edge and hammer raised front edge. Decorated with trade tacks, a few lacking. The Songye were slavers and raiders who brought ivory, rubber and slaves to market. As well, they were cannibals who, like Fijians, preferred human flesh to animal. Their elite Zappo Zap were mercenaries in the employ of the Congo Free State and various others. They were cannibals who “hunted humans for food even when other game was available”, tattooed their faces and filed their teeth to points. In 1899, they were commissioned to collect taxes (booty) from villagers, many of whom were massacred and eaten. Slavery for the Arab market continued well into the 20th century and the Songye were primary suppliers.

Item ID: FNS5896

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