Jul 1, 2009
Jul 1, 2009



before 1916

Iron, wood, and copper alloy

Overall: 36.1 cm (14 3/16 in.); Blade: 24.7 cm (9 3/4 in.)

Gift of J. H. Wade 1916.721



The Kuba, also known as the Bushongo or "People of the Throwing Knife," used knives as symbols of civic authority. Chiefs and other members of the ruling elite carried this type (ikul). Introduced by King Shyaam in the second quarter of the 17th century, the ikul replaced the warrior's throwing knife and proclaimed an era of peace. Note the elaborate inlaid metal patterns in the handle and the incised lines in the blade.

See also
African Art
African Art
Type of artwork: 
Arms and Armor
Credit line: 
Gift of J. H. Wade

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