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Dagger, Sheath, D61.173

Physical Description

Sheath is of several pieces of leather likely covering a wooden or bamboo frame. Tapered to receive the tapered knife the sheath appears to have one large piece of leather covering the whole of it. The edges are sewn together the length of the sheath with what appears to be twisted animal sinew. The top or open end of the sheath has several pieces of dyed white and black leather wrapped around the circumference of the sheath and also sewn with animal sinew(?). Tied into these strengthening pieces of leather are two lengths of braided leather which enter and exit the top edge of the sheath at two points. Near the tapered bottom end of the sheath the black and white straps of leather are repeated but without and lengths of braided leather. The tip of the sheath is exposed (once likely covered) showing two separate pieces of leather which likely extend the full length of the sheath between which the knife blade rests. A raised ridge runs the full length of the sheath on both edges. Likely there lies a strengthening frame of wood or bamboo under the leather to form these ridges.The main body of the sheath/leather is dyed red with the edges inked/dyed black. Various geometrical designs are pressed/stamped into the leather along both sides.

KNIFE: The knife is made of (hand?) forged iron with a double edged tapered blade. The handle is of dark leather (lizard) raised to a knob at the top. Likely this handle is made of wood underneath the leather. A double narrow white strand of leather circles the handle at the top immediately below the knob. Two parallel zigzag lines run approx. 3/4 length of the blade on both sides. Likely the blade continues as a tang up into the handle.

Research Notes

Hausa

Likely sub-Sahara area, e.g. Northern Nigeria, Northern Ghana. Other acquisitions suggest donor was in "Gold Coast" which subsequently became Ghana.

Sheath of leather, possibly lizard. Knife handle of leather, possibly lizard. Leather is likely covering a wooden handle. Knife blade of metal - iron(?).

General use and protection. Sheath is of several pieces of leather likely covering a wooden or bamboo frame. Tapered to receive the tapered knife the sheath appears to have one large piece of leather covering the whole of it. The edges are sewn together the length of the sheath with what appears to be twisted animal sinew. The top or open end of the sheath has several pieces of dyed white and black leather wrapped around the circumference of the sheath and also sewn with animal sinew(?). Tied into these strengthening pieces of leather are two lengths of braided leather which enter and exit the top edge of the sheath at two points. Near the tapered bottom end of the sheath the black and white straps of leather are repeated but without and lengths of braided leather. The tip of the sheath is exposed (once likely covered) showing two separate pieces of leather which likely extend the full length of the sheath between which the knife blade rests. A raised ridge runs the full length of the sheath on both edges. Likely there lies a strengthening frame of wood or bamboo under the leather to form these ridges.The main body of the sheath/leather is dyed red with the edges inked/dyed black. Various geometrical designs are pressed/stamped into the leather along both sides.

KNIFE: The knife is made of (hand?) forged iron with a double edged tapered blade. The handle is of dark leather (lizard) raised to a knob at the top. Likely this handle is made of wood underneath the leather. A double narrow white strand of leather circles the handle at the top immediately below the knob. Two parallel zigzag lines run approx. 3/4 length of the blade on both sides. Likely the blade continues as a tang up into the handle.

Sheath length = 250mm. Width at top/widest point = 35mm. Thickness of sheath = approx. 9mm.
KNIFE length = 336mm. Blade = 240mm. Handle = 96mm. —Joel A Vanderburg

Provenance

Locality:

Measurements

Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (a - Dagger): 335 x 30 x 21mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (b - Sheath): 350 x 38 x 20mm

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