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Dagger, Sheath, D61.174

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 extra strips of dyed/inked red/black/white leather tied/sewn around the circumference at both the top (open end) and bottom of sheath. Sewing thread appears to be either thin strips of leather or animal sinew. At the tapered end of sheath two flaps of leather (each approx. 110mm long & 35mm wide) have been tied in to extend beyond the end of sheath. Additionally a number of thin strips of leather have also been tied it at the same point. These embellishments are often - though not always - added for gaining attention of tourists. At top (open) end of sheath a double strap of leather (140mm long/29mm wide) has been tied in as a sort of arm or belt loop.

KNIFE blade is tapered and double edged. Two parallel zigzag lines are incised approx. 2/3 the length of the blade on both sides. The handle is of wood covered with a single piece of leather (lizard?) sewn the length of the handle with a thread of leather or animal sinew. The top of the handle is of exposed wood. The overall appearance of the sheath is of it being slightly or never used. The over all appearance of the knife - especially the handle - is of that having been used with a bit of wear patina on the leather and wood of the handle.

Research Notes

Hausa(?) SubSahara West Africa. Northern Nigeria(?) Northern Ghana(?) Sheath=Leather (lizard?). Likely with a wood &/or bamboo frame under leather. KNIFE = (Hand?) forged iron, with wooden handle covered in leather (lizard?). 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 extra strips of dyed/inked red/black/white leather tied/sewn around the circumference at both the top (open end) and bottom of sheath. Sewing thread appears to be either thin strips of leather or animal sinew. At the tapered end of sheath two flaps of leather (each approx. 110mm long & 35mm wide) have been tied in to extend beyond the end of sheath. Additionally a number of thin strips of leather have also been tied it at the same point. These embellishments are often - though not always - added for gaining attention of tourists. At top (open) end of sheath a double strap of leather (140mm long/29mm wide) has been tied in as a sort of arm or belt loop. KNIFE blade is tapered and double edged. Two parallel zigzag lines are incised approx. 2/3 the length of the blade on both sides. The handle is of wood covered with a single piece of leather (lizard?) sewn the length of the handle with a thread of leather or animal sinew. The top of the handle is of exposed wood. The overall appearance of the sheath is of it being slightly or never used. The over all appearance of the knife - especially the handle - is of that having been used with a bit of wear patina on the leather and wood of the handle. Main body of sheath = 120mm long. Width at top = 31mm. Width at bottom = 8mm. Thickness = approx. 9mm. KNIFE length = 264mm. Blade portion length = 167mm. Handle portion length = 97mm. —Joel A Vanderburg

Provenance

Locality:

Measurements

Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (a - Dagger): 265 x 27 x 18mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (b - Sheath): 420 x 100 x 43mm

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