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Knife, Utility, D88.187

Physical Description

Iron blade (108mm) has been flattened by smithing and tapers from a width of 23mm to a point. It appears that a small shaft (a continuation of the iron blade) continues on up into the wooden handle with a sort of tang jutting off through the wooden handle to hold iron and wood together. A sleeve of iron beginning directly at the top (widest part) of the blade extends 39mm up around shaft of blade and wooden handle-holding each to the other. The wooden handle extends 34mm beyond top of sleeve . Handle of unstained light coloured wood appears to have slight patina from human use.

Sheath:
Main body of sheath is flat and tapered. Made of leather (likely goat or sheep) the sides are both glued and sewn. The tapered end is wrapped with a narrow strip of leather. A narrow strap of leather (used as a belt through which the wearer's arm is inserted) is secured to the top of the sheath by being sewn to a strap which is turn tightly wrapped around the sheath. This belt is a doubled over thin piece of leather approx. 220mm in total length. The belt has design stamped along the centre of the length. Likewise a chevron pattern appears to be symmetrically stamped over the main body of the sheath. A rich dark brown the leather was likely originally dyed red and near black. A shine or patina suggests wear by use.

Research Notes

Consistent with knives from NE Nigeria. Hand smithed iron & wood. General purpose knife & also for security. Iron blade (108mm) has been flattened by smithing and tapers from a width of 23mm to a point. It appears that a small shaft (a continuation of the iron blade) continues on up into the wooden handle with a sort of tang jutting off through the wooden handle to hold iron and wood together. A sleeve of iron beginning directly at the top (widest part) of the blade extends 39mm up around shaft of blade and wooden handle-holding each to the other. The wooden handle extends 34mm beyond top of sleeve . Handle of unstained light coloured wood appears to have slight patina from human use. —Joel A Vanderburg
Consistent with knives & arm sheaths from NE Nigeria. Leather (likely tanned goat or sheep). It is likely that main body of sheath is given structure by underlying 'ribs/frame' of bamboo or other stiff material To contain knife of D88.187A. Knife and sheath were to be worn on upper forearm -proximal end of forearm. Used for general purposes and security such knives are often concealed under long robes. Main body of sheath is flat and tapered. Made of leather (likely goat or sheep) the sides are both glued and sewn. The tapered end is wrapped with a narrow strip of leather. A narrow strap of leather (used as a belt through which the wearer's arm is inserted) is secured to the top of the sheath by being sewn to a strap which is turn tightly wrapped around the sheath. This belt is a doubled over thin piece of leather approx. 220mm in total length. The belt has design stamped along the centre of the length. Likewise a chevron pattern appears to be symmetrically stamped over the main body of the sheath. A rich dark brown the leather was likely originally dyed red and near black. A shine or patina suggests wear by use. —Joel A Vanderburg

Provenance

Donated
Locality

Measurements

Maximum dimensions (H x W x D): 180 x 33 x 16mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (a - knife): 178 x 21 x 16mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (b - sheath): 110 x 29 x 16mm

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