Rare Ngala Execution, Beheading Sword/knife, 2nd Half 19th Century 039900aws For Sale
The Ngala, a forest people in Central Africa, living primarily off of farming and fishing, have adapted the Banza throwing knife into a sort of machete often used for executions. It became a symbol of power and was sometimes a ceremonial knife for tribal chieftains. The macabre ritual executions take place with the condemned being staked to the ground in a sitting position, with the head fastened with leather straps to a bent tree branch. This way it was ensured that the victim’s neck would be stretched and at the moment of decapitation the head would be automatically catapulted away. This example has a 20 ½" forged iron blade of typical form with multi-curved cutting surfaces and lugs on the reverse; three short fullers on one side and hatched decoration toward the back edge. Multi-stage wood pommel (split) and short grip bound with iron bands; the design facilitating either one or two-hand use. Dark rust patina to metal surfaces, with some edge nicks. Overall length 29 ½". A genuine execution sword at a small fraction of the cost of European examples. Other dealers charge several times this price for similar examples.
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