Traditional Weapons of Africa : Volume 1

Title: Armes traditionnelles d'Afrique: dagues, poignards, glaives, épées, tranchets et couperets: approche régionale et classification technique, morphologique et esthétique

Author: Tristan Arbousse-Bastide
Publisher: Archaeopress, Oxford U.K. / Date: 2003 / British Archaeological Reports International Series 1098
ISBN 1 84171 476 3
Indicative price 2011: £36.00 / US $90.00

(click to enlarge)

Book Cover
BAR IS 1098
  • Paperback
  • 21cm x30cm
  • 203 pages
  • 235 illustrations
  • French

On this page :

  1. Book summary
  2. Table of contents
  3. Types of weapons
  4. Research area





See also Vol. 2


  • Paperback
  • 21 x 30 cm
  • 163 p., 160 ill.
  • French & English.

See also Vol. 3


Traditional weapons of Africa (billhooks, sickles and scythes)
  • Paperback
  • 21 x 30 cm
  • 146 p., 107 ill.
  • French & English

See also Oriental Arms


  • Paperback
  • 21 x 30 cm
  • 181 p., 155 ill.
  • French

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

BAR IS n° 1098
Sample : page n° 95
BAR IS n°1098
Sample : page n° 153

Summary

In this first volume (see BAR 1764 for vol. n°2, and BAR 2149 for vol. n°3), the author presents a study of more than 500 African traditional edged weapons from most of the largest collections of ethnography. The examples have all a straight symmetrical blade and convergent or divergent cutting edges. Categories include daggers, poniards, long and short swords, choppers small and large. Over 80 types have been identified, carefully described and discussed. The book is richly illustrated with numerous line drawings of the weapons and their sheaths, when available. Models, sketches and drawings of large size allow the reader to appreciate all aspects of the morphology in every detail. Each chapter is dedicated to the study of a coherent category of weapons and ends with a detailed typology, a comparative analysis, and a catalog.
  • 84 different types of weapons
  • 504 objects studied
  • 203 p., 235 illustrations
  • a large bibliography with more than 140 titles

Table of contents

Types of weapons

Weapons with a straight blade and convergent cutting edges

 Blade width
Blade length
Types
Objects
Dagger
≤ 5 cm
≤ 30 cm
12
84
Poniard
≥ 10 cm
≤ 30 cm
20
130
Short-sword
≈ 8 cm
≥ 30 cm
25
151
Sword
≈ 7 cm
≥ 60 cm
4
37

Weapons with a straight blade and divergent cutting edges

 Blade width
Blade length
Types
Objects
Small-chopper
≈ 10 cm
≤ 30 cm
8
42
Chopper
≈ 10 cm
≥ 30 cm
15
60

Note: The values in cm correspond to average sizes. They are simplified and only mentioned as a guide (≤ is less than or equal to, ≥ is greater than or equal to, ≈ is approximately equal to).

Geographical & cultural context

 Types
Objects
Ethnic groups
Countries
Sahara-Sahel
12
87
Beni-Amer, Bornou, Darfur, Hausa, Mandingue, Maure, Nupe, Peul, Shari, Sokoto, Touareg, Toubou-Teda
Algeria, Cameroon, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan
Gulf of Guinea & Adamaua
7
40
Adamaua, Akan, Bali, Bamun, Batta, Baule, Bini, Fang, Ful, Kaka, Kota, Mandara, Mfumte, Munshi, Tikar, Tiv, Vere
Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial-Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Togo
Congo Basin (central, northern, western)
33
164
 Bango, Boa, Bongo, Doko, Konda, Kongo, Kote, Kundu, Kutu, Lia, Lobala, Mangbetu, Mbete, Mboshi, Mbudja, Mfinu, Mondjembo, Mongelima, Mongo, Mpama, Ngandu, Ngata, Ngbaka, Ngbandi, Ngiri, Ngombe, Ntomba, Nzombo, Poto, Saka, Sango, Sengele, Teke, Yakoma, Zande Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Republic of the Congo
Congo Basin (southern, eastern)
28
195
Angba, Bandia, Bangu-Bangu, Binji, Boa, Bushoong, Buyu, Dzing, Hungaan, Imoma, Kaniok, Kawanda, Kete, Kuba, Kusu, Lele, Lokele, Luba, Lulua, Lunda, Luntu, Lwer, Mba, Mbala, Mbole, Mbuun, Ngandu, Ngeende, Ngul, Nkutshu, Nsapo, Ntomba, Saka, Salampasu, So, Songye, Suku, Tetela, Topoke, Tschokwe, Wongo, Yaka, Yanzi
Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Zambia
High lacustrine plateaux and Zambezi
4
18
Hutu, Masai, Shi, Shona, Tutsi, Twa
Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe