Old African Knife – Ikul / Ikula – Kuba – DR Congo
Early 20th century. Iron, wood. Cm. 36,5 high (13.39″); weight: grams 413,8 (6.6 oz).
The ikul consists of a leaf-shaped blade (iron or copper or wood) and a wooden handle finished with a round knob with sometimes decorative inlays. The blade has a well-marked central edge and can be decorated with engravings. They are ceremonial knives, some of which are made solely of wood (handle and blade) and richly decorated.
According to tradition, King Shyaam aMbul aNgoong would have introduced the ikul in the seventeenth century after a long period of war. The king would then have forbidden the shongo sword to replace it with the ikul, a symbol of peace.
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