Turkana Fighting Wrist & Fingr Knives – Ararait – Kenya

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Turkana Fighting Wrist & Fingr Knives – Ararait – Kenya

The Turkana peoples of Kenya used both wrist and finger hooks-knives. As weapons, they could be used to gash the face or gouge out an eye, but they were also used as utensils to cut and eat meat. Inserted on the wrist and covered with a thin strip of leather, it may look like an ornament, but once it is ready for use, it is better to be far away from it.

“The Turkana are the finest fighting men in East Africa”, so, without so many preambles, Mr. Crampton defined his subjects when he was appointed a politacal officer in Turkanaland. He is echoed by Elisabeth M. Thomas when she describes them as “having a reputation for an extreme rapacious bravery” and again as “exceptionnally fearless”.

Finger hooks and finger knives are found among several Nilotic and Nilo-Hanitic peoples of the Sudan, northern Kenya and Uganda and among some West African peoples in, for example, northern Nigeria.

 

 

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