Stunning old Cassowary Bone Dagger with ancestral clan etchings from the Abelam. Take a look at the snake head carving at the top of the piece, such detail. Although daggers were used in displays of warfare, they were also found to have ritual purposes and often used in initiations. The piece has a deep glossy patina throughout from generations of use and handling. It is of superb museum quality. The estimated age of the piece is between 1960’s to 1970’s.This is a stunning collectors piece.
Warriors in the Sepik region formerly employed a variety of weapons. Most, such as spears, were intended to strike the enemy from a distance, but men also carried daggers for use in close combat. With blunt edges and sharp tips, daggers were exclusively stabbing weapons, often used to kill an enemy incapacitated by spears or arrows or, at times, in more stealthy acts of assassination. Many daggers were supernaturally powerful objects that played important roles in male initiation and other ceremonies. Daggers and dagger-like objects were worn as personal ornaments, and many ornate examples with blunt tips may have been ceremonial objects. Daggers were fashioned primarily from the leg bones of cassowaries (large ostrich-like birds) but also, in rare instances, from the femurs of ancestors or enemies.
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