University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Object Number:AF1245
Current Location: Collections Storage
Culture:Zappo-Zap
Provenience: Zaire
Kasai District
Belgian Congo
Section:African
Materials:Iron
Snakeskin
Wood
Credit Line:Purchased from J. F. G. Umlauff, 1912
Other Number:768 - Other Number

Description

Ceremonial axe of a chief. Wooden; cylindrical handle; top end is rounded; rim of base is flared with a flat base; green and black colored snake skin is sewn around the handle; blade is of iron and is ornately carved; fan-like shape; open work in center; two human faces in relief on center of blade-two on the front and two on the back; both ends of blade are pointed. Formerly carried before a chief as a mark of his dignity. The handle is covered with lizard skin.

These axes were formerly carried in front of chiefs as insignia of the dignity; nowadays they are, however, made for export by the very clever Zappo-Zap smiths. See AF1241.


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