Short sword

African, Kuba peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dimensions

Overall: 30 x 7 x 6 cm (11 13/16 x 2 3/4 x 2 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2671

Medium or Technique

Wood, copper alloy

On View

Richard B. Carter Gallery (Gallery 171)

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Arms and armor

This short sword (ikul) has delicately inlaid brass on its wooden handle, which recalls Kuba raffia mat patterns, and engraved fullers in its copper blade. Such short swords are associated with masculine power and Kuba royalty. Previously, swords such as this would have been carried by all adult Kuba men.

Provenance

1970s, acquired in Paris by Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart