African, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Overall: 62.9 x 12.7 cm (24 3/4 x 5 in.) Lender accessory (Mount): 17.8 x 10.2 cm (7 x 4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Iron knives, swords, and axes were more than armaments; they were powerful symbols of prestige and authority. Many weapons, including this sword from the Maniema region of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are intricately adorned with abstract geometric patterns and figurative elements, all of which are intended to increase the status of the object’s owner.
About 2000, sold by L'Ile du Démon, Paris, to Alan Helms, Boston; 2009, gift of Alan Helms to the MFA. (Accession date: December 16, 2009)
Gift of Alan Helms