African, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nbaka peoples
Object Place: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Overall: 46.2 x 42 x 2 cm (18 3/16 x 16 9/16 x 13/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
The throwing knives of the Ngbaka have become icons of central African weaponry. The knife, which could be thrown overhand from a standing position or sidearm from either a standing or crouched position, is perfectly balanced around a central point of gravity. This balance allowed for incredible accuracy when throwing the weapon. In addition to their practical application as a weapon, beautiful blades were symbols of wealth that enhanced the prestige of the owner.
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)
Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart