Sword and sheath (takuba) - 2012.62.6.1_3_3K


Sword and sheath (takuba)

Maker: Tuareg
Medium:Steel, brass
Geography: Arlit, Niger
Date: 1987
Object number: 2012.62.6.1
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust Fund
Not on view

Straight, flat, double-edged cutting sword with a cross hilt. The guard is square, the hilt is metal and ended with a decorated pommel.  The sword was kept in a dark brown leather sheath decorated with engraved and embossed geometric motifs. The sheath is held by a leather strap used to secure the sword across the body of the wearer. The takuba is a prestigious item associated with manhood. A young man would receive his sword upon reaching puberty. Often swords are passed down from one generation to the next and older examples are made with blades imported from Spain or Germany. The leather components of the sword would be reconstructed periodically. To this day, men wear their swords during important occasions and ceremonies. The sword is said to represent nobility and courage and is often attributed supernatural powers. (Seligmann and Loughran 2006, 83).

The sheath of the sword is newer than the sword. The sheath was made by Yahaya Hamouda.

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