throwing knife (weapons: missiles & projectors); currency

Large throwing knifes in this form, known as oshele or woshele, are thought to have been used as a form of currency by the Bankutu and the Basongo Meno in central-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Belgian Congo). This example was collected by Emil Torday, who also refers to it in relation to the Bushongo people (Torday's name for the Kuba), giving it the Bushongo name 'shongo'. He suggests that for the Bushongo this knife has an almost mythical status as a weapon, and that their name is derived from it.


Collection Information

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