Wonderful Rare Sudanese  Dinka Shilluk Mandari Horn Spear with ostrich plumage | fine antique oriental arms and armour swords and weapons from ashoka arts

Wonderful Rare Sudanese Dinka Shilluk Mandari Horn Spear with ostrich plumage

A rare and most interesting spear from tribal Sudan. The blade formed from an entire horn from an antelope probably the gemsbok or oryx as were traditionally used. This spear could be from one of several tribes who used similar forms including the Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk and Mandari. The horn has been fixed to the wooden spear shaft using seamless hide from the tail made wet and shrunk solidly onto the join to make an extremely solid and strong binding. Similar techniques can be found on spears from Southern Africa such as Zulu and Shona weapons. The spear shaft here is decorated by rings of Ostrich feather to the top and bottom, the very end is bound with a strip of snake or lizard skin. There are several spears of this type in the Pitt Rivers Collection in Oxford, collected and donated by various owners during the early 20th century, some of which were purchased in Omdurman. This spear likely dates to a similar period circa 1900. One side of the horn has an old shrinkage split, and the feather decoration is worn and loose, this is a rare artefact and a wonderful display piece. africa

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