MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Bushongo, Kuba, "Ikula" Knife
Object Name:
Knife, Kuba
Other Name:
Knife, Kuba, Bushongo
Place of Origin:
Kuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 12—3/4"
W = 4"
D = 3"

The ceremonial knife was introduced by an early Kuba king as a peaceful replacement for a more warlike throwing knife.

Knives, daggers and swords from the Kuba people are used as prestige items. Historical documents indicate that quantities of them were brought to the Congo by Portuguese and Dutch traders beginning around the 16th century. Many daggers were then forged by Congolese blacksmiths to emulate foreign examples. They were reserved for nobles and used for important ceremonial occasions.

Knife with geometric design on short wooden handle and hilt. Leaf—shaped iron blade, inner lines following outer shape of blade.
Finley Collection
Wood W/Iron
Ritually Used
Metal Working / Carving
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
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Close-Up of HandleClose-Up of Handle