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.
Poto Sword
Object Name:
Sword, Poto
Other Name:
Sword, Poto, Kuba
Place of Origin:
Poto, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.
H = 22"
W = 4"
D = 2"

c. 1940

Poto swords were reserved for dignitaries as a sign of distinction. The Ngombe, Doko and Poto people all used these knives or swords.

During the construction of a Poto sword, powerful beauty was achieved at the expense of function. The skin of an animal covering the hilt was said to contain substances to give the object magical powers.

This weapon has a large ball crafted onto the handle, which is made of woven raffia, copper and also some animal hide pieces. These pommels are said to contain magical substances which gives these knifes their power. These knives where used durning ceremonies, for weapons as well as for bride price.

Sword with a leaf—shaped blade, with undulating sharp edges. Handle forms head wrapped in skin with long neck, shoulders, arms and body of a figure. Neck, arms and body wrapped in split bamboo raffia.
Finley Collection
Iron W/Raffia, Skin, Wood and Copper
Ritually Used
Metal Working / Weaving / Carving
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
Click to Enlarge
View - 1View - 1
View - 2View - 2
Side ViewSide View