Few African cultures can boast a history as long and as proud as the Kuba who live along the Snakuru River. Their history parallels Great Zimbabwe at its founding and grew along with the Benin. Kuba Chief Shamba-Bolongongo (1600-20) visited Benin and introduced the iconic Kuba knife ikula, which was subsequently represented in Benin sculpture. The Kuba prospered in a society which valued material things and ordinary objects, particularly those associated with the Royal Court, were made to the highest standard. Their geographic location and the ferocity of their warriors made them virtually free from the predation of slavers though they themselves were among the most feared of slavers.
Characteristic form with broader blade edge flanking 7" incised line band. High raised medial. The field with two lines of ten decorative holes, punched in and each off-circular. Wood hilt of characteristic form with simple lightly incised basket weave band to the base. Excellent throughout for the period with original tooled and forged finish to the blade. Hilt with glossy patina and moderate wear from use and handling.