Few African cultures can boast a history as long and as proud as the Kuba of what (Congo). Their geographic location, along the Kasai River and the ferocity of their warriors made them virtually free of predation by slavers, though they themselves were among the most feared of slavers. The iconic Ikula, evolved in the 17th century when Kuba Chief Shamba-Bolongongo visited Benin. This example is of iconic form with finely forged 10 1/4” blade. The finely carved wood hilt is undecorated but for the indents on the pommel, originally filled with lime, a sign of early manufacture Ex: Baptist Missionary Society Collection.