While progress is steady and DNA evidence is helpful, surprisingly little is known about the origins and migrations of African peoples. The Maasai are Nilotic people who migrated south from the lower Nile valley two and a half centuries ago to what is now Kenya. They forcibly displaced the inhabitants and settled as cattle herder, notably thereafter for their requirement that aspiring warriors slay a lion with spear only (which insured the protection of the heads) and their fierce defense of their herds against predation by the Kikuyu. By the second half of the 19th century, the Maasai sword had evolved into short double edged hacking weapon. Every example, but for this, conforms to that description. This example, clearly dating to the origins of the form, epitomizes it as it was designed for the warrior. The 22 7/8" blade, preserved in black paint, is slender, expanding at the point to bring cutting strength and weight to the percussion zone. The grip is hide wrapped wound cord with a protruding wood pommel. Easily the earliest, most elegant and finest example of this type which we have encountered.