African Art - Life Force at the Anvil - pg 46

Axe, kasuyu, zappozap

 

 

(upper right) Axe, kasuyu, zappozap
Nsapo/Songye - The Democratic Republic of the Congo
iron, wood, copper wrapped handle, 16"h x 8.5"w x 1.75"d

(upper left) Axe, kasuyu, zappozap
Nsapo/Songye - The Democratic Republic of the Congo
iron, wood, copper wrapped handle,
17"h x 8.25"w x 2"d
Collection of: Wallace B. Gusler

Axe, kasuyu, zappozap

The blade forms evolved from efficient fighting weapons, but were gradually transformed into idealized symbols. A complex system of social distinction is revealed by the variety of forms the smith developed for political, religious, and ceremonial use.

The kasuyu axe, with a wooden handle clad in thin copper sheet, is made by the Nsapo people as a prestige weapon. Each of these examples have human heads forged on the central spoke. Some have as many as forty-eight on a single blade.


(left) Staff
Ekonda - The Democratic Republic of the Congo
iron, wood, 28.75"h x 4.75"w x 0.75"d
Collection of: Joel Cooner

Life Force at the Anvil
The Blacksmith's Art from Africa

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