Warning Cookies are used on this site to provide the best user experience. If you continue, we assume that you agree to receive cookies from this site. OK

Traditional Weapons of Africa (Billhooks, Sickles and Scythes)

A regional approach and technical, morphological, and aesthetic classification

Tristan Arbousse Bastide
Publication Year:
English and French
151pp. Illustrated throughout
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This book is the third in a series prepared by the author on traditional weapons from the African Continent. The first volume focuses on weapons with a straight symmetrical blade and double cutting edges such as daggers, various types of swords, and peculiar cutting side arms with divergent edges. In the second volume the author looks at weapons with straight or curved blades and a main convex cutting edge. In this third volume the author examines a group of unusual edged weapons showing analogies to agricultural implements. These weapons are characterized by a bent or curved blade with a main concave cutting edge. They can be compared to billhooks, sickles and scythes. Mostly originating from Central Africa these objects were produced during the 19th century and early 20th century. Their use was mainly linked with status, parade and dance, however very large examples or plain blades were also practical fighting weapons. See also BAR S1764 2008: Du couteau au sabre / From Knife to Sabre Armes traditionnelles d'Afrique 2 / Traditional Arms of Africa 2 (ISBN 9781407302539) and BAR S1098 2003: Armes traditionnelles d'Afrique (dagues, poignards, glaives, épées, tranchets et couperets Approche régionale et classification technique, morphologique et esthétique(ISBN 1841714763).