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Kilonda (Ceremonial Axe)

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unknown Songye

Kilonda (Ceremonial Axe)

Late 19th century - Early 20th century
Copper alloy, iron

15.25 x 8.5 x 1 in. (38.735 x 21.59 x 2.54 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.5.35
Other Number(s): 84-30 (Neufeld Collection Number)
Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Songye, Congolese, Central African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • axes - Cutting tools that consist of a relatively heavy edged, squarish head fixed to a handle, the edge or edges being parallel to the handle so as to be suited for striking, hewing, cleaving, or chopping, trees, wood, ice, or another material. For axes used as weapons, typically having wider blades, use "axes (weapons)." For similar tools that are smaller and lighter, use "hatchets." For long-handled tools with a curved blade set perpendicular to the handle and used for dressing lumber, use "adzes."
  • Central African - Styles and cultures from a wide region of Africa that straddles the Equator and is drained largely by the Congo River system.
  • Congolese - Nationality, styles, and cultures of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Congolese - Nationality, styles, and cultures of the Republic of the Congo.
  • copper alloy - Alloy in which copper is the principle element.
  • iron - Pure metallic element having symbol Fe and atomic number 26; metallic iron is silvery in color, lustrous, soft, ductile, malleable, and slightly magnetic; it rusts when exposed to moist air. It is rarely found as a native metal (telluric iron) except in meteorites (meteoric iron). Iron is most often found throughout the world as iron oxides (hematite, magnetite, limonite, and siderite) mixed with other ores.
  • metal - Any of a large group of substances that typically show a characteristic luster, are good conductors of electricity and heat, are opaque, can be fused, and are usually malleable or ductile.
  • ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
  • scepters - Staffs or batons borne by sovereigns as ceremonial emblems of authority.
  • Songye

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 99.5.35_BMC_f_2.jpg
Additional Image 99.5.35_BMC_r.jpg
Additional Image 99.5.35_BMC_s.jpg
Additional Image 99.5.35_BMC_f.jpg

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:
  • African and Pacific Art from the Neufeld Collection Bryn Mawr College , Apr 28, 1993 – Jun 1, 1993

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 7/18/1991

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • Werner Fischer and Manfred A. Zirngibl. African Weapons: Knives, Daggers, Swords, Axes, Throwing Knives (Passau: Prinz-Verlag, 1978), 168. Figure Number: 304-305
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): Record No.: 0129231.
  • Museum für Völkerkunde Frankfurt am Main, Waffen aus Zentral-Afrika (Frankfurt, Germany: Museum für Völkerkunde Frankfurt am Main, January 1, 1985), 269, 377. Figure Number: 340

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Jean- Baptiste Bacquart, The Tribal Arts of Africa (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 1998), 168-169. Figure Number: 5
  • Werner Fischer and Manfred A. Zirngibl. African Weapons: Knives, Daggers, Swords, Axes, Throwing Knives (Passau: Prinz-Verlag, 1978), 168. Figure Number: 304-305
  • 戈思明 and 菲利斯. Fatal Beauty: Traditional Weapons from Central Africa (National Museum of History, January 2009), 55-57.
  • H. Westerdijk, IJzerwerk van Centraal-Afrika: Een systematische indeling van mensen, sabels en bijlen, met een overzicht van oorlogs- en statiesperen, pijlen, over de smid en zijn werk ( De Tijdstroom, January 1, 1975), 69-71, 99. Figure Number: Group XIII, Figure16

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Kilonda (Ceremonial Axe) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=2/1/2023 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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