Original North African Taureg Takoba Broadsword with Broken Leather Scabbard circa 1880
Original Item: One of a Kind. This dates from 1850-1880 and is a North African Broadsword from the Tuareg people of the BERBER CLANS. A people who go back to just after the time of Christ, they are/were a nomadic a nomadic people, and generally avoid outside contact. Their great Queen ruled a vast North African Empire around 500 A.D.
The first encounters with Europeans were in the Crusader's time around 1100-1300 AD, and the early European Knightly Swords became the "model" for the Tuareg's own Broad Sword known as a TAKOBA. The French Colonized much of the North African Sahara in the 19th Century but the Tuareg people were not easily subjugated and rebelled in 1881 destroying an entire French Expeditionary Force. The war continued up until 1905 when peace was finally established.
This Takoba Broad Sword from the 1880 period has an overall length of 36 1/2" and a 30 1/2" x 1 7/8" a Tuareg made broad straight blade. There is a small central fuller on each side, which extends down almost the entire blade, with two smaller fullers that only extend about 7 inches from the cross guard. The tip of the blade is rounded, which conforms to the other example we have had, as well as other examples found online, so this is not from damage, but part of the swords design.
The sword features a straight leather covered rectangular cross guard, which is most likely made of brass or iron. The grip and pommel are covered in sheet brass and bears some engraved decoration.
The sword comes with a very nice tooled leather scabbard, however, it is missing at least the last 6 inches, which would include the usual metal end fitting.
An interesting French Colonial Broadsword from the TUAREG Arabs of North Africa, fully cleaned and ready to display.
More about the Takoba Broadsword
Takoba (also takuba or takouba) is the sword that is used across the western Sahel and among ethnic groups such as the Tuareg, the Hausa, and the Fulani. It usually measures about one meter in length. Takoba blades are straight and double edged with a pronounced tapering towards the tip; they can exhibit several notable features, including three or more hand-ground fuller grooves and a rounded point.
Since the Tuareg have an aversion to touching iron, the takoba's hilt, like many iron implements, is fully covered. Typically the simple but deep crossguard is of iron sheet, or iron-framed wood, covered in tooled leather, and occasionally sheathed in brass or silver; the grip is also often leather-covered but the pommel is always of metal, often brass or copper, sometimes iron or silver. Alternatively the whole hilt can be covered in brass or silver sheathing. The scabbard is made of elaborately tooled leather. Geographical variations in the form of the hilt have been noted, but no rigorous typology has been established. Variations in the quality of blade and fittings on takobas probably mostly reflect the wealth of their owners.
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