Top 10 African Swords

Cover Image for Top 10 African Swords

They say war is the continuation of dialogue by other means. People have always fought, and to do so effectively, they invented weapons. One of the most widespread weapons in the early history of humanity was cold steel, and its piercing-slashing variety—swords—received the widest distribution. Swords were crafted with their own unique characteristics in various regions. Today, here are 10 swords that were used in Africa.

1 Flyssa, Algeria
Flyssa sword
The Flyssa is a traditional sword of the Kabyle and Berber people of Algeria, used until the 19th century. It is characterized by a thin and straight appearance with a single-edged blade.

2 Kaskara, Sudan
Kaskara sword
A typical sword of the Beja people from Sudan. The blade of the Kaskara is sharpened on both sides and may have one to three fullers. Often, texts from the Quran are inscribed on the blades.

3 Khopesh, Egypt
Khopesh sword
A sword known in ancient Egypt. The blade is 50-60 cm long, with an external or double edge. Sometimes, the handle had an external edge, while the further part had an internal one. The main part was the external curved blade.

4 Mamluk-type Saber, Egypt
Mamluk-type Saber
A weapon of the Egyptian Mamluks. The blades had a constant curvature and lacked yelman. The sabers were equipped with crossguards, and the handles had rounded pommels similar to Turkish sabers.

5 Nimcha, Morocco, Algeria
Nimcha sword
A straight sword with a wide wooden handle with a guard made of three loops directed towards the point, and a handle shaped like a horse’s head.

6 Takuba
Takuba sword
A traditional sword of the Tuaregs and Berbers in Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Libya, featuring a straight double-edged blade approximately one meter long.

7 Billao, Somalia
Billao sword
A typical sword in the Dervish State in the early 20th century. The blade is double-edged, leaf-shaped, with a handle made of horn or wood with metal, a rectangular guard, and spikes.

8 Shotel, Ethiopia
Shotel sword
An Abyssinian curved sword. The blade has an almost semicircular curve, a flat double edge, with a rhomboidal section. The blade’s length is about a meter, and the handle is made of wood without a guard.

9 Akrafena, Ghana
Akrafena sword
The Akrafena is a sword of the Ashanti people. The blade is double-edged, with lines or continuous Ashanti patterns on the blade.

10 Ida, Benin, Togo
Ida sword
A sword used by the Yoruba people in West Africa. It is a long sword with a blade ranging from narrow to wide, which can be single-edged or double-edged.


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