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Re: Tuareg "jewelry swords" - to clean or not to clean?

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  • congabongoman
    Hi Bill-- While reposting them would certainly be fine, no need to on my account--I polished them up this weekend. The only thing i didn t polish was the
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 1, 2008
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      Hi Bill--

      While reposting them would certainly be fine, no need to on my
      account--I polished them up this weekend. The only thing i didn't
      polish was the sheath on the arm dagger as it had clear signs of use
      and is a slightly less "touristy" and more traditional piece. While
      I'm guessing these swords are probably 20-40 years old, they are
      definitely tourist pieces, albeit nicely done ones. While these are
      from Niger, my friend actually employed a silversmith when he lived
      in Dakar that made similar knives, jewelry, etc. Ultimately it just
      wasn't profitable b/c of the extremely long time it takes to make
      them given that they are all etched by hand (and not electronically,
      at that).

      Thanks for responding and for your interest--very much appreciated.

      Chris

      --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Marsh" <woolygums@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Hello Chris,
      >
      > Might I have permission to post your images on an Ethnographic Arms
      > forum and ask members their opinions? We have some very
      knowledgeable
      > people who might know more about your swords.
      >
      > Cleaning is a personal preference.
      >
      > Kind regards,
      > Bill
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Marsh" <woolygums@>
      wrote:
      > >
      > > Hello all,
      > >
      > > I read the linked article. Quite interesting. My main focus in
      African
      > > collecting has been weapons. My philosophy is to stop any active
      > > deterioration and leave it alone otherwise.
      > >
      > > I have seen beautiful patina wiped away in an effort to "clean
      up" old
      > > pieces.
      > >
      > > I do a light surface clean of repoussed silver or brass or
      bronze, and
      > > then apply a bit of Renaissance wax to everything. Wax, wood,
      steel,
      > > leather.
      > >
      > > Works for me.
      > >
      > > Bill Marsh
      > >
      > > --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "congabongoman"
      > > <congabongoman@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Ed and Steve--Thanks for your responses. The essay was very
      > > > interesting, particularly as to the evolution from battle to
      ritual-
      > > > use and "function" to "form" in African swordmaking. No
      replies yet
      > > > on the cleaning issue--I guess folks are hesitant to give
      advice in
      > > > this regard. Thanks again.
      > > >
      > > > Chris
      > > >
      > > > --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Ed Jones <bucit@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Chris:
      > > > >  
      > > > > I really agree with Steve ... this is an excellent essay. 
      There is
      > > > also an additional hyper-link titled
      > > > http://www.africanarmsonline.com/%c2%a0from his web-link.
      > > > >  
      > > > > While this topic is at hand, perhaps someone might know and
      be able
      > > > to share more in-depth info related to Ethiopian Arussi, Ometo
      or
      > > > Amaro/Amhara ceremonial shields. 
      > > > >  
      > > > > I understand that the carry a label as being "rare" tribal
      > > > objects... as so many things are, but generally are not.   They
      are
      > > > defined as a decorative element, utilized by chiefs. 
      > > > > I have three... one is common and not difficult to find,
      although
      > > > it typically costs between $400 to $2500 in price. 
      > > > > The remaining two shields appear to be a bit of an anomaly in-
      so-
      > > > much as finding specific and relative info them.  From what I
      gather
      > > > (I could be mistaken), I would doubt that the respective tribes
      are
      > > > within the Omo Valley.
      > > > >  
      > > > > I have also resorted to seeking life-style, religious and
      general
      > > > characteristic and behavioral habits of the Arussi and Amaro
      > > > peoples.  I still have difficulty finding detailed written
      articles
      > > > and publications... Several years ago, I worked with an older
      > > > gentleman from Ethiopia and he knew of the Arussi peoples well,
      but
      > > > refused to discuss "tribal" cultures at this level.
      > > > >  
      > > > > Anyway, should anyone has interest or can assist, I have up-
      > > > loaded pics in my folder titled "bucit".
      > > > >  
      > > > > Thanks,
      > > > > Ed  
      > > > >
      > > > > --- On Tue, 9/23/08, Steve Price <sprice@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > From: Steve Price <sprice@>
      > > > > Subject: [African_Arts] Re: Tuareg "jewelry swords" - to
      clean or
      > > > not to clean?
      > > > > To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 8:01 AM
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Hi Chris
      > > > >
      > > > > Adam Alante has what I think is an excellent essay on the
      subject
      > > > > linked through http://www.tribalar tforum.org/ You may find
      your
      > > > > answer there.
      > > > >
      > > > > Regards
      > > > >
      > > > > Steve Price
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, "congabongoman"
      > > > > <congabongoman@ ...> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Hi All-
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I recently bought several "Tuareg" or Takouba style swords
      > > > (photos
      > > > > > posted in album called Tuareg swords). My research suggests
      that
      > > > > > these are made by skilled silver and leathersmiths
      primarily for
      > > > > the
      > > > > > tourist trade but that they can be valuable in their own
      right
      > > > > > because of the extreme amount of time it takes to make them
      and
      > > > the
      > > > > > semi-precious metals used. For want of a better name, I'll
      call
      > > > > > them "jewelry swords." Two questions for the group:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > First, the leather on the sheath of the arm knife looks
      > > > > particularly
      > > > > > worn/used--are these types of items ever tribally used for
      > > > > > adornment/prestige, trade, etc? Second, if their value does
      not
      > > > > > depend on them being tribally used but is primarily in
      their
      > > > > > workmanship and ornateness for purposes of display, is this
      one
      > > > > > exception to the cardinal rule of "never, ever clean a
      piece"
      > > > where
      > > > > > some metal polish won't necessarily diminish their value
      and
      > > > might
      > > > > > enhance their appearance on my wall?
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Any thoughts are most welcome.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Regards,
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Chris
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • eliza500@aol.com
      Hello. I have several copies of Anthony Tirris s new book, ISLAMIC AND NATIVE WEAPONS OF COLONIAL AFRICA 1800-1960. It is mammoth ...682 pages. $190. Let
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 2, 2008
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        Hello.  I have several copies of Anthony Tirris's new book, ISLAMIC AND NATIVE WEAPONS OF COLONIAL AFRICA 1800-1960.  It is mammoth ...682 pages. $190.   Let me know if you'd like one.
         
        Best,
        Elizabeth Bennett
        Africa Direct







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