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Sickle-shaped knife

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This Ngala blade, based upon the design of Banza throwing knives, was especially designed for use during executions. Because the Ngala rely primarily on farming and fishing, they have no need for throwing knives. Thought to have special powers, the knife was symbolic of one's inability to escape...

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1970s, acquired in Paris by Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart

African, Ngala peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 20th century, 1950–2000

Object Place

Democratic Republic of the Congo


Overall: 72 x 20 x 7 cm (28 3/8 x 7 7/8 x 2 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, metal (iron)


Africa and Oceania


Arms and armor