User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.


Start collecting

Iron knives, swords, and axes were more than armaments; they were powerful symbols of prestige and authority. Many weapons, including this sword from the Maniema region of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are intricately adorned with abstract geometric patterns and figurative...

Show Full Description


About 2000, sold by Ile du Demon, Paris to Alan Helms, Boston; 2009, gift of Alan Helms to the MFA. (Accession date: December 16, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Alan Helms

African, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 20th century


Overall: 62.9 x 12.7 cm (24 3/4 x 5 in.) Lender accessory (Mount): 17.8 x 10.2 cm (7 x 4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, iron


Africa and Oceania


Warfare, hunting, & fishing, Swords, Daggers, Knives