Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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ikula (ceremonial knife)
  • unknown Kuba Kingdom maker
  • ikula (ceremonial knife), late 1800s–1993
  • Where object was made: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • iron, wood, carving, incising
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 37 x 10.5 x 6 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 14 9/16 x 4 1/8 x 2 3/8 in
  • Gift from the Menninger Foundation
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0409

The large knife has a curved blade that narrows at the proximal end and flares before ending is a point. Incised lines mirror the shape of the edges. The handle is a brown wood, that has darkened irregularly with time or use. The grip has a round cross section, but the portion of the handle that seats the blade is triangular. The triangular portion is decorated with two bands of parallel marks and two bands of zigzags created with parallel marks. The fan shaped portion sits into the cylindrical portion which is decorated with bands of the same marks. The grip has one large raised ring around it, near the end, which is decorated with parallel marks in bands of four in a weave-like pattern.