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HOME : African & Tribal Art : African Weapons : Ngandu Iron Spearhead
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Ngandu Iron Spearhead - PF.4824
Origin: Western Congo
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 26.75" (67.9cm) high x 5.625" (14.3cm) wide
Collection: African Art
Medium: Iron

Location: United States
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Stark, unadorned, elegant and deadly this spearhead seems to pierce the sky. From a bulbous base it gradually curves like an exotic flower, then suddenly shoots straight up with lethal accuracy. The holes at the bottom continue the floral impression; delightfully ironic considering its purpose was for hunting or war. Yet, when placed on a pedestal this formidable weapon is transformed into a work of art; as if there is a shift in energy, from active to passive, without sacrificing one or the other. The absolute balance in form was necessary to achieve maximum effectiveness against lion or human enemy; and these qualities inadvertently turn a functional object into an aesthetic creation. Perhaps this is why such spearheads were used as a valuable form of currency. Another intriguing aspect are the blacksmiths themselves, who are regarded with awe by their people as someone who can 'transform' resistant materials into something else. This act of 'magic' is what may lie at the heart of this spearhead's attraction, forever tantalizing us with its mystery. - (PF.4824)


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