An early prestige knife / axe of the Mangbetu people, probably from the Meje sub-ethnic group of Mangbetu. Also known as Trumbash. originally used as a weapon of war and also as an agricultural implement, but later on developed into prestige item and a symbol of status. Late 19thC or early 20thC. Very well forged, sickle shaped. 12 inches blade of softer curvature than the later common Trumbash. Rather simple wood handle with copper strips binding. 19 inches total length. The handle is decorated with silver wire and copper nails indicating that it belonged to somebody important. The possession on these knives was strictly regulated and only tribal or military chiefs were allowed to own them. I believe that the knife once belonged to a museum, indicated by the tag. The blade looks like it has seen some use but is still well secured to the handle. A very interesting knife that would make an excellent addition to any collection.