Takouba - Saharan Tuareg sword

length: 34"
blade: 28 3/4"
blade width: 2"
grip and pommel: 4"
guard: 4 7/8"
weight: 1 lb 8.8 oz

Classic takouba, a sword used by the nomadic Tuareg, an offshoot of the Berbers in Saharan Africa. The Tuareg long dominated the central and west-central areas of the Sahara desert (including portions of what is now Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and Morocco) and had a reputation as effective warriors and as highwaymen, exacting heavy tolls from trans-Saharan caravans for over a millennium. Having broad, straight, double-edged blades averaging 74 to 84 cm. (29 to 33 inches) in length and a simple cross-guard, the takouba, like the more westerly Sudanese kaskara, has long been confused with medieval European swords. Current learned opinion is that these swords are a distinct and entirely indigenous African type, although speculations of possible influence from Spain via the Almoravides in the 11th Century (Nicolaisen (1997, p. 399)) or from medieval Arab broadswords (Spring (1993, p. 42)) have been made. (description courtesy of the Ethnographic Edged Weapons web site.)

This takouba dates from the early 1900's. The blade and guard are original, the grip and pommel are a reconstruction in the original style.