Songye Tribal Axe, ca. 1900
You said you got it from your grandfather, and I wondered if you could tell me a little bit about it.
Yes, he was living in Moultrie, Georgia, and he was always very active in the United States Presbyterian Church. So he was in charge of foreign missions. And around 1904 or '05, a Dr. Mott Martin came to Moultrie to lecture. He had been a missionary in the Belgian Congo. And he gave him this axe and he said it was a headhunter's axe. This was an article by Dr. Mott Martin about when he was in the Belgian Congo.
Well, this axe, it's a symbol of authority. Chiefs and leaders of tribes throughout the world have carried maces or axes as a sign of authority. I don't think it was used for execution. The blade is made out of forged iron and was forged in Africa. The handle is wood and is covered with copper that's been nailed down. The tribe that made this is called Songye. They were the Belgian Congo, Leopoldville in your letter. Now this country's Zaire. If it was even more elaborate, they go for thousands and thousands of dollars. This is probably worth $2,000 to $3,000 conservatively.
I'm glad to hear that.
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