'Nzappa Zap' axe from upper Congo.
This ceremonial axe consists of an iron head with two twisted iron bands and a third middle band decorated with two human faces. The wooden handle is covered with copper. It is of the type usually carried by the chiefs of the Songye people. The human heads on the decoration of the blade are possibly symbolic of subordinate peoples. These axes were held in great esteem and they were usually made by the Nsapo people who had a thriving iron and copper working industry. This example was obtained during the 3rd Ashanti War (1895-1896).
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, London
National Army Museum, Study collection