Takoba (also takuba or takouba) is the sword that is used across the western Sahel and among ethnic groups such as the Tuareg, the Hausa, the Fulani. It usually measures about one meter in length. Since the Tuareg have an aversion to touching iron, the takoba's hilt, like many iron implements, is fully covered. Typically the simple but deep crossguard is of iron sheet, or iron-framed wood, covered in tooled leather, occasionally it is sheathed in brass or silver; the grip is also often leather-covered but the pommel is always of metal, often, brass or copper, sometimes iron or silver.
© Kieron Nelson 1999 "Vanishing Cultures Photography" All rights reserved