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Songye-Hache d'apparat-Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale.jpg
Weapon type: Axe
Designations: Kilonda
Use: Weapon, professional weapon, means of payment
Region of origin /
Distribution: Songye, Luba, Bakongo, Tetela
Handle: Wood, metal
Lists on the subject
Kilonda, African ceremonial ax

Kilonda is an ax of several ethnic groups of the Songye and their neighbors ( Luba , Bakongo, Tetela) in the Congo ( Democratic Republic of the Congo ). It is used as a weapon of war and civil status as well as a means of payment. The Songye subgroup Nsapo (also Zappo Zap) is considered to be the manufacturer of the weapons. There are many versions of the ax.


The blades of the axes are made of wrought iron. They are mostly openwork. Two to three twisted iron rods come together from the cut surface, which lead into the shaft of the ax and serve to fasten the blade ( blade ). The blade has a length of about 25 cm. The cutting edges are often wavy and in some versions resemble an Egyptian Kopesh . The handle is club-shaped and often decorated with carvings and / or metal wire windings. Some of the axes are only made for ceremonial purposes or as a means of payment and are usually not suitable as a weapon.


  • Christopher Spring, African arms and armor , Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993, ISBN 978-1-56098-317-0 , pages 92-93
  • Important African and Oceanic Art Auction: Vente, Dallas, Texas, Heritage Auction Galleries, Auction N ° 645, June 7 , 2007, Heritage Capital Corporation, 2007, page 182, ISBN 978-1-59967-152-9
  • Roberto Ballarini, Pier Giorgio Cerrini, Pamela Knight, Armi bianche dell'Africa nera , Verlag Africa Curio, 1992
  • Norman Hurst: Title Ngola: the weapon as authority, identity, and ritual object in Sub-Saharan Africa , Verlag Hurst Gallery, 1997, ISBN 096280746X , page 38

Web links

Commons : Kilonda  - collection of images, videos and audio files