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Gerber Machete.jpg
Weapon type: knife
Designations: Bush knife, machete, chopper, panga
Use: Tool, weapon
Creation time: circa 1700
Working time: til today
Region of origin /
Haiti , Cuba
Distribution: Worldwide
Overall length: approx. 70 cm, varying
Blade length: approx. 20–50 cm, varying
Blade width: varying
Blade thickness: approx. 2-3 mm
Weight: approx. 500-1000 grams
Handle: Wood, horn, metal, plastic
Particularities: different designs and shapes
Lists on the subject

The machete ( loan word from Spanish , Spanish pronunciation [ maˈʧete ], German pronunciation mostly [ maˈxe: tə ]) is a strong knife about 3 mm thick .

Different shapes of machete
Machete pack from 1885
Colombian machete blade with saw back

Use in agriculture

In its most common use, the machete is a tool especially in cane sugar production . It is used both to cut the sugar cane just above the root and to clean the leaves from the stem. The machete is also used to remove weeds in the sugar cane fields and in gardening. It is also used as a machete. There are numerous forms of machete, which are usually named after their country of origin ( La Inglesa - the English, La Alemana - the German).

The typical sugar cane worker is the machetero , who can already be recognized from the outside by his particularly muscular flapping arm. The quality of the machete depends crucially on the steel used in its production and on its balanced construction, which makes it an extension of the forearm.

Despite the use of sugar cane harvesting machines as in Cuba, the machetero is still in use where the shape of the soil or the size of the field do not permit the use of machines or their use is uneconomical.

Use as a weapon

Just as tools (such as pitchforks and flails ) were used for other purposes during the peasant uprisings in Europe, the machete was also used as a hand-to-hand weapon during the uprisings in the sugar colonies of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries . In the time of single-shot rifles , hand-to-hand combat was the rule, so that during the Cuban Liberation War against the Spanish colonial power from 1868–1898, the machete departments of the Mambises were feared by the Spanish colonial soldiers - also because of the terrible injuries that were caused with this weapon . With the advent of multi-shot rifles, the machete, like the saber, largely lost its importance as a combat weapon.

In the 20th century there are examples of the use of machetes, if not as a weapon of war, then as a murder weapon. For example, during the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda , the Interahamwe militias mainly used machetes. The use of machetes was also typical of the Tonton Macoutes in Haiti .

Machete myth

The machete is mainly known in Europe for adventure novels and films , so it is usually seen there as a machete and weapon. Mainly, however, it is used in many places as a tool, especially when harvesting z. B. Sugar cane. In European forestry, forest workers use similar tools such as Hippe and Schweizer Gertel.

Web links

Wiktionary: Machete  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Machete  - collection of images, videos and audio files