African Ceremonial Implements

The Mebel Collection, donated to Adelphi University, represents metal implements from West and Central Africa, as well as four pieces from the greatly underappreciated artistic traditions of East Africa. The collection comprises axes, adzes, daggers, swords, and ceremonial instruments. The collection speaks to the magnificent skills and techniques of these long gone and forgotten master craftsmen of West and Central Africa…The extent of war-related instruments speaks to certain patterns of uneasy relations between societies, but also to the care of the artisans of these societies of infusing even weapons of destruction with unsullied beauty.

Excerpt of an essay written by Professor Emeritus Hugh Wilson. Read the entire essay

  Western Africa; Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia; Toma
  Wood and Various Metals
  17 9/16 x 8 3/4 x 2 1/8 ins. (44.6 x 22.2 x 5.4 cm)
  This Toma axe is beautifully decorated with aluminum, brass, and iron details around the head. There are faint markings along the edge of the blade near the head of the axe.
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Adelphi’s collection of over 50 African ceremonial implements were donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick and Claire Mebel (Adelphi Alumna, 1938).


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