This sword is from Yakusu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Yakusu was a mission station of the Baptist Missionary Society. A large number of objects in the Museum were collected by BMS missionaries with links to Reading, although it is not known how this object was collected.
When it was donated to the Museum this sword was said to be a 'poto' used by the Natuse people, but the word 'poto' may actually refer to the cultural group which made and used it. Due to its ornamental design and decorated surface, this sword was probably designed more for ceremony and prestige than functional use.
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