Scepter knife "cimpaaba" ("cimpaba", "kiphaba" or "tschimpapa")Click here to view a larger version of the image
Lot: 31998th Auction
Scepter knife "cimpaaba" ("cimpaba", "kiphaba" or "tschimpapa")
D. R. Congo, Woyo
|Provenance||Size||Starting price / estimated price|
|L: 21.3 inch||
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance
"Cimpaaba" were used among the Woyo of Cabinda (Angola) and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as among the Kakongo, the Lingi, and the Vili.
They were part of the regalia of a tribal chief and were a symbol of his authority. An emissary entrusted with the "cimpaaba" of a tribal chief spoke with the authority of the latter.
Several authors mention that "cimpaaba" played an important part in trials. Even the mere display of the sceptre knife could silence heated debates. The use of the "cimpaaba" was associated with certain codes. The way in which a "cimpaaba" was held or placed on the ground during palavers, provided information about the imposition of a sentence, or the support for or opposition against one party or another.
The various motifs that decorate the blade of the "cimpaaba", either incised or openworked, refer to proverbs. Some of these pictographic sayings apparently were the mottos of clearly identified clans, while others were simply connected with the expression of power and its legitimacy.