Sword with Carved Handle
On View: Asian Galleries, Arts of Japan, 2nd floor
Adult Ainu men once carried a short, sheathed knife at all times. Like the tobacco kit, the knife was tucked into a man’s sash, and the quality of its carving and materials reflected the status of the wearer. Longer knives like this one were used for heavier work, such as butchering meat and cutting branches, but were still decorated. The blade and metal straps would have been acquired through trade, as the Ainu people did not engage in metalworking.
Wood and steel
late 19th-early 20th century
knife in sheath: 1 9/16 x 1 1/2 x 19 7/8 in. (4 x 3.8 x 50.5 cm)
sheath alone: 2 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 14 in. (5.7 x 3.2 x 35.6 cm)
knife alone: 3 x 15/16 x 18 1/2 in. (7.6 x 2.4 x 47 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Herman Stutzer
Ainu. Sword with Carved Handle, late 19th-early 20th century. Wood and steel, knife in sheath: 1 9/16 x 1 1/2 x 19 7/8 in. (4 x 3.8 x 50.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Herman Stutzer, 12.497a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 12.497_PS9.jpg)
overall, 12.497_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
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