Fighting ring from Kenya, Africa. Collected by Oscar Ferris Watkins. Given to the Museum in 1922.
The distribution o finger hooks and finger knives coincides closely with that of fighting bracelets. These are found among several Nilotic and Nilo-Hanitic peoples of the Sudan, northern Kenya and Uganda and among some West African peoples in, for example, northern Nigeria.
The Pokot and Turkana peoples of Kenya used both finger hooks and finger knives. As weapons, they could be used to gash the face or gouge out an eye, but they were also used as utensils to cut and eat meat.
This knife, from Lake Turkana (Rudolph), lacks the copper wire seen on other examples, wrapped around the base of the blade to protect the finger. However, it does have a carrying loop and a protective hide edge-sheath commonly seen on larger wrist knives from the region.