Bringing home primitive weapons and souvenirs

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by cptkirk, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. cptkirk

    cptkirk AH Senior Member

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    So I am bored and trying to come up with a good question to ask. This may be a lame question but it is something I have always liked to look at. I have always wanted to have some items like hand made bows, arrows, knives, spears and such to hang in my man cave. Are items like these available for purchase in the RSA, and if so any problems with getting them home. I have some American Indian items like arrow heads and stone club heads from around my Dads place in Kentucky and from Missouri and think it would be neat to get some items from Africa. I am not talking museum pieces, just what some poor little guy in the bush would use if he did not have access to a firearm.
     
  2. bluey

    bluey AH Legend

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    Good thread,mate
    My wife ask this at xmas time
    If we stumble across any , she will be hell bent on getting them home
    A shield would be cool ,too
     
  3. hunting4sanity

    hunting4sanity AH Enthusiast

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    A good friend of mine, whose collection of African animals and weapons I've always admired, said he brings things home without any issues and if he's trying to get something home that is too large he has had it shipped with his animals. Not sure if sending items with the animals is an easy issue or not, but I've seen some great taxidermy incorporating shields, etc. and hoping to try something similar.
     
  4. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I searched out Authentic items. It is hard work. It continues to be hard work.

    Zulu Assegais, Knobkerrie's, etc

    San , Bows, Arrows, digging sticks, etc.

    Tourist trinkets from along the road are easy to find.

    Bringing it home:

    Make sure you know what "it" is made of. Wood, Raw Hide, Bone, Elephant hair, turtle, etc. etc.
    Can be big issues, confiscations, fines.

    I brought my items into Canada as ART. I had no issues.

    Spears, arrows, etc. Not even an eyebrow.

    One container with me as extra baggage.
    Some items in my trophy crate.
     
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  6. poprivit

    poprivit AH Senior Member

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    I've brought back to Las Vegas a bow, arrows, spear and club. No one batted an eye.
    However, when I brought my S&W 500 through Atlanta from Zimbabwe, the dolt at Customs wanted to check the serial number (inside the crane) and couldn't for the life of him figure out how to open the cylinder. I pointed and started to show him

    "Don't touch the gun!"

    So, we got to play games for 15 minutes. As I had three hour layover, I decided just to stand back and watch.

    This Dolt had a sidearm, but semi auto. Well trained, eh what?
     
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  7. joester

    joester AH Veteran

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    I've had good luck bringing back such items from Africa. Knives, mostly - I like to go to street vendors who are selling their own stuff rather than African versions of big box stores. Often, knives are not displayed, but just ask, and guys will be showing you their crude but well made wares, often with hand carved wooden sheaths. I buy the mostly for young hunters back in the US as souvenirs. Mostly the blades are made from truck parts.

    I recently brought back a few handmade axes w/ironwood handles from Moz. w/ no problems. I'm having some confiscated gin traps ( ie: handmade legholds) shipped back w/ my skins/ skulls. The importer was at first unsure of the legality, but when I sent proof that such traps are sold " over the countere" here in PA, she said, no worries, mate!
     
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  8. Adrian

    Adrian AH Enthusiast

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    I brought a few pieces back from Kenya to the U.K. without any issues. Three small shields, four short spears and a six foot spear that broke down.
    Nothing ancient or unusual, typical tourist pieces bought or swapped with the Maasi after a traditional dance at our hotel.

    Mind you, that was back in 1998 and things have changed now......
     
  9. observe

    observe CONTRIBUTOR AH Elite

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    I've just flown out of the RSA yesterday with [amongst other things....] a 7' sheath knife and a 'ketty' with pepper-spray balls in my sealed luggage,
    with a very good and beautifully made traditional 'knop kiere' and 1/4 sized Zulu shield bought on the Johannesburg airport as hand luggage without any problem.
    There are many many different tanned hides etc., painted ostrich eggs on warthog tusk stands, tusk or horn key holders and walking sticks, various horn ornaments etc for sale on the airport itself--some of them of a very high quality!
    [At least 4 different shops selling these items were visited on the airport]

    There shouldn't be any problem as long as it is in your bag in the hold down below.
    [Just to be save,'glad wrap' all your bags before putting it on the airplane.]

    It is nice to have these traditional or primitive African goodies around at home!

    By all means, buy it 'outside' as well and secure it in your big suit case. :bighello:
     
  10. Christina Nyczepir

    Christina Nyczepir AH Enthusiast

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    I had three ostrich eggs that I purchased at JO airport confiscated by U.S. Customs. It infuriated me to no end because they were empty art pieces.....not something I picked up fresh off a farm to bring back. Yet....I could turn around and BUY the same eggs from some company out of England and have them delivered here in the states no problem. Such is the wacked out U.S. government. One happy news though....they didn't get the porcupine quills and the guinea fowl feathers I saved from the hunts that I had tightly wrapped and put in my check-in luggage. Bwahahahaha. LOL I agree with Brickburn....know what the items are made of and check with Customs.
     
  11. rooihond

    rooihond AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the thread and the informative responses. Bringing back souvenirs will be part of the experience for me and my girlfriend on our first safari.
     
  12. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Senior Member

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    Gents, let me revive this old thread, by asking the question - what are most colourful, most typical souvenirs from SA or from Namibia? Spears, skin shields, masks, etc?

    Although I am mostly collecting various information on hunting and game species, I must admit, this is also very interesting subject?
     
  13. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Fanatic

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    Keep in mind the further you are out in the bush the more likely what you are buying is authentic hand made stuff. Lots of commercially produced stuff in RSA. That's ok as long as you know what you are getting. My favorite item of all is a hand made Massai spear my brother got in Kenya while on a mission trip. But I agree some special items like this can really be a nice memory of your trip.
    Regards,
    Philip
     
  14. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I would love to have a couple of spears even if they were reproductions
    Mass made but I didn't see any at the craft market!
     
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  15. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Senior Member

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    Speers? Nice!
    Does anybody have some photos of similar souvenirs brought back home?
     
  16. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Fanatic

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    There is a huge store (4 stories) in Cape Town in the V&A Waterfront, if go up stairs (tourist stuff on 1st Floor) you can find the items you are looking and they ship. The higher the floor the higher the price.
     
  17. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The Jo'burg airport is full of everything from craft jewelry to high end Tanzanite set in 18 k; animal skins, art, basketry, etc, etc. Just remember it is all recent manufacture for the tourist trade. Still, much of it is very cool stuff for a trophy room. The best blades, knobkerries, axes, etc are found closer to the bush. They too are likely recently made, but they were made to be used - have a totally different look - at least to me. Windhoek has a fine co-op store for tribal art, and there you can find wonderful baskets and wood carvings. The major parks, such as Etosha also have gift shops with art from local people.

    Imperial period stuff such as an assegai dating to the Zulu wars or a true 19th century Massai shield are best purchased through reputable dealers in such antiques.

    I have never had an issue bringing anything back in checked luggage. Though do keep track of total value so you aren't embarrassed by some zealot in US customs (they really aren't after you - their focus is the drug trade). A good technique is to list most items as "souvenirs" with a total value. Tends to dampen inspection interest about the wood of a particular carving. A single expensive item such as a piece of real jewelry should be listed separately.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  18. Wheels

    Wheels AH Legend

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    Tell your outfitter/ph what you are interested in before you get there or when you get there. They may be able to pick up some things for you cheap, or drive you a little out of the way to places that have them.

    Not sure about SA, but in many rural villages in Africa, you can probably pick up knobkerries, walking sticks, choppers, many of these things you can pick up for $1-5 if you let your tracker negotiate. Some places will have spears and swords.

    ie: I priced a maasai spear and sword in Tanzania this year in a rural area and together they cost apx. $30. You need to know the size of your luggage if carrying it back. Tuffpaks are good. Many spears break down in two pieces. Some Maasai spears break down into three. Putting them back together where they look original may take some effort.

    Many areas have their own local blacksmiths. Leaf springs tend to be the source material.
     
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  19. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Have a great trip. Remember to share your hunt report.
     

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