Forged in Fire“Hunga Munga.” S3Ep6, Sep272016, background Channel.

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This is the history Channel’s description of the Hunga Munga:

The term Hunga Munga refers to a range of central African throw knives, every one of which attribute a series of double-edged iron chisels attached come a rawhide handle. The Hunga Munga to be not just formidable in hand-to-hand combat, however could be thrown indigenous a distance, with some reports declare it had a throwing range of up to 250 feet. Together armor was no used often in central Africa, this kind of throwing steel was an especially devastating. Hunga Munga was often an extremely valuable, and also could it is in traded because that goods. The Hunga Munga was also wielded by Buffy Summers in the cult series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

The an initial and most fundamental flaw in this description was already identified by the history Channel: the ax Hunga Munga is vague and can refer to a number of different knives.

In relenten a Teda musri tongue from Chad/Sudan in 1922, Henry Balfour (who donated this knife come the Pitt Rivers Museum) wrote: “I have had the knife in question for some 20 years and when sending it come me at that time with other curiosities, my friend in Barbary (he is currently dead) wrote ‘Shunga Mungha.’ These room scarce and really hard come get. Therefore, this knife must day to the so late 19th century or also earlier.” This is the knife gift described:


The Pitt Rivers Museum elaborates ~ above the subject: “The modern-day version of the name is Hunga Munga and is other of a generic European surname for all pronged cram knives. The was supplied in the American TV series, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ to refer to a throwing knife provided by the show’s key character” .

The history Channel presents a knife comparable to the one used by Buffy top top television, i beg your pardon is recognized as bwambwa, and made through the Ngombe and Ngbaka of the D.R. Congo. While regular with the Buffy’s Hunga Munga, the difference between the bwambwa and also the initial Shunga Mungha (the musri) is drastic. Indeed, these 2 distinct societies were separated by much more than 700 miles.


Going ago to the history Channel’s summary of the Hunga Munga, over there are just too many particular claims being made. For example, “it had actually a range of as much as 250 feet.” What is being explained by the term “it”? when using a share word that might describe any African throw knife, how deserve to such a particular assertion it is in made?

“This type of throwing knife was specifically devastating.” which type?

If the background Channel was interested in focusing on the bwambwa — the knife supplied in the TV display “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — they might have defined the special, of that function, trip characteristics, value, and also deadliness. Yet they instead used a generic and meaningless hatchet to describe a specific knife, and then emphasized details that might be true of afri throwing velvet in general, but not true that the bwambwa.

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Compared come the history Channel’s description of a knife “formidable in hand-to-hand combat” that was also a “particularly devastating” as a cram knife, the truth certainly seems less glamorous:

Ngombe throwing knives took an expert blacksmith number of days come produce, and were expensive. If they might be properly thrown as weapons, their worth made together an action impractical; Westerdijk writes, “its owner hurled it just in the critical resort, or once he esteemed to have actually a fair chance of recovering it.” together such, this weapon’s primary function was that of one emblem that power, wealth, and also prestige. Recognized as ngwolo or bwambwa, this weapon form was mainly lugged by town heads, family tree elders, and also other notables together a price of prestige. They to be brandished throughout important funerals, provided in initiation ceremonies, and even lugged by police during the colonial duration (Westerdijk, The african Throwing Knife, 1988).