The Tuareg are a fair-skinned semi-nomadic people of the Berber ethnic group who inhabit
the Sahara in North Africa. The telek is a type of arm dagger distinctive to these people.
Though they practice the Islamic faith, the cross-shaped hilt of the telek is likely a leftover
reminder of the Crusades. The telek is worn on the left wrist with the point toward the
elbow so that it can be drawn quickly with the right hand. This example features a long
wooden grip of cruciform shape with decorative embossed sheet brass covering the lower
portion and brass caps on pommel and quillons. Double-edged 8 1/4″ blade tapering to a
sharp point decorated with floral and geometric designs on stippled background and Arabic
inscription on one side. Leather scabbard completely covered with sheet brass embossed
with geometric designs; riveted wrist strap also with embossed sheet brass covering
(separated on one end). Overall length 14 3/4″, not including scabbard. Shows age and
dark patina to brass.