Edged weapons, including daggers, knives, axes and swords, are probably the most common weapons of all. Before the advent of metalworking, people made the blades and points of such offensive weaponry from wood, bone and stone. Blades, handles, and scabbards all lend themselves to adornment and cultures vary in the part of the weapon they chose to embellish.
Decoration may symbolize a warrior’s cultural identity or status and is often prominently featured on a part of the weapon that can be displayed easily. Some edged weapons became powerful symbols of authority. Throughout Europe and Africa, persons of importance were once trailed by an assistant carrying a sword or large knife. Dress swords were valued not as weapons, but as symbols of their wearer’s high status. Some of the earliest forms of money were miniature or nonfunctional knives.