Warthog ivory

From Academic Kids

Warthog ivory is taken from the constantly growing canine teeth of the warthog. They have a pair in each jaw with the lower ones being far shorter than the upper ones. Both pairs grow upwards with the upper ones being by far the more spectacular. The lower pair however are the more dangerous: they are straight and keep a keen edge by the upper set rubbing against them. They are sharply pointed.

The upper canines can grow up to 9 inches (23 cm). They are of a squashed circle shape in cross-section, almost rectangular, being about 1 in (4.5 cm) deep and 1 in (2.5 cm) wide. The tusk will curve 90 degrees or more from the root. The tusk will not lie flat on a table, as it curves somewhat backwards as it grows.

The tusks are used for digging, for combat with other hogs and in defence against predators -- the lower set can inflict severe wounds.

The tusks, more often the upper set, are worked much in the way of elephant tusks with all designs obviously scaled down. They are carved predominantly for the tourist trade in East and Southern Africa.

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