Initially, the Douk-Douk was intended for the Melanesian market, which in the 1930s seemed to constitute an interesting commercial pole.
The figure on the handle is the effigy of the Melanesian god Douk-Douk. Its origin is lost in the mists of time and its cult is still perpetuated and flourishing today in Melanesia.
The Melanesian market having proved disappointing, the marketing of the Douk-Douk then turned to North Africa where, in a very short time, it was to experience unprecedented success. The Douk-Douk combined two qualities that were apparently difficult to reconcile: on the one hand, a very low selling price and on the other hand, a superior quality blade that local customers, who are experts in the field, know how to appreciate.
Thus, it was going to compete advantageously with the junk manufacturers and the classic European models which, until then, shared the North African customers.
On the eve of 1939, it was definitively adopted and had even become the "national pocket knife" of Algeria, then a French province.
The Douk-Douk was then going to reach Lebanon and Indochina, probably brought by the African troops, and spread widely there. The razor sharpness of its blade (often used in this role, proof of its quality), its ultra-flat shape allowing it to be concealed, made it a formidable weapon, far from the peaceful use for which it had been designed. The French Administration had then considered the Douk-Douk as "war material" and had prohibited its importation in Algeria, seizing the stocks intended for the local sale. The seized knives were then often given to the military as pocket knives for their usual needs and they were sometimes kept extra legally by certain units as "snack knives".
From North Africa, the Douk-Douk progressively gained the whole African continent thanks to military expeditions, caravans of Arab merchants or carried in the luggage of explorers and backpackers who were very numerous at that time. Today, it can be found even in some pygmy tribes of Black Africa!
Ironically, the Douk-Douk is practically unknown in France, but it arrived with the return of the French troops and especially with the repatriated civilians after the decolonization. It then began a new career with the development and modernization of the entire product range of the Cognet factory.
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