Melee Weapons Among the Ikwen
While the concept of firearms is new to the Ikwen (only within the current generation) they do have a long tradition of bladed combat. The Huli, which translates literally and quite basically as, "Blade", has taken many form among these aliens and their various cultures but is most commonly seen as a hooked sword or hafted weapon.
Huli weapons all share the common features of an inwardly curved blade, hooking to different degrees. The blade is edged along the entirety of the inside curve of the weapon as well as the back side of the curve itself. This allows the weapon to cut both on the forward and backward swings.
Most of the modern Huli are cobbled together from scrap and even pre-occupation Huli were often agricultural revisions of the more traditional weapon. The common Huli do indeed persist as they have been used for centuries as agricultural tools among more civilized Ikwen. The hooked sword, known simply as a Huli, was used for threshing and as a chopping tool for foods. The hafted Huli known as the Kragt-huli is used both as an agricultural and herding tool where the hook and point are useful in budging stubborn, thick-hided livestock animals. Hulis of other kinds can be seen among the more traditional and ancient Ikwen people as well as the Mugoda clans. These folk still maintain, to varying extents, the warrior ways of the earlier Ikwen cultures before settlement and agriculture allowed them to put away most of their need for weapons.
Among the steppes tribes, a common sight is the Goda-huli, a heavy-hafted hooked axe that is wielded to deadly effect from the backs of their massive steeds. In the case of this weapon, the haft is made thick and reinforced with resin and hide to help it absorb the shock of a charged strike. Where the blade turns in, instead of coming to a point it broadens to an axe-like head. The edge still continues to inside of the hooked blade but it gain a heavy striking head that can often remove heads and limbs in a single swing.
Another weapon common among most of the tribal folks of the Ikwen are short Huli blades, longer than a knife but not as massive and long as the machete-like basic Huli, the Katag-huli. These blades are used for ritual combats as well as a utility blade when hunting. Tribal Ikwen are also quite adept at throwing these blades as well as other Huli blades which they often do before they clash with an enemy.
Outside of the tribal Ikwen, the art of Huli combat has all but disappeared. There are still practitioners of ancient fighting arts and in some remote places there are schools that keep these techniques alive. A few remote villages have even kept alive the ancient Ikwen warrior ways and retain the traditional military orders of the Ikwen people training in many forms of Huli combat and wearing traditional armor and battle dress. Since the onset of the rebellion, these fighters have managed to find their way into fighting units and more than a few militia leaders have appeared wearing these ancient traditional costumes and weapons as a form of inspiration to oppose the invaders.