M.C. Cognet of Thiers, France has been the original manufacturer of "Douk-Douk" since 1929. Initially, the Douk-Douk was intended for the Melanesian (the western Pacific island region comprises the countries of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea) market that appeared in the 1930s provide an interesting commercial center. The character stamped on the handle is in the image of Melanesian god Douk-Douk. Its origin is lost in the mists of time and his cult is still thriving and perpetuated today in Melanesia.
The Melanesian market proved disappointing, so marketing turned to North Africa where in a very short time Cognet would experience unprecedented success. The Douk-Douk was developed for two qualities that seemed difficult to reconcile: first a very low selling price and also a high-quality blade that the user would appreciate. Combining these two opposing characteristics, the design competed favorably against other European models sold in North Africa. On the eve of 1939, the Douk-Douk was finally adopted and had even become "national pocket knife" of Algeria, then a French province.
The Douk-Douk would then win favor from Lebanon to Indochina, probably brought by French and African troops; wherever French interests prevailed. In North Africa, the Douk-Douk gradually spread across the African continent in favor of military expeditions, caravans of Arab traders or carried in the luggage of many explorers and adventurers at that time. Ironically, at the time this knife was virtually unknown in France until the return of French troops and civilians repatriated following decolonization. Today, it is still made using the same time tested materials and equipment.