Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Andy Davis 15th February 2006 08:40 AM

Not your usual Moroccan
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Hello all
I keep finding examples of Moroccan jambiyas and they are usually such a disapointment, especially when it comes to the blade.
This one came as part of a trade and I have to admit, different and at least desirable for once. Really liked the large proportions, heavy decoration and repairs and the blade, while as rough as you could find, extreamly serious for once. Are they usually only sharpend on the inside curve?
How old do we think? And what is the difference between this and the smaller hilted variety? Stone describes a similar example as being a Southern Moroccan jambiya but I'd appreciate our expert opinion also.

drdavid 15th February 2006 10:46 AM

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that is a very nice looking example of a koumiya. I am no expert on these but like most things I think it is probably easy to find a utilitarian version which would do very well at the village level, and less easy to find a nicer example like yours. I have a village level one which I quite like for its lack of sophistication, the blade is workman like but certainly would be effective for many tasks.

Justin 16th February 2006 01:28 PM

Nice piece,the inside curved being sharpened is unusual but not unheard of I have probably seen 3-4 including yours.I believe that the concave side is considered the 'front' edge anyway so really this one is just lacking a false edge{this is a statement based mainly on my opinion}.

Im surprised that you say they are usually a dissapointment,I love all of mine,a few of them have somewhat thin blades but aside from that they are all beautiful knives.

Andy Davis 17th February 2006 08:32 AM

Ah only my opinion
I think its from coming across tourist examples, with often good construction & detail on the hilt and scabbard, that you then just draw and........oh!
I'll buy rusty, pitted, half broken items before I'll buy a tourist piece, no mater how pretty it is.
Just me I guess

Dom 21st February 2006 01:52 AM

just to compare
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some 40 years ago .... yesterday :rolleyes:

I bought that koumiya in Marocco, I thing that it wasn't made for tourist :)
but it's true that the old one became rare in our days :(



Zan 21st February 2006 02:36 AM

Hi everybody,

While I was myself in Morocco (in 2005), I was surprised about the incredible burst of tourist-made koumiyas. On the other hand, the "real thing" was difficult to find, and also sometimes much more expensive then the one on eBay or the eSellers, even after hard talks... :)


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