Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Miguel 1st May 2017 03:38 PM

Algerian Knives
12 Attachment(s)
Hello Everyone,

Some Algerian knives for interest and/or comment.

No 1:- Flyssa knife in carved wooden scabbard. Does anyone know what the pommel represents?

Nos 1 & 2:- These are, I believe, Nimcha wedding or souvenir knives.

No 3:- I am unsure what this knife is called. It has a Nimcha shape hilt and a sturdy straight blade having similar decoration to the above Flyssa blade, perhaps its just called a knife :shrug:
Thank you

ariel 2nd May 2017 05:49 AM

Your flyssa knife may be missing coin-like "eyes" of the "dog's head".
According to Spring , they, and perhaps the entire shiny bronze handle, might serve as an allure to the "evil eye", thus distracting it from its intended target of the owner of the weapon. We can only guess the veracity of that explanation: Kabyles published very few books on the history and meaning of their weapons:-)

The so-called "wedding nimchas" were included in Charles Buttin's collection. Thus, whether they were ritual or souvenir, they were present even 100 years ago.

And, yes: just "the knife" might be the safest term. Although it might be a homage to Bu Saadi. Blade decorations are very flyssa-like.

Both it and the nimchas seem to be of recent manufacture.

Miguel 2nd May 2017 03:47 PM

Thanks for this information, Ariel, particularly that on the Flyssa. Ive thought many a time that something was not quite right about the pommel and you've hit it on the head, the eyes, brilliant.

I tend to agree with you about the age of the others but didn't realize that the Nimcha wedding knives were about so long ago.
Thanks again

kronckew 3rd May 2017 09:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
my flyssas. you can see the brass 'eyes' on the straight one. the curved one i think is a transitional one that lead to the less functional decorative wedding nimcha versions.

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