Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi 22nd February 2017 10:14 PM

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It appears from right to left but in arabic numerals 88 / 11 / 19 with the word hijri in old arabic...certainly old omani arabic... It cannot be late 20th century since the wear on it is much older than that ... I suspect 19thC. Now could the date be one of those puzzles with numbers... 19 minus 11 is 8 , 8x 11 = 88... It happens to be a day after national day ..Coincidence?... Could it be the date of the placement of a new hilt... ? It is, after all, inscribed on the hilt..which may well be a later addition, We may never know... Any ideas? :shrug:

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 28th March 2017 11:59 AM

Khanjar Dance; Barah.
There is in fact a traditional dance in the Funun called the Barah described as
Quote"Al-Barah is a Bedouin musical tradition from the Dhofar mountains in southern Oman. It takes the form of a warlike dance performed to drums and the chanting of poetry in a local tribal dialect. Al-Barah is performed in a half circle formed by ten to thirty men and women. As they chant and clap, two male dancers holding khanjars (daggers) perform codified dance movements, brandishing their daggers above shoulder level. The dancers steps are uncomplicated, but coordination with other performers and the music requires considerable skill. Each tribe has its own characteristic form of al-Barah, possessing different drum rhythms and dance movements. The musical accompaniment is provided by the al-kasir, al-rahmâni and ad-daff drums and al-qassaba flute. The dance is performed outdoors, on occasions such as weddings, circumcisions and religious feasts. As for other Omani Bedouin dances, class and other distinctions are erased, as tribal leaders perform alongside the most humble of the population. The tradition represents the chivalric spirit, strength, courage, generosity and hospitality associated with Bedouins. The dance also emphasizes poetic themes of love and flirtation. Al-Barah has many practitioners from Dhofar, who contribute to maintaining and transmitting its poetic variety and practice.''Unquote.

The above from which also has a video for interest. In fact it is also practiced in the Sharqiyyah and in Yemen I understand.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 31st March 2017 12:12 PM

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I was impressed by a Royal Khanjar I saw at the Zubair Museum in Muscat and show that below...It may be noted that the hilt although mostly shrouded behind silver decoration is Rhino but that this is a material greatly liked not only because of the inherent strength and fearlessness for which it was famous but because the horn itself can accept lots of securing silver pins without cracking. Many weapons are being made these days with recycled old hilts or composite high density compounds which are just as strong and pliable. You will recall that it was one of Saiid The Great's wives who invented several adornments on her husbands behalf or to brighten his day thus the following were her contribution; The Royal Khanjar Hilt, The Royal Turban, The Royal Camerbund, The Iconic Battle Sword Royal Hilt, and probably the Omani Dancing Sword.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 13th July 2017 12:21 PM

For a detailed paper on The Omani Khanjar see

Gonzalo G 13th July 2017 11:33 PM

Thank you for sharing, Ibrahiim. All publications are welcome. They are impossible to find where I live. Except for the Internet.


Ibrahiim al Balooshi 14th July 2017 03:02 PM

Originally Posted by Gonzalo G
Thank you for sharing, Ibrahiim. All publications are welcome. They are impossible to find where I live. Except for the Internet.


Then you are in the same position as I. !! :)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 15th July 2017 02:27 PM

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Perhaps a few atmospheric shots of Khanjars being worn... :shrug:

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 28th August 2017 05:27 PM

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I have yet to post a Khanjar naming the different parts... Fortunately has done the hard work for which I commend his informative web site thus below is the named weapon parts diagram.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 9th September 2017 12:58 PM

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It is very easy to get carried away in an Omani Souk...Feast your eyes...!!!!

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 12th September 2017 10:08 AM

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A further group of excellent Omani Khanjars... :shrug:

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 19th September 2017 04:41 PM

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A couple of pointers ...for interest. Many people ask me how to identify Rhino Hilts. The fact is its not easy but rhino looks like bunched spaghetti and can be better seen if a light is shone into the hilt from a powerful mobile fone torch ....The material is translucent and almost glows . Here is one of the best I have seen illustrated ...Rhino is excellent material for Khanjar hilts since it can take the myriad of tiny nail/pins without splitting. In fact one of the give aways on a Khanjar is the thousands of such silver pins hammered into the face and top of the hilt. To me it is as if the intentional pattern derives from the end view of Rhino hilts... the massing of fibres giving rise to this pattern reflects in my view to the design of pins hammered into the hilt. :shrug:

Once again I draw the attention of readers to which is a dissertation of huge importance to Omans cultural herritage.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 29th September 2017 12:46 PM

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For a few years now we are seeing complete formal matching sets of weapons for court purposes using the full combination of historical and correctly applied matching decoration... Note the belt which is a camerbund and the interesting hilts on the swords...Not everyones taste but very attractive ... Tomorrows antiques I suppose.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 16th October 2017 11:00 AM

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The Omani Khanjar; Some unusual examples...

Please see Omani for a further angle on Omani Khanjars.

See which shows a reasoned discussion on Walrus / Elephant Ivory.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 16th October 2017 11:18 AM

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In this case the Khanjar is in fact not Omani...but chevron styled rings at centre belt coupled with the expanse of leather below the belt indicate a UAE weapon.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 18th October 2017 04:06 PM

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I see strange looking daggers occasionally but this one was extra odd looking...
The crown is extra bulbous not to mention 10 rings! and a very odd looking central ring belt with unusual rectangles ..I don't know....Anyone got any ideas...? :shrug:

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