Ethnographic Arms & Armour

Ethnographic Arms & Armour (
-   Ethnographic Weapons (
-   -   Show us your koummyas (

NovelsRus 22nd March 2012 03:10 PM

Show us your koummyas
6 Attachment(s)
Hi, all,

Just a quick gloat over the last four blades I picked up online recently.
Amazing how some slip through the bidding late at night when no one's up to contest them. You wouldn't believe some of the prices I've paid. But I honor the site's restriction against evaluations, $ and etc., so . . . you'll just have to email me for details. Now for the Koummyas:

Dom 22nd March 2012 11:47 PM

Originally Posted by NovelsRus
Now for the Koummyas:
I guess that may be, they are more decorative than ancient
which would explain the absence of competitor to bid
all seems very recent, but might be I could be wrong ?
anyway, nice daggers, very pleasant :D
tomorrow, I will post a pic for my edged weapons from Morocco



NovelsRus 23rd March 2012 02:51 AM

I think you're right: they aren't very old
Hi, Dom,

Thanks for your comments. Yes, please do post some pics of Moroccan blades. I've become especially enamored of the Koummya in the past few months, have tried to buy some of the older, more valuable ones, but . . . you know how that goes. Bidding skyrockets and one must decide between the gas & lights or another knife on the wall.

However, I saw one that looks almost identical to my latest buy (the larger, silvery one with the wooden handle), and it fetched a lot more than I paid. But that auction ended during normal daylight hours for the U.S., while mine ended at some ungawdly hour of the early morning.

Anyway, onward and upward,


Martin Lubojacky 23rd March 2012 11:23 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Here are some daggers/knives from Maghreb. BTW, the dagger very simmilar to that one owned by DOM was bought in Tunisia, but probably comes from Algeria, too (there was no dolphin head on the scabbard).

Dom 23rd March 2012 03:12 PM

2 Attachment(s)
JRF has proposed; Show us your koummyas

as committed, here pics for my Morocco's edged weapons;
- 2 "shulas" relatively old
- 3 "khoumiya", if the 2 first one, I don't have a doubt about their "seniority" ...
not the same for the 3rd one, the blade is good, in respect with what was done in past,
but ... may be has been used to create an attractive dagger with a new; scabbard and handle :p

I've sticked to the subject proposed by JRF ;)
otherwise, what's concerning the North-Africa
- I've 1 nimcha, to complete about Morocco,
- 8 daggers from Algeria
- 2 arm-daggers
- 3 Bou-Sad ... that's set :p

best regards



Jim McDougall 23rd March 2012 04:29 PM

Nicely done Novels!!! thank you for the respectful and courteous observation concerning avoiding evaluations and pricing and for directing those details to private message.
These are an extremely attractive grouping of these fascinating Maghribi janbiyya forms, known of course as koummya. What is best is that while they are modern examples, they reflect distinctly unique variations which are often decorated with inherent tradition and symbolism.

I think my favorite of the ones you have acquired is the one with the coral. As always, I wonder more on the lore behind the selection and use of the various gemstones on these here and in Ottoman weapons.

Fascinating examples shown by Dom and Martin as well, and it seems that while the koummya's typically found in collections are not usually very old, there are profound variations in decoration, motif and subtle anomalies in the design features. Are there references which might address these which might note regional or tribal characteristics? Any particular references or works which would focus keenly on these and related Maghrebi weapons?

I know Tirri presents distinctly useful illustrations of these, and there are a good number shown in Jacob (text in French), but I would like to learn more on the history and variations of these daggers.
Any chance we might develop this a bit on this thread gentlemen? You guys have really piqued my interest with these delightful examples!!!

All the best,

colin henshaw 23rd March 2012 08:06 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is mine...

archer 23rd March 2012 08:09 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Here's, what I have been able to find on line. It looks like a lot of bling has left Morocco. A RH Genoui and a RH silver Koummya are in the mail. Seller photos are to large. So, more after they come in. Steve

NovelsRus 24th March 2012 08:46 PM

Thanks, ALL
Wow! Let me repeat: WOW!
Thanks to all who responded and posted their koummyas. These are, without question, the most beautiful examples of these knives I've ever seen outside a museum. Dom's, Martin's, Colin's and Archer's collections are truly breath-taking. Simply incredible. :D

I must seriously beef up my own pitiful little collection, if I'm to have something of similar quality to post. Yeeeeesh! :shrug:

And thanks, Jim, for the warm welcome and compliments. I always try to toe the line in every forum, the rules being rules for a reason, methinks.

Till next time,
And I have some more Koummyas to share,


archer 25th March 2012 02:14 PM

JRF, Keep looking, read everything you can about your collecting interests buy or request books mentioned on the Forum from your local reference library. everything I have came from the same source you are searching in. Buy low, sell high. I'm constantly selling off items after studying them to have cash for the next deal that's out there. They say knowledge is power.

Got one this morning photos too large and out of focus
(sounds funny coming from me) for forum. Looking very similar to my last photo
in previous post. KEEP LOOKING

David R 30th March 2012 10:00 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Rather battered and showing it's age, but that's the point, I believe that this is an old one.
Bought from a fleamarket in Sussex 'cos it was the first one I ever saw for sale with what had been a fighting blade. Deeply fullered with a thick crossection....alas heavily pitted. Pardon the quality of the pics, I am still getting the hang of this photography lark.
I have had a few of the decorative ones over the years, and enjoyed having them, but was never convinced of their utility in combat.

NovelsRus 11th April 2012 07:27 PM

Koummyas, Show Us Your
[QUOTE=I have had a few of the decorative ones over the years, and enjoyed having them, but was never convinced of their utility in combat.[/QUOTE]

I'm with you there, Sire. Though I've always admired the koummya style of knife, blade, scabbard, hilt, etc., I'm not sure it's the only dagger I'd want by my side in an emergency. Short of a 1,000,000-volt Taser or a solid SW .45 Defender, I'd probably prefer a combat-sized Kukhri (at least 19-20"), a big, bad, double-edge drop-pt Bowie (also 19-20") and/or a good old Navy SEAL MK3 MOD 0 for solid, all-around defense-attack edged weapon.
Or a bazooka. I could settle for a bazooka.

Still, I really like the koummya you posted most recently. If you ever EVER get bored with it or any others in your collection, please let me know. Not that I could afford them, mind you, but I could at least keep the dream alive.

David R 12th April 2012 11:53 AM

Hi NovelsRus, thanks for your comment. The genuine old koummyas I see are quite convincing as weapons, strong thick section blades with good deep fullers and a riccasso just right for a strong block or parry.
I have come across references and seen documentery footage that makes it clear they were often used in pairs, one in each hand...and on occasion a third held between the teeth. This latter from a quote about Barbary Pirates in the 18thC, from their Bey no less.
I agree re your comment about kukri, I have an old hollow ground one, one of the handiest tools for infighting you could have.

NovelsRus 10th July 2012 08:50 PM

Archer - New Koummyas in yet?
1 Attachment(s)
Hey, Steve, I recall you'd mentioned something about getting some more koummyas in soon. Have they arrived yet? If so, could you please send photos? I love looking at these daggers even if I don't own them. Owning the knives is secondary to actually seeing and appreciating them, in my book. Still, I'm trying to gather as many into my 'umble collection as possible, including these two recent additions:

archer 12th July 2012 08:21 PM

Late Response to Novelsrush
9 Attachment(s)
I'm Sorry I just found your question. These are the ones you asked about, plus
a few more. It's bad to be addicted. The first one has a heavy Rhino horn hilt,silver markings are coin type and I can't make them out. The Genoui has a nice light horn hilt. The dates? on the sheath are 1900 and 1298=s 1872.

On the group 4th from left is on another thread. The first and fifth are My trifecta of collecting having great provenance, I'll start a separate thread soon.
The 8th is silver dated by a coin insert 1911, A WWII bring back. The odd colored one is also a bring back and has Rams head hallmarks. The last one just arrived and has a cast steel/iron Hilt and sheath.

NovelsRus 15th July 2012 08:55 PM

Gorgeous Koummyas, Archer!
And what a terrific provenance for the Bellon daggers. Actually, for ALL of them. This is what collecting is all about: the story behind the blade; the history; whose fist actually clenched these daggers in anger, and how long ago. All very fascinating and quite haunting, as well.
It's an honor to see these, even if only on my monitor. Thanks, Archer!

archer 15th July 2012 09:48 PM

Thanks Keep Looking
Thank you all for your comments. I have been extremely lucky and nothing
more. So many of our WWII generation are leaving us daily. Their collections and bring backs come to E Bay poorly listed and missed named or as a buy it now, causes their items to be missed. Using saved searches and looking under the generalist of terms can bring results. After all look at how many daggers are listed as beautiful or gorgeous, using too many adjectives lessens our chances of finding their item Being retired helps too! Thanks, Steve

Devadatta 18th July 2012 08:23 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Have one piece forged from file

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:24 AM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.