Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   A little Sahel/Maghreb panoply... (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17723)

Iain 6th January 2014 11:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
a very nice piece. Interesting how this blade style was used from Maghrib to Sudan and Oman... very well travelled :-)

And Europe very widely. ;)

Martin Lubojacky 8th January 2014 06:11 AM

Hi Iain,
If you should allocate this sword based on previus discussions and pieces of info - this kind comes from the southern part of Sahel and the blade was delivered from Europe ?
Elegant sword
Regards,
Martin

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 8th January 2014 07:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
a very nice piece. Interesting how this blade style was used from Maghrib to Sudan and Oman... very well travelled :-)



Salaams A.alnakkas . The Omani straight dancing blade is not the same as this...The Omani straight Sayf.. "The Dancing Sword" being hugely flexible and purely used in the traditions and in honour of the ruling al Busiidi dynasty thus datable to not before 1744... and made in Oman. :shrug:

Where confusion has arisen in the past is I believe owing to the curved European trade blades entering service as typically slave Captains and Merchant swords and termed Kattara here.

The additional confusion happens because the North African blade appears similar ...which is simply coincidental. The marks on blades across the region contain similar stamps all apparently done locally.

Where the blade differs...
1. The Sahel regional style quite often comes from Europe. The Omani does not.
2. The Sahel item is thicker whereas the Omani style is flat and thinner.
3. The Sahel style is fairly sturdy and sharpened or at least often is fashioned to a point. The Omani "point" is round.
4. The Sahel blade being thick and sturdy is not very flexible. The Omani blade is extremely flexible and often easily bent through 90 degrees and further returning immediately to straight.
5. Sahel examples often have reinforced throats... Omani ones not.
6. The fullers in the Sahel are either much broader and deeper than those on the Omani blades or very thinly done.
7. The Sahel blade is a battle blade and fitted as a battle weapon to its respective hilt. The Omani blade is not for fighting.
8. The Omani item is purely ceremonial for heralding the dynastic ruler and the traditions. The Sahel is used for other things.
9. The Sahel weapon evolved in its own dimension, tribally, whereas the Omani variant is directly linked to the Old Omani Battle Sword and carries with it (in the same way) the Terrs shield. The tip is rounded and it is sharp on both edges honouring the forefathers Old Omani Battle Sword concept, thus, it comes from a totally unrelated root... and certainly unrelated to Sahel types.
10. The entire aspect of the Omani Dancing Sword can be seen to be totally unrelated to the Sahel example as described in http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...5129#post165129

I believe the two are chalk and cheese. In fact, the only slight similarity occurs on a few commonly copied stamps, for example, occasionally "similar" moon strikes ~ but that is all.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Iain 8th January 2014 07:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Lubojacky
Hi Iain,
If you should allocate this sword based on previus discussions and pieces of info - this kind comes from the southern part of Sahel and the blade was delivered from Europe ?
Elegant sword
Regards,
Martin


Hi Martin,

Yes, definitely southern Sahel I think. I think the wire grip is significant here. Of course there is the possibility this was done at a much later date on the sword and the original sword had the typical leather grip and was from Hausaland.

About the blade, definitely European and much older than usual. This is of a higher quality than most triple fuller blades.

blue lander 14th January 2014 02:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Would this dagger fall into this category as well? I don't know anything about it, except that the blade is a heavy, serious piece of metal. Apologies if I'm posting it in the wrong thread. The hilt is obviously very different than these other daggers, but It seems closer to this family than other jambiyas/koummyas.

Iain 14th January 2014 05:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
Would this dagger fall into this category as well? I don't know anything about it, except that the blade is a heavy, serious piece of metal. Apologies if I'm posting it in the wrong thread. The hilt is obviously very different than these other daggers, but It seems closer to this family than other jambiyas/koummyas.


Variation on a koummya, the scabbard indicates the Mahgreb rather than the Sahel to me. Something from the North African coast I would think.

PS we obviously browse the same seller sites, did you buy this? ;)

blue lander 14th January 2014 06:13 PM

I did indeed! Interestingly enough, the hilt appears to be made from some sort of yellowish plastic. It's starting to delaminate and flake off. It's actually translucent, you can see the tang inside. The front half of the hilt looks like wood.

The hilt and sheath are both disintegrating, but the blade itself is a very nice piece of steel. It has two fullers (one large and very deep, the other thin and shallow) and a fairly sharp false edge. The main edge show signs of repeated resharpening.

Jim McDougall 14th January 2014 07:04 PM

I entirely agree with Iain, this looks like an ersatz version of the koummya fashioned from a reprofiled old sabre blade, note the opposed carry rings, and loosely the hilt form .

Martin Lubojacky 14th January 2014 07:20 PM

I think there is Osman influence (I mean Turkish) - pls notice the central groove in the wooden part of sheath which fits spiral wire sewing.

Iain 14th January 2014 07:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Lubojacky
I think there is Osman influence (I mean Turkish) - pls notice the central groove in the wooden part of sheath which fits spiral wire sewing.


Good point. :)

Iain 14th January 2014 07:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
I did indeed! Interestingly enough, the hilt appears to be made from some sort of yellowish plastic. It's starting to delaminate and flake off. It's actually translucent, you can see the tang inside. The front half of the hilt looks like wood.

The hilt and sheath are both disintegrating, but the blade itself is a very nice piece of steel. It has two fullers (one large and very deep, the other thin and shallow) and a fairly sharp false edge. The main edge show signs of repeated resharpening.


I figured it would be horn... Sure it's plastic?

blue lander 14th January 2014 08:33 PM

3 Attachment(s)
It very well could be. Does horn turn translucent with age? Whatever it is, it's flaking off the outside and appears to be delaminating on the inside. You can see what appear to be air pockets inside which led me to believe it was some sort of old plastic.

I've attached a close up illuminated by a flashlight where you can clearly see the tang inside. I've also included a picture of where the wood half (left) of the hilt joins with the "horn" or whatever side (right). There's 3 metal rings in the middle with some sort of blackened material in between. Lastly, a picture of where there may have once been a bolster. Or maybe this part originally slid into the scabbard. The current scabbard covers the blade only.

Iain 17th January 2014 10:53 AM

Looks like horn to me. But I'm no expert on the stuff.

blue lander 17th January 2014 02:10 PM

I'm sure you're right then. The only other horn handles I have are water buffalo horn, so the thought didn't occur to me. I wonder what kind of horn it is.

VANDOO 17th January 2014 03:02 PM

I WOULD SAY HORN AS I HAVE SEEN THIS TYPE OF FLAKEING OFF BEFORE. IF A PIECE FLAKES OFF BURN IT AND CHECK THE SMELL THAT WILL TELL YOU FOR SURE. THE OLD HOT PIN TEST WOULD WORK AS WELL.

blue lander 19th January 2014 01:34 AM

I'll keep an eye out for any flakes about to come off. Should I take any steps to stabilize the handle with something like hooflex?

As for the blade, it must have come off a fairly small sabre. Any way to determine the age? I'm assuming 19th century.

VANDOO 19th January 2014 03:46 AM

SOME SORT OF OIL WOULD HELP KEEP THE HORN FROM DRYING OUT BUT WILL PROBABLY DARKEN THE HORN SOME SO PERHAPS DO A LITTLE SPOT FIRST TO SEE IF YOU LIKE IT. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HOOF STUFF IS BUT IF ITS FOR TREATING HORSE HOOFS IT WOULD PROBALY BE GOOD FOR HORN. THE HORN IS LIKELY FROM SOME SORT OF GOAT OR SHEEP THERE ARE SEVERAL TYPES IN THE REGION. PERHAPS CATTLE HORN IF THEY ARE IN THE AREA BUT I WOULD GO WITH GOAT OR SHEEP AS FIRST CHOICE.

blue lander 19th January 2014 04:15 AM

Hooflex seems to be mostly tea tree oil, which I know from personal experience to be very potent and reactive stuff. Maybe neatsfoot oil would be a safer choice, as it comes from cow hooves and whatnot. I'll test on a small corner before I proceed. I really don't want to contribute to the deterioration of this piece. You always have to think of the next owner.

spiral 21st January 2014 09:00 PM

Ram & goat horn when heated & pressed to make wider flatter pieces often later delaminates in this manner.

Baby oil is good, Lanolin matches the original oils removed in the dehydration much more closely though..

Both sold by your local chemist... {Lanolin is best for soothing chewed & chapped nipples on first time mothers apparently.}

Baby oil for chapped & dry skin in general.

Spiral

blue lander 21st January 2014 09:40 PM

Thank you, I'll go the lanolin route. I already have some in the shed I think.

Martin Lubojacky 22nd January 2014 06:44 AM

Lanolin has been used by museums sometimes,to treat old leather artefacts, But it should be used very carefully ("less means more" in this case, e.g it could darken the stuff). They desolve it with petrol due to penetration to inner parts of the skin (but the percentage of lanolin in this solution should be very low).
I think it is not possible to remove or improve such scurfiness, just to preserve it the material. I use natural beeswax, but again very slightly (small quantity). I also (but I do not know, if it is good, or wrong) use hair drier (carefully, from bigger distance to heat only the wax - e.g. old wooden handle could crack) to dissolve the wax on the surface and then I polishe it with soft cloth

spiral 22nd January 2014 07:43 AM

Happy to help Blue Lander.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Lubojacky
Lanolin has been used by museums sometimes,to treat old leather artefacts, But it should be used very carefully ("less means more" in this case, e.g it could darken the stuff). They desolve it with petrol due to penetration to inner parts of the skin (but the percentage of lanolin in this solution should be very low).
I think it is not possible to remove or improve such scurfiness, just to preserve it the material. I use natural beeswax, but again very slightly (small quantity). I also (but I do not know, if it is good, or wrong) use hair drier (carefully, from bigger distance to heat only the wax - e.g. old wooden handle could crack) to dissolve the wax on the surface and then I polishe it with soft cloth



Personaly I wouldn't put petrol leather or horn. Its a carcgenic, fire hazard & strong solvent, not to mention & stinks as well. :shrug:

Lanolin wont darken translucent horn very much, if at all. it will just help stop future degradation. {It would darken leather or some timbers.}

Spiral


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