Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MOROCCAN AND A ZANZIBARI NIMCHA. (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=21833)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 28th August 2016 11:29 PM

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MOROCCAN AND A ZANZIBARI NIMCHA.
 
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What is the difference between a Weazle and a Stoat?

"The Weazle is (W)easily distinguishable from a Stoat which is (S)toatally different".

Regarding Nimcha of Morocco and Zanzibar it isn't so easy... They look the same and often have virtually identical Hilts.....The blades are difficult to separate...The hilts are both often made of Rhino...So what is the difference?

It occured to me that we often look at the wrong parts to decide which is what?...

My description of the Moroccan style would be; Hilt often Rhino with quillons ending in bud form Ring at base of Hilt sometimes enamel. Blade European sometimes locally struck with a cross stamp and with other marks including moon / moons and other German strikes...Blade sometimes clipped. Scabbard if present ornate sometimes completely decorated in Arabesque and occasionally enamel.. And one more thing... on top of the pommel a stud holding the hilt secure on the blade...a rounded stud usually.

The Zanzibari Nimcha with Nimcha hilt and blade which are almost identical though blade tips are not clipped. Base ring usually not ornately decorated in enamel or arabesques . The Quillons usually ending in open mouthed Yali or serpents..The scabbard if present usually plain and often in the Omani leather style with sworls designed onto the leather.... Occasionally with a Dee Ring. Some, but not all, quillons decorated with rows of dots and back to back R shapes... and on top of the pommels a Turtle!!

Now its your turn... Sort out this lot below !!

kahnjar1 29th August 2016 05:45 AM

Salaams Ibrahiim,
Well it's quiz time so here are my answers, right or wrong.....
Before I give my 2 cents worth there is another feature which (generally) appears on the Zanzibari Nimcha, and that is the down turned hilt. The Moroccan version is usually straight in my experience.
OK so to the answers......
From the top as the pics appear:
Zanzibar
Next 4 pics Moroccan except #023 which I am not sure about.
Zanzibar
Morocco
Zanzibar
Morocco
Last 3 pics Zanzibar
Hope I have the answers in the right order.
Will be interesting top see what others think..........................
Stu

Kurt 29th August 2016 09:09 AM

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Good Morning ,

this nimcha is from Algeria,
18 century, perhaps even earlier.

Kurt

Marcus 29th August 2016 01:02 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Moroccan style ... on top of the pommel a stud holding the hilt secure on the blade...a rounded stud usually.

The Zanzibari Nimcha ... and on top of the pommels a Turtle!!



Consistent with my examples.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 29th August 2016 08:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt
Good Morning ,

this nimcha is from Algeria,
18 century, perhaps even earlier.

Kurt


Is he correct? :)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 29th August 2016 09:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
Consistent with my examples.


Is this right?? Any comments? :)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 29th August 2016 09:13 PM

:) any more?? :)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 29th August 2016 09:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Salaams Ibrahiim,
Well it's quiz time so here are my answers, right or wrong.....
Before I give my 2 cents worth there is another feature which (generally) appears on the Zanzibari Nimcha, and that is the down turned hilt. The Moroccan version is usually straight in my experience.
OK so to the answers......
From the top as the pics appear:
Zanzibar
Next 4 pics Moroccan except #023 which I am not sure about.
Zanzibar
Morocco
Zanzibar
Morocco
Last 3 pics Zanzibar
Hope I have the answers in the right order.
Will be interesting top see what others think..........................
Stu


Here is a proposal that the hilt on Moroccan Nimcha is not so pronounced a turn down in shape...Excellent point well placed... :shrug:

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 29th August 2016 09:54 PM

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:) As a quick warm up simply place the following pictures as to where are they from...and on viewing the big coloured Sri Lasnkan picture of 3 Kastane comment if you think they may be relevant to Nimcha style... :shrug:

Kurt 30th August 2016 09:17 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Is he correct? :)


See Anthony North "Islamic Arms"
Figure 20 + 22b

Kurt 30th August 2016 09:22 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Is this right?? Any comments? :)



See Anthony North "Islamic Arms"
Figure 20 + 22b

Kurt 30th August 2016 09:31 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
:) any more?? :)


See Robert Hales " Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armer
Figure 584

broadaxe 30th August 2016 01:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt
Good Morning ,

this nimcha is from Algeria,
18 century, perhaps even earlier.

Kurt


I think so, too. This kind is likely to be a corsair sword (according to length and blade shape), minding that most of that region economy at that era was based upon piracy.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 30th August 2016 11:22 PM

Yes the Tobias Blose as well as the Nimcha taken in an encounter in the Mediterranean are both recorded by me in earlier threads. In terms of the Algerian Nimcha I also threw that one in and you are right Algerian though I actually wanted to find a clossonne example which I know I put on Library..or saw in Library...but it doesnt work... Engineers trying to access... :)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 31st August 2016 01:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by broadaxe
I think so, too. This kind is likely to be a corsair sword (according to length and blade shape), minding that most of that region economy at that era was based upon piracy.


Yes I recall doing that as a post earlier and I think he ran the opponent through and took his sword...Swashbuckling stuff!! The local economy certainly benefited from piracy although much of it was done on land I understand..

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 31st August 2016 02:18 AM

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There are 3 good charts from Butin; It can be seen that the charts are somewhat confusing since some Omani sword weapons are mixed with the wrong chart and the author calls one chart ARABIE...and another MAROC....but the displayed weapons argue with that nomenclature...ie they are bit mixed up . Having said that it is easy to unscramble and Butin takes his place at the top of the Ethnographic weapons specialty where he is greatly admired. :)

There is a separate chart(Diverse Oriental Armes) for what are almost odd men out including Sri Lankan and Yatagan styles and also in the same chart are those Ivory Hilts of Oman and Zanzibar with gold round and leaf shaped decorations. Another key appears however, in the shape of the Omani Scabbard with round sworls crafted into the leather.

Regarding the astute observation by Stu earlier ; It can be seen that the Moroccan form does indeed have a more upright facing pommel and the Zanzibar form more points downward.

Members have noted privately that the Zanzibar type has a ring guard whereas the Moroccan does not... This is not the case; Some Zanzibar Nimcha do have the ring guard but there are those that have none whereas I have never seen a ring guard on Moroccan Nimchas.

As a connected thread see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...+zanzibar+yemen which makes the position clearer.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 31st August 2016 02:54 AM

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Here is a good historical reference: Showing the upright facing pommel and the single stud.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 31st August 2016 03:23 AM

Regarding my first post here I set that as a bit of a brain teaser and everyone had a good shot at that with some interesting resulting key factors unearthed ...The Algerian variant is an interesting conundrum as telling these apart from the Moroccan is well near impossible ... It has ornate silver filigree and a more woven tapestry in the scabbard ...Personally I thought the use of clossonne was more the Algerian style but the point is it is too close ...they are virtually identical so far as I can tell...

As for the others it can be seen that the main differences are the Stud versus the Turtle and as Stu pointed out the more upright hilt and pommel appears on the Moroccan style whilst the Zanzibari type is more pointed downwards....Full marks all round ...

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 31st August 2016 10:47 PM

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OK HERES ANOTHER PUZZLE... WHAT IS THIS....ON THE LEFT SHOWING TWO FACES OF A SWORD...? :shrug: On second thoughts I realize I cannot leave it as a simple question since it carries the almost visible description Pallasch!! Having said that what is the relationship with Pallasch and Nimcha? Is the name from Pala(Turkish) or is it simply a result of a continuous morphing nature of whats in a word?... Is it Venitian, Genoan or Italian? The blade is hugely broad and clearly for chopping and slashing. Has the style moved through the Med to such countries as Morocco with seagoing nations, Pirates, merchants or how ...? if this is the case...how did the form slide down the Red Sea or across the desert to the Indian Ocean? Somehow this form has affected several distinctly different regions...and beyond... :shrug:

What about the second picture with the sword with brasswork on the hilt?

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 1st September 2016 10:26 PM

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On plate 32 above see exhibit 1004 by Butin who expressly places this on the separate chart. This is what can be described as a VIP version since it is Ivory decorated in gold. In my view this is a classic VIP style though it is interesting in that post 1 of http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15325 shows it carried by a Hareem Palace guard.
Goldwork on an African comb (below) has been discussed by me before as being similar to that hilt decoration. In addition note that the leatherwork contains sworls (circles) in the leather which is very much an Omani decorative technique. It is accepted that this work could have been done by an Omani artesan working in Zanzibar /the close Zanj region or Oman. Note the upper scabbard ring is almost identical to another shown at http://cmmilitaryantiques.com/gallery.php?arid=5311 also a Zanzibari Nimcha.

I have a general couple of questions to which I do not know the answer...How did such a similar hilt develop in Morocco and in Zanzibar and who made that happen?

To give reason to my indicator of turtle hilt decoration atop the pommel I place below one of the common turtles in the region and the device itself on a Zanzibar Nimcha.

Rick 1st September 2016 11:31 PM

Puzzled
 
Do you have any idea why the turtle should have particular significance to the Zanzibari peoples Iibrahim?

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 1st September 2016 11:33 PM

Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) have traditionally been hunted around Zanzibar for their attractive shells, and Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) for their meat..

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 2nd September 2016 02:34 AM

Another marker Guide to the difference in the two Nimcha Hilt Types is the knuckle Guard on the Moroccan style is at right angles or L shaped ....whilst the Zanzibari form is S shaped or rounded as it joins the cross guard. :shrug: (not on all Zanzibari variants)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 2nd September 2016 04:11 AM

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That Nimcha in the book a little earlier at #19... A reference on it suggests;

Quote" Pallasch; Culture: blade - Italian, Milan (with Ottoman decorations), mount - Ottoman, vessel (Hilt?) - Morocco
Dated: 16th Century
Material and Technique: blade of iron, forged, etched and engraved grip of iron, wood, horn
Measurement: total length of 107.7cm; blade 93.9cm; weight 1817g

Elector Christian I of Saxony received the saber as a gift in 1587 by Francesco I de ‘Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. This weapon is one in many respects to the peculiarities of the Turkish Chamber. First and foremost, the impressive appearance is mentioned, which is caused by the massive, ornate edged blade.

This saber is made of very different work areas. While the vessel(hilt?) is from Morocco and the typical form there corresponds with strongly angled work and s-shaped quillons, the blade is an Italian work. She has been a chosen, and was crowned Pi marked accordingly in Milan. (what is Pi ?)

The blade was then decorated in the Orient. The etched and partly engraved decoration consists of medallions with stripes and scrolls, flowers and leaves. The middle stripe is a Spanish inscription found in a secret script-like character.

How did this strange mixture of different origins (come about) is not yet clear. Could possibly play in the events following the reconquest of Spain by 1492. Many Spanish Jews left the country after the conquest of Granada and moved some of North Africa in the dominion of the Ottomans."Unquote.

Source & Copyright: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

Although I am not sure what some of this translation means and I have placed in brackets and underlined ... I am sure you get the general drift...and whilst it forms a large part of the puzzle yet also gives us many clues in this regard.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 4th September 2016 01:27 PM

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Looking back through Library... I note the sword below as a European Blade on a Zanzibari Hilt...The Hilt decorated in Marjan (Coral) , The blade apparently supplied / made by Schimmelbusch Quote" The blade of this Zanzibari sword is European in origin, perhaps German. Zanzibari swords are famous for their incorporation of European blades and Arab handles. The stars and crescent moon on the blade may be the mark of a family of German swordmakers by the name of Schimmelbusch, but the intricate designs on the handle reflect Zanzibari decorative metalworking traditions as well".Unquote.

In terms of this type of sword I consider the two ages during which they arrived in Morocco and Zanzibar...What I mean is when did they arrive? .. Did the difference in arrival date (if there is one) alter the form of the hilt? Reason suggests that the first style arrived across the Mediterranean from the east (Italian or Ottoman) transmitting style as far west as Morocco. From there it went to London and other countries...

On passing please note the sword in question as having 7 stars and a crescent moon. The Scabbard is Omani. (Note the sworls!) Please See http://badger.uvm.edu/omeka/exhibit...502010/item/574

It occurred to me that swords in Zanzibar were put together from delivered parts later than its Moroccan sister....Fixed in a workshop on Zanzibar not imported whole ...but from the various components supplied by trade as;

1. Blades from Europe/ Hadramaut/ India/ etc.
2. Hilts and guards from Hadramaut, India or locally made.
3. Scabbards from a local Omani Artesan or Muscat.
4. The Turtle added locally as a Zanzibari insignia.
5. Gold decoration from the Zanj as on the comb.
6. Rhino and Ivory from the Omani slavers and Ivory/Rhino merchants...
7. Coral provided locally/Omani artesans...Often seen on Omani Jewelery.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 4th September 2016 02:51 PM

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Worth noting is that the Moroccan Nimcha is normally worn on a sling; over the shoulder style baldric...as at # 17. :shrug:

The Moroccan may also carry a lot of Arabic script on the blade...as below;

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 10th September 2016 09:07 PM

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Rare Artwork from the Orientalist stable.... :)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 10th September 2016 09:26 PM

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A strange sword with a hilt inspired by...?

TVV 13th September 2016 08:19 AM

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What about this sword: Zanzibar, Yemen or the Maghreb?

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 13th September 2016 12:16 PM

Likely Zanzibar despite the cross guard although there are crossguards on some Nimcha at Butins plate 30 see charts at this thread.... We can not see the top of the pommel so not sure if the Turtle figure is intact but the hilt with a downward tilt to the pommel is certainly present. This is in the classic Butin form and shows the cross guard style. Zanzibar.


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