Originally Posted by TVV
I was lucky enough to win this kattara on eBay about a month ago and it has finally arrived, which enables me to share pictures.
Scabbard and hilt are in poor shape, but at least they retain most of the original fittings and leather. As you can see the fittings are quite simple - no silver, nothing fancy.
Same can be said for the blade - it looks like a 19th century trade blade.
There are plenty of markings, identical on both sides - at the base of the blade there are gurda markings, with something in the middle - does anyone know what it is or what it attempts to represent? At the end of the fullers there is also a small cross. All the markings seem to have been added to the blade locally.
Do you think I am correct about this being a trade blade imported fro, Europe, or would you say this is a local blade?
I am very happy to have added this to my other kattara with a curved blade (most likely an imported shashka blade), and I appreciate everyone's comments.
Very nice swords of Oman... The straight sword is the famous Omani Kattara and the curved better known as an Omani Sayf.
First!! My apologies for shoving in and presenting my Short Omani Battle Sword meanderings on your thread... I hope you dont mind as no offence was meant and I should have made it a separate thread.
It is also a puzzle to me as to how many trade blades appear on Omani hilts... So far I have discovered people with Wootz blades from where?? who knows... and German blades some with possibly fake running wolf stamps and others with weird unknown stamps possibly fake?? I have one with a number on it; not arabic .. english figures ! and some with holed pommels and some not.
Decent blades bend double and retain their straight shape whilst cheap blades stay a bit bent !
The big question is; where did the idea come from and when ? The first indicator date is 1652 when Oman took Zanzibar ( they were very influencial all down the African coast and big in Kenya tradewise.. ) but the fighting technique with this weapon is so markedly different from its predecessor that it cannot be decended from it. The two swords (I mean the Omani Short Battle Sword compared to the long flexible Kattara)are as different as chalk and cheese.
Your sword "The Kattara" The straight one... was designed as a slash and snick fast whip action stand off system... The fighters were 6 feet apart or more ! and fought with a small shield; The Omani Buckler called a Terrs. This shield was used to disarm the oponent by twisting an attacking sword strike from the others hand. It was therefor a fighting system and developed a dance ... This war dance routine was a limbering up exercise before going in to battle so it became a martial art really. Nowadays that fact is shrouded in the dance and people forget its real meaning.
Great swords ~ well done !!