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Old 15th July 2011, 06:36 PM   #7
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Default Staggeringly important link !!!!

Originally Posted by Royston
There has been trade between the Arab countries and S.E Asia for a long time.
Does anyone else see a similarity between Nimcha hilts and the bat hilts of the Philippines ?

My question is this:-

Influence or Coincidence ?

All opinions welcome


PS:- Now that we are sure that the Minisbad comes from Bichol, I note that this area appears to be predominately Catholic, but was there trade with the Arabs in the past ?

This has to be one of the most interesting and fascinating of forum conundrums I have ever seen !
Here we have a direct, though as yet, unresolved link between Western and Oriental weapons ~ We dont know where it originates or when. I am amazed that this has not raised the roof on this Forum , yet, only 5 contributors! Five !

Where did this weapon originate? I have seen semi believable half explanations from the experts .. Some say Morocco others Zanzibar. Tobias Blose is pictured wearing one (Captain of a trained band in London) in a portrait painted in 1617.(I assume that was before trade blades started flooding Africa) Page 28 Anthony North Islamic Arms.
Then there is the great tidal wave of trade blades. Is this a trade blade or a trade sword? Does it originate in the Caucasus, Germany or elsewhere in Europe. How did it get to the Philipines?

Last question first~ Owned/administered by Mexico this weapon could have got there by two routes.. The Atlantic from Spain \ Mexico and on across the Pacific to its destination...or... Into the great trade hub controlled by Zanzibar via Dutch British and or French East Indies Traders.

In the case of the latter transfer ~ in its wake this sword appears to have morphed in the version Saudia and or Yemeni shown in the discussion. Either way this has to be a gripping story though I have to add that Im not convinced it is even European since it has the look of a Chinese or Oriental hilt mixed with a Spanish crossguard/knuckle bow format. Could we be looking at an early Chinese hilt? It is possible since the Chinese were trading before the arrival of the Portuguese in the Red Sea pre 16th Century.

Is it a Dog? Is it a Dragon? Or are we all mislead? Is it a Caucas Nimcha variant ? What in fact is the difference between a Moroccan and a Zanzibar sword of this type? Are they the same? The blades seem to be.

It is certainly an excellent ships weapon; ideal on Junk Dhow or European sailing vessel..

What we know from Anthony North is that these weapons could have either straight or curved blades and he tends to attribute them to a European source though frankly looking at the Philipine link it has to be more precise to be convincing in my opinion.. There must be more to this.

On the face of it, evidence seems to indicate a west-east transit since no weapons in the Zanzibar area appear with Philipine decoration, however, as a general question of its birthright I still think this is a vital topic into which this Forum should jointly sink its teeth !

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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