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Old 19th July 2011, 06:42 AM   #20
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
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Originally Posted by Rick
I'm getting dizzy !
Yes, I think my example has been quite well repaired at some point in time; the pommel seems to have been broken in the past and there is a replacement wedge that can be seen . Therefore the brass strap to help hold it all together .

A google image search is helpful; lots of nimcha/Zanzibar sayfs to be seen .

My best,



I think it important that research includes google and the web... I for one have very few reference books and use the web a lot. I pressed in Zanzibar and Moroccan Nimchas and the main references pointed me back to our forum! ... Oh and to another to which many of our experts belonged way back then in about 2006. SFI did a detailed observation into Magrebi and Zanzibari Nimchas. I noted in that discussion your input and a brilliant report by Jim McDougal which in typical and precise detail gave a very informed view with references into the entire subject. In fact that report practically closed the debate however that is not the question posed by Royston at the beginning of this thread which is; I quote ~

" 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" ?

There appears to be a clear finger pointing to Italian/Venetian origins and it seems a sea-land passage via Saudia as it was then and Yemen to the Zanzibar Hub. Once there it would spiral virally to include all stations east and include the Philippines.

The confusion clouding this issue is in no one having a real outline of the difference in swords between the Zanzibar and Magrebi variants.. This should be expanded to include the Philippine weapon. Also included in the line up should be an Italian Venetian sword and your English variant. I think only then will we be able to discuss the pros and cons of this interesting question.

I caution to add that we may actually be talking about two different things... Perhaps we should be looking at it NOT as a sword ... but as a hilt....after all your blade is English and there are known to be two other blades at least ie one straight and the other curved... and what other trade blades are carried on the hilt? Ive seen an Omani Kattara 19thC trade blade on this hilt. What is the relationship to kastane Ceylonese blades? Anthony North considers quote "The kastane appears to have evolved from the Italian swords with similar guard development that likely reached these regions via Venetian trade routes".

It is still a very much open question to which input is sought from members. It could still amaze collectors to discover a whole new basis for this very important sword often claimed to be an Arabian Sword but can be argued as having Philippine or even Chinese roots. I still see it as wide open.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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