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Old 22nd February 2012, 10:14 AM   #6
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
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Salaams All~ Note to Forum. The Khanjar Blade. (naslah).

This remarkable piece of engineering is around 17 or 18 cms long and 5 to 6 cms broad at the throat tapering to a point along a curved, two edged, centrally ridged on both sides, steel blade. The ridge gives strength for thrusting and withdrawing the blade. Cheap imported blades are two joined together whereas a proper Omani blade joins along the ridges. The little furnace about half the size of a football, is wood fuelled and heat is increased by use of hand bellows.
The best blades were made by a peculiar and historically virtually unrecorded group of itinerant Gypsy like folk called Zuttoot... or Zutti covered in my other post at length.See Kattara for comments #165. In days of old these small bands travelled about Oman doing tinning of utensils, making tools and sword and Khanjar blades...on commission and at random.
The blade is all important to local gentlemen and when inspecting a Khanjar they will ponder the blade first and foremost... not the scabbard or hilt. Often they take up the dagger with hilt in thumb and first 2 fingers by the very point only and lift it vertically... If they can easily lift it ... its a duffer ! If it slips from the fingers then its quality... weight, balance and blade metal quaility are observed most carefully..
According to Richardson and Dorr (The Craft Herrritage of Oman) The bedouin say that the best metal ore for blades is found in thunder storms where the lightening strikes!
One of the amazing ways in which they decide on blade quality is by tasting the blade?
Glue. To fix the blade, Lakk is used (Tachardia Lacca ) from an insect secretion. Essentially it looks like small blocks/ sheets of black pitch and is imported from India and Pakistan. The molten pitch-like lakk is poured into the hilts cuff(tuq) and the heated blade is sturdily pressed home.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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