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Old 18th March 2012, 09:40 AM   #13
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
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Salaams all~ Note to Library.

Both the Omani Khanjar and the Jambias in southern Arabia have a somewhat peculiar turned scabbard far greater than the blade size and in some cases monumental in the turn at about 180 degrees. The Omani turn is standard at about 90 degrees but still well in excess to the blade..

In an effort to get to the answer on the shape of the Omani Khanjar and hilt(known only to one person in Muttrah who swears that if we guess it right he will confirm the story) we have completed our exhaustive search of possible ideas which developed as a small list viz ~

1. It is for design and balance and the rest is lost in time going back beyond mediaeval times. The added weight of the additional curve and the belt design tips the weapon over slightly about 10 degrees allowing for a quicker draw..

2. The toe of the scabbard is called the same as the top of a Mosque dome..(quba) perhaps indicating a religious reason. The direction of Mecca is indicated by simply laying the entire thing flat on the ground and lining the khanjar and scabbard up with north; the line indicated by the toe or dome(quba) end of the scabbard is the direction of Mecca and could be used as a sort of compass to indicate prayer direction. In the case of Yemeni scabbards the curve is greater thus indicating the difference in direction from there.

3. The Khanjar is a dagger for seagoing merchants/sailors of old and the curve of the scabbard is to reflect the bows of the dhows..

4. Originally the weapon was a skinning weapon or tool .. Could the blade shape have anything to do with that idea? Though we have no idea why the scabbard would be curved because of this ...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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