Salaams All ~ Note to Forum;
It occurred to me that using silver pins hammered into Omani Khanjar Hilts is done for several reasons;
1. To add weight and balance to the hilt.
2. To add value since the weight of several hundred silver pins is considerable.
3. To decorate the hilt... specifically Rhino since other materials would split where as Rhino accepts the myriad of pins without breaking.
4. Prestige; since it can be seen from a distance and at a glance that here is a Khanjar with Rhino Hilt thus the wearer is a person of some standing.
5. To emulate the spaghetti ended look of Rhino Horn in the pommel top.
It may be an important discovery notwithstanding the fact that a lot of Royal Khanjars have Rhino Hilts (their hilt design is very different) the use of pins in other Omani Khanjars seems to be hand in hand with Rhino Horn useage.
It occurred to me that this one animal had an astonishing influence upon Omani Khanjars up to and beyond the inclusion in design in the mid 19th Century of the Royal Khanjar which though only a tiny fraction of the hilt is showing almost all were constructed of Rhino Horn. Non Royal variants must, if they are to have serious worth, be Rhino Hilted.
I have discovered that 11 hilts could be made from the large horn whilst 3 were possible from the small horn.. Richardson and Dorr "The Craft Herritage of Oman" refers.
The Rhino thus is involved in some powerful influence on this weapon...The African trade factor, Prestige, Power(the power possessed by a Rhino), Design of the Hilt and the practical acceptance of hammered pins, The most expensive of horns...worth more per gram than gold.
In what other ways has this animal influenced Omani Khanjar design...?
Could the Rhino Horn, in fact, be the essentail design in the curve of the Khanjar Scabbard ?
...We may have hit the nail on the head...
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Notes; For a remarkable visual of "Hilt Silver Pins" comparing the design to Rhino Horn natural form; view http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15905
at picture 5 on #1.