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Old 8th February 2013, 10:50 AM   #3
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
I was too busy typing in the old thread to remember you started another;

Thank you Ibrahiim,

There is not enough 18th and 19th century evidence to consider the straight form as a dance sword only.

The sword was the high symbol of the warrior. I am still not convinced that by form alone, curved vs. straight that one is separated by use from the other, more so when they both share the same hilts and scabbard types and the straight ones are seen in much higher numbers than the sabres. And why do they all have a sharpened edge in straight form, not something required of a dance sword.
By design, I think it would have been personal choice of what type was wanted and I wouldn't be surprised if W. H. INGRAMS failed to note curved types in the dance fray too.
To consider this is only a dance sword, to me would be like saying Jian and Dao or double edged vs. singled edged Khanda hilted sword have separate purposes.

If I was to follow the thought that straight sword is dance only, I add, when considering the ratio of straight vs. curved types that there was very little adventuring being done by the Omani and they were too busy dancing, something history says is the opposite off.
Also, when the straight form pushed so far west in to Mandingo dress and dress of other regions, that the sword was used and displayed to these western cultures as weapons as I am sure they didn't just dance with them after being in touch with traders.

I again return to the original TVV thread that I would suggest your post in that thread in post #6 is a correct way of viewing this sword, fighting, with a shield. Do not mistake flexibility for weakness, but an advantage when used in this manner with the flexible sword for cutting and the shield for defense.
I think the W. H. INGRAMS notation in post #18 is not it's sole purpose of the sword but important a cultural observation of the time with a more common sword used in the dance observed, one that has continued today as a matter of ceremony and importance...in much the same way the revered Jian is both used for fighting and also a spiritual weapon in Taoist ceremony and dance. To dismiss the form alone in its national dress as a dance sword is not supported but each sword I would suggest be inspected under it's own merit.

Regards

Gavin



Salaams Gavin, I have been through much of the same on Kattara for comment but Im sure of my ground and that thread is full of proof however I will take your point up straightaway. First it is important to see the development of no swords in Oman since about 751 ad..and why? Techno freeze was not uncommon and this is seen in the use of a battle sword from virtually day 1 of the Ibathi Islamic period. It never altered.

The pageantry sword happenend a lot later. It was always kept razor sharp. I also compare it with the Omani Battle Sword in that it was spatulate tipped and sharp both edges and given the status with the Terrs Shield.. I believe this occured in parallel or because of the 1744 Al Busaiid dynasty. I suspect that the hilt was a take off from the long Mamluke hilt and that it was adopted on two Omani swords... The Dancing Sayf and the Kattara. The latter being a Slave Captains or Merchant sword and badge of office and at about the same time mid 1700s.

By about then gunpowder was getting big and essentially the demise of swords was ongoing. The main battle sword, however, was still the Old Omani Battle Sword. The Museums have the documentation. The funoon is the living record of the traditions. Dictated in that are the fact that the flexible dancing sword was for pageants after a certain time(circa 1750?) though before that it had been done with the original Battle Sword . I shall be in Muscat in a few weeks and have a number of visits to each of the museums. I should be able to confirm my findings.

I know it is not very scientific but I have questioned a lot of people including sword makers here and they burst into laughter when the idea of this sword is put as a fighting weapon. If it was it would be slap bang in the funoon as such... whereas it isnt...It has no history as a battlefield sword and to my knowledge has never been used in a fight.

Its in there as a honorific idea praising the actual Old Omani Battle Sword and their forefathers who used it. The thing only goes back a couple of hundred years...Its a dancing sword only. Why is it sharp ? The Omanis who dance with it say its because of the other sword which was sharp ... and anyway theywouldnt perform with a blunt one as it would be dishonourable to the forefathers who went into battle with the Old sword... sharp as a razor.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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