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Old 16th February 2013, 12:07 PM   #5
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
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Default The Omani Sayf~ The Straight Omani Dancing Sword.

Salaams All ~ The Omani Sayf is not a weapon. It is an honorific dancing sword.

In the traditions there are two major parts played out with the Omani Sayf~

1. The Straight Dancing Sword is used in a sort of "parade past" generally in lines of massed participants (all male) waving the swords in a fashion that makes the blades shimmer. Occasional specialists throw the entire sword high in the air and catch it by the hilt.

2. The mimic fight; Two contestants "mimic fight" using Straight Swords and Shields (Sayf wa Terrs) The contest is won when one spatulate tip touches the thumb of the opponents shield hand. One touch only ends the contest.

Although these look like warlike manouvres they are only honoring their forefathers who went in to bat in real battles... with the Omani Battle Sword.
Indeed the Omani Dancing Sword is modelled on the old weapon but with the major differences being the long flexible blade on a long hilt. Retained in the design are many of the features of the old weapon including its sharp double edge and round tip as well as the use of the same shield ... The Terrs.

Naturally since this flexible dancing Sayf probably only appeared in about 1750 and the traditional dancing is ancient going back to the beginning of Ibathi Islam in 751AD it was the Battle Sword that was used previously in this part of The Funoon.

There is a fresh hypothesis in that prior to the advent of the flexible Sayf... that no Funoon dancing for swords existed and that the entire genre for sword work in the Funoon began with the flexible swords invention in about 1750?. It seems improbable since these traditions are handed down through the ages, however, that slim possibility is being examined via the Museums in Muscat and the Funoon authorities. In fact it would not make any difference to the general categorisation but it is being persued.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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