View Single Post
Old 20th February 2013, 02:38 PM   #13
Iain's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Morava - Olomoucký kraj - Czech Republic
Posts: 1,499

Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Iain ~ Last point first.. I agree and hopefully I can get some details from Museum archives to give a pointer in the right direction.

I propose to debate the weapon now as a fighting sword in the 4 points discussed below.

Hi Ibrahiim,

I'll just again say I think the combat or non combat question is irrelevant at the moment and is causing more confusion and questions than it needs to. See below...

The time criteria for this sword is quite tight. I think we are talking about a sword that appeared between 1750 and 1800. We know that the Rak makers were probably starting to make these in about 1950. That leaves quite a narrow fighting sword window of opportunity.

Swords were on their way out vice gunpowder weapons moreover this sword is very unsuitable for war. I have the following serious misgivings about the weapon ever being used as a Battle Sword viz;

Agree completely about the influence of muskets and other firearms however:

1. It is spatulate tipped and thus useless for thrusting.. a prerequisite for doing battle against hard targets...body armour. Its Terrs shield would be useless agianst mounted infantry or ground troops. Can you envisage this being used in a war situation? Why would Omanis go for a battle weapon that is bendy and allow it to take over the battle role from such an excellent weapon as The Omani Battle Sword? Such an important decision and point in Omani military history as a total tactical sword change would be common knowledge and apparent in historical context in documents and in the swords literature but there is absolutely nothing ~ for good reason.

I think perhaps you are misunderstanding some of my previous points. I am not talking about these modern, flexible blades in a combat sense.

I am talking about where the form (not the flexibility aspect) was drawn from.

2. The war sword provided for by whom? The Europeans would hardly be in the market to create the blade in its bending format because it simply isnt a sword as such. What is more why would an Islamic country look to Euroipe to create its battle sword which would take over battle duties from its honorific Old Omani Battle Sword? An Islamic Icon. At the heart of Ibaathi Islam in Oman and centred on the interior capital Nizwa.. In the middle of a gunpowder revolution... in Oman. Why in all the Islamic documentation is there no clear indication of this provision?

Again, see above I'm not talking about the modern flexible blades.

3. The sword trail of European Swords the Trade Blade track is viewable clearly through Africa. No evidence of spin off of these blades is seen in African blades obtained from Europe. On the other hand take Ethiopian blades which are all over the red sea even mounted on every hilt from Muscat longhilts to Indian Tulvars. In other words there is no trail to follow. Why can we find no Omani blades produced in Europe on the African trade routes?

Because again, I'm not talking about blades with the flexibility aspect you are referencing. I'm discussing the common European trade blades - not some European trade blade with massive flex. So yes, in that sense you are talking about something that doesn't exist.

4. Masses of Swords went from Europe to Ethiopia etc... but they were all proper fighting blades with invariably throat stamps and original European marks... Omani Sayfs don't have these marks. Why is this?

Because as you've said many times, in a modern context fighting blades aren't desirable. I've shown in previous threads sayfs with stiff blades and European marks. I can go and dig them out again I guess. Heck, I've seen fullered European blades on Omani battle sword hilts as well.

Turning to other foreign suppliers which is to me half swallowable, for example; India and or Yemen. Frankly I am not convinced one way or the other that these countries are not in some way providers of ... in part ... of some of the blades. It could be that the sword style at Swede Greens thread and to which I have already pointed to in Kattara for comments may be responsible for the entire Omani dancing Sayf form; blade and hilt.

I think your last sentence is probably correct. The dancing sayf is simply a progression from a style derived from mating European trade blades to local hilts. Which explains the trade blade inspired shape and use of fullers on dance blades.

I think you have perhaps misinterpreted a few of my points because you are focusing on the flex aspect.
  • I'm not talking about some trade blade with the flex of the dancing blades. I'm only talking about where the form/style of the flexible and locally made blades was taken from.
  • That, from the evidence you've provided, trade blades proper are unlikely to be found in Omani hilts in the present day because they are not desirable - this doesn't mean this was always the case.
  • That there's an obvious and very close link to other long hilted and trade blade using forms in neighboring areas.


Iain is offline   Reply With Quote