Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Hi there and welcome to the forum,
I agree this is a variation of the "wedding nimcha". I got one of the highly curved kind (see attached images from Oriental-Arms) in 2006 at just over a third of the ebay listing price. The blade is cut to shape from sheet metal, it isn't forged to shape.
I believe these are derived from the Kabyle (Algerian) flyssa. At some point after the French occupation of Algeria, arms manufacture was banned. Smiths and craftrsmen that used to make the nice old swords then started making smaller knife-sized daggers of similar construction and style. Over the decades these were simplified more and more until the geometric patterns carved into wooden scabbards were replaced by brass wire and coloured decorations. The blades went from forged 1cm thick sabres to 5mm thin blades cut to shape. The reason these are called nimcha is that they often have a form of the "dog-head" handle and curved guard seen on the nimcha sabres.
Search through the forum for these terms: flyssa, nimcha, khodme, bou-saada for lots of info on what might have been the genesis of these knives.