Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
We have a tendency to believe that every peculiar construction of an Oriental weapon is a very well-thought feature cleverly invented by the locals to adapt to their unique circumstances and to fulfill a specific function.
There are, however, many examples of Oriental weapons that were just clumsy from an ergonomic or engineering point of view. While Europe always aimed for maximal functionality, the Orient gave much more emphasis to metaphysical, sacral, artistic or just exaggerated forms. Examples from India are abound, but the same tendency was seen elsewhere. Usually such examples were a dead-end model and tended to disappear quickly or to persist as ceremonial implements. Think Indian Bank with extremely curved ( almost 180 degrees ) blade, or Laz Bichaq, or Dhu-l-Fakar with two blades, or just a Shamshir with exaggerated curve.
Is it possible that the clumsy construction of the Zeibek Yataghan is just yet another example: too long and unwieldy for the infantry and too mechanically unsound for cavalry slashing?
After all, Zeibeks were quite an isolated and closed group with pretty unique appearance and clothing; why not their idiosyncratic weapon?
Kind of Ford Edsel or AMC Gremlin, or BMW Isetta of their day: a failed attempt:-)