Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bay Area
Thank you for a very detailed answer explaining the Moroccan origin of these daggers and the history of their (mis)attribution to other areas in Africa.
A recurring theme through this thread seems to be the concept that many of the sboulas were made from European bayonets. I personally feel that most were either made from European sword blades or forged locally. Given the shape and geometry of sboula blades, I just cant think of many, or even any, bayonets that would fit without having to be reforged. These daggers are quite long, and both I have blades of approximately 21 inches. We can rule out all shorter bayonets, along with all spike bayonets. There were longer bayonets available in the 19th century of course, but the French Chassepot bayonet and other yataghan bayonets had a characteristic curve, and the sboula of course does not. The Gras bayonet has a straight back, but lacks the fuller structure we see on sboula blades, and I have not seen a sboula with a blade of a T-section yet.
I have seen janwi daggers with blades that most definitely started as French bayonets, but the fuller structure and shape of sboulas to me at least suggests sword blades (or local imitation thereof) and not bayonets.