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Old 28th July 2017, 08:43 AM   #46
Gonzalo G
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nothern Mexico
Posts: 458

The baldric has nothing to do, since it was the traditional way of the muslims to carry the sword.

And I didn't say anywhere that the nimcha evolved from the jineta. Please read more carefully and don't place one sword at the side of the other. What I said is that the cultural elements behind the design of the hilt of the nimcha were already present in North Africa long time ago (before its appearance), and more probably this design owes nothing to influences from Italy or France. The severe downturning of the quillons with wider "roundish" knobs is an element. The other element is the development of the finger guards (which in the nimcha are vestigial), and that this development, as also that of the pas-d'ane, is due to the influence from the fighting jineta sword. Please read Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer, "From Medieval Sword to Renaissance Rapier" in Gladius, Vol. II, 1963, especially pages 30 to 34, the downloading is free.

I will remark that the influences on the development of the curved quillons with ring guards, pas-d’anes and the “Italian grip”, in fact does not from Europe to North Africa. It is exactly the opposite. Let´s read what Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer writes in other work:

“When the Damascus Caliphate parts in an Eastern and a Western Caliphate with centres in Baghdad and in Cordoba, the Oriental line becomes reinforced on the Iberian peninsula, When some centuries later new Berber tribes are crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, particularly the Benu Marin tribes in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Latin line gets a strong impulse, which gives birth to the so-called finger-bows, the pas-d'anes and the “Italian” method of grasping the sword handle. This new method is seen on the Iberian peninsula already in the 13th century, if not before!”
Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer, “Introduction to the History of the European Sword”, Gladius, Vol. I, 1961, pp.43-44.

It is also possible that the endings of the ring guards and quillon of the nimcha would be a vestigial presence of pitons. About this, and also about the influence from North Africa to Europe in the 15th Century, please read:

"From these swords with pas-d'ane below the quillons it is no long
step to the next protective measure, the two small pitons, iron tiges
ending in small knobs projecting from the lower ends of the pas-d'ane.
They were possibly inspired by the Moroccan swords of about the same period.

Sha said "possibly", so it is not a fact, but this testifies to the early presence of pitons in Moroccan swords before their presence in Europe. The other element is the knuckleguard. This element probably is the only one on the hilt of the nimcha which is due to the influence of Europe, most probably through Spain, since the Spaniards had permanent military presence in Oran during this period. I mentioned before that in an inventory in the Catálogo de la Real Armería in Madrid are described four sabers which seems to correspond to nimchas, sabers coming from Oran during the expedition of 1732, so we can presume that this type was already present, if not well before.

Thus, elements developed from the Berber swords were used later in the design of the characteristic nimcha hilt, named the strong downcurved quillon and the (vestigial) finger guards. Also, references from the 15th Century describe the presence of knob-pitons. Probably the first references we have from them mention the presence of a curved blade or a straight single-edge blade. This is not the same that saying that the jineta evolved into a nimcha. The jineta, in any case, evolved into a type of European sword, with some admixtures or changes. We can even say that those swords are a hybrid. But the cultural inheritance of this proces was also owned by western North Africa, it did not came from Europe, probably only the use of a knuckleguard.
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