Originally Posted by fernando
" The Moroccan Nimcha. A sabre of Portuguese influence. The handle with a shape of horse head is a remnant of the Lusitanian falcata, which descends from the Indo-European type. The shape of the guards, turned towards the blade, originates in Portuguese swords. The protecting ring and the (knuckle) guard that raises to the pommel were influenced by the Portuguese swords of the first half XVI century."
... Would you guys find this is plausible ?.
Ahhhh! The typical colonial discourse…the civilizing role of Europe into the rest of the (colonized) world...And today, even the colonial notions about an Indo-Aryan “conquest” are deeply questioned, the idea of the “heroic white people” taking control of Europe in a great epic saga, ahhhh, a beautiful story.
We have seen that the quillons turned toward the blade is a centuries old use among the Oriental peoples, and that the strongly downcurved quillons were used first (before the Portuguese or the Spanish peoples) by the Berbers, at least from the 13th Century, if not before. The fighting jineta sword illustrated above is from this century, and Ibrahiim also posted a picture showing that it is the older jineta already found (re: post #27, the Sangueza sword). And why the falcata is a Lusitania sword? As far I know, it is a Celtic-Iberian weapon, and the notion of “Portugal” or “Spain” did not exist in that time. Numerous findings of falcatas with horse-head hilts were also made in the actual territory of Spain.
In the 16th Century those swords were buried for more than 1,300 years, and the Portuguese even didn´t know them, maybe until the 19th or 20th Century, when archaeological discoveries bring them to the modern knowledge.
Berber or Moor raids into the Iberic Penisula were known at least from the roman times, but no evidence of those horse-head hilts is found in the pre-nimcha period in North Africa for more than a thousand years. But the use of animal headed hilts was common in this period in the Orient and surely the head of a horse was not an unknown feature among the cavalry-oriented Berbers.
This quote seems Portuguese-biased, who is the author? I have seem similar statements in Portuguese web sites. Very nationalistic. And why the knuckleguard would be influence of the Portuguese? Contrary to the Spanish, they didn’t have presence in North Africa in this century. In the 16th Century the Portuguese invasions to Morocco were defeated repeatedly by the Saadis, which also defeated the Ottoman intents. At the end of the 16th Century, Portugal became a Spanish dominion.
I lack of bibliography on Portuguese swords. I would like to see those with knuckleguards from the first half of the 16th Century, could you provide some examples?