Join Date: Mar 2005
The use of navajas started to decline sharply from around 1868 and by 1900 its usage was over. After that date a small number of new generation utilitarian folding knives based on the old navajas (as still made by Exposito) continued to be manufactured, but the demand and output remained relatively small.
We know this from cutlery industry figures re production and importation of navajas. This is a fact beyond debate, for to argue otherwise it would have to be demonstrated where the navajas that were supposedly being used came from.
Something that is not widely known is that during the halcyon days of the navaja, the mid 1800s, the majority were made in France and not in Spain (so much for the famous Santolios and Sevillanas!) - By that time the Spanish cutlery industry was in severe and irreversible decline.
Because of this, we know the number of navajas imported into Spain with great accuracy. Between 1850 and 1862 an average of a million and a quarter of such navajas were brought into Spain annually, yet by 1869 this figure fell to a paltry 690,000 and there was no increase in the local manufacture to make up the difference. By 1900 the Spanish cutlery industry almost disappeared and there was no importation.
So any talk of Spain having retained a navaja culture flies in face of hard facts.