Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Gavin, I have just started a new thread on The Omani Sayf (and one on The Omani Kattara). This straight design is a pageant only sword..dancing only. Not a fighting weapon. I didn't see your blade nor did I perceive its flexibility but you may have a stiff blade (red sea?) on an Omani hilt in which case it could be a hybrid. Ive seen one or two before but they arent Omani dancing blades. Omani dancing blades bend 90 degrees or more. Tipu tip the great slaver didnt have one of these... his was a whopping Kattara curved single edge job.
Please show the blade and any stamps.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Thank you Ibrahiim,
There is not enough 18th and 19th century evidence to consider the straight form as a dance sword only.
The sword was the high symbol of the warrior. I am still not convinced that by form alone, curved vs. straight that one is separated by use from the other, more so when they both share the same hilts and scabbard types and the straight ones are seen in much higher numbers than the sabres. And why do they all have a sharpened edge in straight form, not something required of a dance sword.
By design, I think it would have been personal choice of what type was wanted and I wouldn't be surprised if W. H. INGRAMS failed to note curved types in the dance fray too.
To consider this is only a dance sword, to me would be like saying Jian and Dao or double edged vs. singled edged Khanda hilted sword have separate purposes.
If I was to follow the thought that straight sword is dance only, I add, when considering the ratio of straight vs. curved types that there was very little adventuring being done by the Omani and they were too busy dancing, something history says is the opposite off.
Also, when the straight form pushed so far west in to Mandingo dress and dress of other regions, that the sword was used and displayed to these western cultures as weapons as I am sure they didn't just dance with them after being in touch with traders.
I again return to the original TVV thread that I would suggest your post in that thread in post #6 is a correct way of viewing this sword, fighting, with a shield. Do not mistake flexibility for weakness, but an advantage when used in this manner with the flexible sword for cutting and the shield for defense.
I think the W. H. INGRAMS notation in post #18 is not it's sole purpose of the sword but important a cultural observation of the time with a more common sword used in the dance observed, one that has continued today as a matter of ceremony and importance...in much the same way the revered Jian is both used for fighting and also a spiritual weapon in Taoist ceremony and dance. To dismiss the form alone in its national dress as a dance sword is not supported but each sword I would suggest be inspected under it's own merit.