Join Date: Oct 2010
The hook-type blade is traditional Hadendawa khanjar from Eastern Sudan. Below is from p.41 of my Sword Makers of Kassala paper available of the EAA Geographical Index, Africa.
The Khanjar (Figure 8a) is the traditional Hadendawa edged weapon used for personal defense. It was in use before Christianity and Islam came to the area. It was also the principal weapon (along with the Barb (spear) used by Othman Digna's forces in engagements with the British at Suakin during the period of the Mahdiya.
Local informants report that the Khanjar is depicted in Egyptian and Meroitic hieroglyphs and in rock paintings in the Butana. Burton confirms this with an illustration of a short sickle sword, the Khopsh, Kepsh or Khepshi as one of four Egyptian hieroglyphic characters which represent the word sword.
The shape of the Khanjar probably derived from the Khopsh type knife or a shorter version of a similar sickle bladed shotal from Abyssinia (see Tarakkuk 1982:25). But its hooked shape blade is in itself unique. The blade is about 14 inches long, including the hook, from 1 to 1-1/4 inches wide. It is of a flattened diamond in cross section and double edged. It is worn at the waist in a padded leather covered sheath attached to a six inch wide leather belt. The handle is of carved ebony and shaped like a fat hourglass. The handle may be gripped conventionally or held at the bottom by the first and second fingers of the hand on either side of the handle and clasped into a fist. The two fingered grip provides a more fluid slashing motion and facilitates the hook portion in reaching a mounted opponent's ankles and wrists. This method of Hadendawa warfare was particularly effective on British and Egyptian cavalry.
The term Khanjar is used to describe curved bladed daggers from India and Persia (Diagram Group 1980:30). Stone lists alternative spellings, including Konjar, Handschar and Kantschar, attributing the word to Arabic origin meaning knife or dagger (Ibid.:351f). The Khanjar is seldom seen in use today, but a Suq smith since 1937 remembered his past daily production as five in 1940, ten in 1960 and virtually none in 1980."
The knife is worn on a wide leather belt around the waist as shown in image.
Your knife has a nice rib that indicates special forging. Of my two, attached, one had a rare fuller while the other is more or less flat. All three handles are of the same design while would indicate they were made in the same place, i.e. likely in Kassala.