Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Shedding some light on the New Moon..
Originally Posted by Iain
It is what it is and it has a face. Usually when paired on face is open eyed the other winking. As I already stated these symbols can take on different meanings in different cultures, however the retention of the facial features speaks strongly to the lineage of the mark.
A new moon as far as I'm aware in Islamic art is not illustrated with a face... As seen in the one example you linked an image of where it is simply a crescent.
In the context of African blades the mark retained much of its original form because it was a hallmark of quality and not merely an illustrative symbol.
In short, marks can take on multiple meanings, sometimes outside of their original context. But when this much of the form is retained it speaks volumes as to the influence of the original application.
So you agree that what we have here is quite an interesting linkage back to perhaps Juan Martinez, Toledo mid 16th C or Peter Munch Solingen 1595-1660,
thus, a European Sword mark which has been transmitted onto trade blades and copied by local smiths all over the African region and Red Sea, Yemen etc in the last 250 years. The precisely named "man in the moon" insignia being copied and as a mark of excellence onto blades in the region and beyond. Originally probably placed with a magical quality being inferred... and reflected somewhat in the Islamic sense of Talismanic protection in the crescent moon illustration...with and without nose eyes mouth...
Thus it becomes a new moon in the afro/arabian sense from an original European man in the moon design.
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.