Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bay Area
You are right Ariel, but I hope this thread does not get locked, because if every thread about Balkan weapons gets locked any time we have a polite historical discussion, we will never learn anything about Balkan weapons, and I am sure you will agree there is relatively little known about them compared to weapons from other areas of the world. I and Yannis were far from trying to instigate an argument on Macedonian history - we just wanted to point out that the idea that FYROM is a descendant and successor of ancient Macedonia is a fairly recent one, and therefore it is a little bit of a stretch to try to find a direct relationship between ancient Macedonian symbols and the weapons of freedom fighters of various ethnicities more than a 100 years ago. As far as the Ilinden Uprising is concerned, it was organized by VMORO, the initials of which stand for Вътрешна Македоно-Одринска Революционна Организация, or Inner Macedono-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization, and its members had the goal of liberating not only Macedonia, but also Eastern Thrace, and not because they wanted to resurrect ancient Macedonia or Thrace (say, the Odrysian Kingdom), but because these were the terriotries initially liberated after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 and later returned to the Ottoman Empire after the Berlin Congress. I am attaching the flag of the rebels from Ohrid, which contains no ancient solar symbols whatsoever, to hopefully put an end to the idea that the Ilinden rebels had the 8-beamed Sun as one of their symbols. All this I am doing not to prove a nationalistic point, but just to show how the stamp on the akkulak in the beginning of the thread is extremely unlikely to be connected to the Macedonian freedom movement.
If there is indeed a link between the ancient Thracian and Macedonian symbol as seen on coins, and the 19th century karakulaks' stamps, I think it is what Jim suggested - an atavistic symbol, which survived as a part of the Thracian and Macedonian culture, gradually losing its meaning and becoming a traditional decorative element. I will be reapeating myself, but let me explain once again - the reason I brought up the topic was an attempt to explore alternative theories for the origin of yataghans and karakulaks, hopefully finding the missing link between the kopis and the first yataghans, or at least an explanation why such link has not been found so far. And I really, really hope this thread remains open, so that we can continue the discussion about the obscure origin of these weapons, which are my favorites.