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Old 11th January 2012, 11:21 AM   #1
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Default The Omani Khanjar

Salaams all,

For some, the really only charismatic Omani Dagger with a full pedigree is the Royal Khanjar or sa'idiyyah khanjar noted for its 7 rings(hilqah) and highly ornate and unique hilt.(qarn) and scabbard (ghumb) A further identifying marker is the odd little triangular link attaching from the top of the chape(quba) to the belt (hazam) Hand made in the capital, Muscat, this beautiful dagger was said to have been designed by a previous Sultans wife probably influenced by exotic, ornate Indian style using delicate filigree and repouse' work with varied application of the Mulberry Fruit cluster (from the fruit tree common in Oman) Any Omani man can wear this dagger.

Seen here on a traditional, cloth, woven belt in geometric style. Plus a photo of other hilts with which to compare.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 11th January 2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 27th January 2012, 02:30 PM   #2
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Salaams all. Note to Forum.

Khanjars vary in size quite dramatically: The weapon carried on Dhows is markedly smaller trhan the bigger khanjar in other regions of Oman. This is a purely practical innovation and worth logging for forum library/ research.
The Khanjar on the left is typically from Sur for use on long sea journeys by Dhow ..thus small and handy in size. The right hand khanjar from the Baatina not for on board work and thus much bigger.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 9th February 2012, 05:49 PM   #3
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Salaams all,
After months of searching I now have the UAE Khanjar I have been looking for. The Khanjar was probably made in the Dhakiliyya (Interior of Oman at S'nau) It answers several questions as to the origin of the hilt. This Khanjar was retained by a family for several generations and on interogation it appears that it could be between 150 and 200 years old. The wear to the pins in the hilt and the crown bears this out though like most old khanjars we would expect to see some more recent work in the form of replacement belt wire at the rings and possibly less aged two main hilt pins and a wrap round hilt sleeve both gold wash over silver though these are not new... perhaps 50 years. The silver stitched leather over the lower scabbard is original and classic to type.

Blade. Excellent home grown Omani Blade held in with pitch.

Belt. 4 huge rings comprise the belt. Occasionally the inner two are shevron shaped though it is just as common to have roundels as shown here.

Hilt. The shape weight and design are classic. The hilt is translucent at the edges. Rhino. Common term Z'raff. Name of animal~ common term; Wahid al Garn (One Horn). The Giraffe (Ziraffah) which sounds like Z'raff in the groups of people questioned is not a source of dagger hilt horn. It was supposed that perhaps the hoof of the Giraffe(Ziraffah) was used. This is not proven moreover it appears that the terminology has become twisted with a simple linguistic mix up of the two words thereby confusing the Rhino with the Giraffe. The hilt pictured is Rhino "Wahid al Garn" (One Horn).The material is called Z'raff. Rhino Horn. Wheras there appears to be evidence on Forum search of Giraffe Hoof being used in Ottoman sword hilts I have found no proof to the same material being used on Omani Khanjars... yet.
Hilt Pins ~ I have counted more than 1000 silver pins hammered into the hilt.

This is a heavyweight amongst Khanjars weighing in at more than three quarters of a kilo (800 gram) With a good belt etc it would place almost one and a half kilos on the waist !

This is an Al Rumaithi Khanjar, (UAE) Circa 1850.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 9th February 2012 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 13th February 2012, 05:35 PM   #4
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Salaams; Note to Forum; Type into Search ~ Somewhat Unusual Omani Khanjar for Comment for a look at scabbard silver stitching. Regards Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 16th February 2012, 11:00 AM   #5
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Default Workshop.

Salaams all~ For the Research Library~ heres a few shots of a workshop that produces fabulous quality... on the floor !! This is the maker of some of the best Omani Khanjars ever...
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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Salaams All~ Note to Forum. The Khanjar Blade. (naslah).

This remarkable piece of engineering is around 17 or 18 cms long and 5 to 6 cms broad at the throat tapering to a point along a curved, two edged, centrally ridged on both sides, steel blade. The ridge gives strength for thrusting and withdrawing the blade. Cheap imported blades are two joined together whereas a proper Omani blade joins along the ridges. The little furnace about half the size of a football, is wood fuelled and heat is increased by use of hand bellows.
The best blades were made by a peculiar and historically virtually unrecorded group of itinerant Gypsy like folk called Zuttoot... or Zutti covered in my other post at length.See Kattara for comments #165. In days of old these small bands travelled about Oman doing tinning of utensils, making tools and sword and Khanjar blades...on commission and at random.
The blade is all important to local gentlemen and when inspecting a Khanjar they will ponder the blade first and foremost... not the scabbard or hilt. Often they take up the dagger with hilt in thumb and first 2 fingers by the very point only and lift it vertically... If they can easily lift it ... its a duffer ! If it slips from the fingers then its quality... weight, balance and blade metal quaility are observed most carefully..
According to Richardson and Dorr (The Craft Herrritage of Oman) The bedouin say that the best metal ore for blades is found in thunder storms where the lightening strikes!
One of the amazing ways in which they decide on blade quality is by tasting the blade?
Glue. To fix the blade, Lakk is used (Tachardia Lacca ) from an insect secretion. Essentially it looks like small blocks/ sheets of black pitch and is imported from India and Pakistan. The molten pitch-like lakk is poured into the hilts cuff(tuq) and the heated blade is sturdily pressed home.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 22nd February 2012 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 21st January 2016, 04:57 PM   #7
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Default Omani Jambiya

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all~ For the Research Library~ heres a few shots of a workshop that produces fabulous quality... on the floor !! This is the maker of some of the best Omani Khanjars ever...
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Hello Ibrahiim,
Thank you for this post. I think I bought one of these last year. Photos attached. I purchased it used. The knife has been used, although it is in excellent condition. The blade has been mistreated but I can fix that. I like it. I like it a lot. There is nothng cheap about it. Granted it is not an antique but I can live with that. If I am not mistaken there is a photo in Mr. Gracie's book of one. I don't have the book with me right now but can provide the page number later today if you or anyone else would like the reference. Thanks again for the post. It is interesting to me to see how they are made. Not to mention seeing these incredible knives!

Harry
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Old 20th October 2016, 12:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all~ For the Research Library~ heres a few shots of a workshop that produces fabulous quality... on the floor !! This is the maker of some of the best Omani Khanjars ever...
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Salaams Ibrahiim,

wonderful examples, I'm very impressed. Does the Workshop have a Homepage?
I need to have one of these amazing Khanjars!

Roland
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