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Old 9th September 2013, 10:46 AM   #91
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Originally Posted by SwordsAntiqueWeapons
An expanation of item two in Ricks presentation of rare swords would be interesting;

http://www.vikingsword.com/library/...eldomwootz1.pdf

Gavin



Salaams SwordsAntiqueWeapons ~ Since you are asking me to explain I shall indeed respond to your request.

First this is not technically an Omani Kattara since it is straight thus it would be (if it were real) be an Omani Sayf (or Saif).

Secondly as it clearly states there is a certain amount of uncertainty by the author ..well placed in my opinion about this weapon...and since it appears to be a complete one off...no others appear to exist...what are we actually viewing here?

This is a non flexible (I assume) thick, pointed, wootz blade on an Omani long hilt. It is configured to look like an Omani 1744 design dancing sword. Does this ring a bell with you?

I have seen blades like this being lined up for workshop conversion in Muttrah... somewhere I have a photo of one similar...and I will dig it up. and another with the running wolf on it... same sort of blade.

Apply the well tested rule... Does it look right Wootz, Pointed, and thick down the spine without fullers ? and the main rule about dancing swords...does it bend ?...So we know its not an Omani Dancing Sword so what is it?

I suspect this is an imported blade (OF EXCELLENT PRIOR FIGHTING PROWESS) rehilted in Muscat after 1970.

So what do you think it is ?

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Old 9th September 2013, 10:48 AM   #92
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I think it is a sword


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Old 9th September 2013, 10:54 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by SwordsAntiqueWeapons
I think it is a sword


Gavin



Salaams SwordsAntiqueWeapons~ That it may well be but its not an Omani Sword... So what is it? Heres a clue... Its rehilted... imported and changed after 1970....wootz.... pointed....non flexible....

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Old 9th September 2013, 10:59 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams SwordsAntiqueWeapons~ That it may well be but its not an Omani Sword... So what is it? Heres a clue... Its rehilted... imported and changed after 1970....wootz.... pointed....non flexible....

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


I am still waiting patiently to see any single modern stiff bladed sword from the souks that show the age patina, quality of style, quality of detail and construction methods of swords from antiquity, one that is actually there now that you can bring forth to the table for minute examination and criticism... Thus far I am only reading conjecture and speculation.

About the sword in question, these are rather bold statements considering the sword has not been first hand examined by yourself and others in a controlled enviroment. Again, conjecture and speculation are all that your comments are based on

Gavin
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Old 9th September 2013, 11:42 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Iain
Whatever documentation you have - as time allows it would be interesting to see. I assume it would require some translation. But we have a few Arabic speaking members, so perhaps you could scan and share originals.




I was paraphrasing, see post #72 of yours, the jist being your focus is on research conducted within Oman.




It's an interesting theory, I'm not involved enough around these particular weapons to judge it as a whole. It's not my field, still I enjoy occasionally commenting on these threads. Personally I think there's still some logical gaps missing within it which I've mentioned before, but just in case the museum visit can answer a few of them, off the top of my head...

1. A reason why the "dance sword" happens to use blade forms that closely mirror the proportion and design (fullers and geometry) of European blades.

2. As above but goes for blade marks.

These really are two points I've never felt there was a satisfactory answer for in your theory, suddenly there's a shift from a fighting weapon that happens to have wider, shorter, flat blades, to a dance only item that somehow manages to have an almost identical form and set of features to European blades seen elsewhere in the region...

All the best,
Iain



Salaams Iain ~ Last point first... but thank you for your input and I have a clear mandate ahead to really try to access the Museums data banks to verify the points I have already made and which is generally proven in their record at the National Archives and in documentation I already hold. Regarding the sudden shift from fighting weapon to dance item...Actually there was no sudden shift in my perception .. but what I did was to split the two weapons onto separate threads since they are of very different concepts and make up... though cleverly linked in that the two are sharp on both sides and round tipped and the Terrs Shield was given to both weapons. Much of the background is on Kattara for Comments but I felt each sword needed its own space. There was no sudden shift at the time it changed in Oman...The shift happened in 1744..when the dancing sword materialised. It can be thought of as The Bussaidi Dynasty Sword. You will see that I have compared the two swords and it is plausible that the sharp two edged weapon with the round tip style was consulted and transfered to the dancing sword along with the Terrs Shield...

Your next point about likeness to European sword style intrigues me...I mean what is a sword... Its a long knife...etc etc how many variations are there on the basic form? This is not, however, a copy of a European sword nor is it an imported dancing blade from Europe but is a product of local manufacture. The odd thing about the dancing blade is its flexibility... It bends nearly double easily. Its got a flat spatulate round tip. It has one or three fullers of varying length some the entire length of the sword. Its got a weird hilt almost more Japanese looking than European...(though likely to have Mandingo influence) Non of the blade marks are done in Europe... all the ones I've ever seen were done here and are Islamic, British Raj, Persian, or very rough copies of the wolf mark...locally applied.. The Old Omani Battle Sword wasn't taken from a European style... but it looks similar though you could argue that the Omanis copied the Abbasiid and the Abbasiid took their design from the Greek etc etc ...what makes you think this is a European design ? because it looks like it?...They (the dancing Swords) don't handle like European Swords. In fact to get a feel for balance they have to be practiced with using the Terrs Shield ... It really is a remarkably different feeling.

Why was it not simply an extended flexible version of the Old Omani Battle Sword on a long hilt?

Lastly I see you quote of something I didnt say ... and out of context ... No I certainly didn't say that Iain...but to close I will attempt to get a reasonable Museum document covering what I have already reported.

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Old 9th September 2013, 11:50 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Your next point about likeness to European sword style intrigues me...I mean what is a sword... Its a long knife...etc etc how many variations are there on the basic form? This is not, however, a copy of a European sword nor is it an imported dancing blade from Europe but is a product of local manufacture. The odd thing about the dancing blade is its flexibility... It bends nearly double easily. Its got a flat spatulate round tip. It has one or three fullers of varying length some the entire length of the sword. Its got a weird hilt almost more Japanese looking than European...(though likely to have Mandingo influence) Non of the blade marks are done in Europe... all the ones I've ever seen were done here and are Islamic, British Raj, Persian, or very rough copies of the wolf mark...locally applied.. The Old Omani Battle Sword wasn't taken from a European style... but it looks similar though you could argue that the Omanis copied the Abbasiid and the Abbasiid took their design from the Greek etc etc ...what makes you think this is a European design ? because it looks like it?...They (the dancing Swords) don't handle like European Swords. In fact to get a feel for balance they have to be practiced with using the Terrs Shield ... It really is a remarkably different feeling.

Why was it not simply an extended flexible version of the Old Omani Battle Sword on a long hilt?


I can't make things much clearer, if the extended length, fullering and introduction of blade markings on the "dance sword" doesn't raise some questions for you then there's really not much to discuss here... If you think all this came about without outside influence from a sword that looks quite dissimilar... then I really see no point in taking this further.

Quote:
Lastly I see you quote of something I didnt say ... and out of context ... No I certainly didn't say that Iain...but to close I will attempt to get a reasonable Museum document covering what I have already reported.


Mentioning the jist of a previous post of yours on the same thread regarding the exact same topic (pieces with provenance) is hardly out of context. You and I have managed to have friendly exchanges in the past, I see no reason for that to change.

The question remains then, have you pursue the provenance of pieces held within European museum collections?
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Old 9th September 2013, 11:52 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by SwordsAntiqueWeapons
I am still waiting patiently to see any single modern stiff bladed sword from the souks that show the age patina, quality of style, quality of detail and construction methods of swords from antiquity, one that is actually there now that you can bring forth to the table for minute examination and criticism... Thus far I am only reading conjecture and speculation.

About the sword in question, these are rather bold statements considering the sword has not been first hand examined by yourself and others in a controlled enviroment. Again, conjecture and speculation are all that your comments are based on

Gavin



Salaams~ I don't do controlled environment inspections... What I do is get the sword in front of me and bend it ... does it bend? How far? I inspect the blade ... Is it an Omani Dancing blade yes or no? Is it a rehilt? End of inspection.

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Old 9th September 2013, 12:05 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
I can't make things much clearer, if the extended length, fullering and introduction of blade markings on the "dance sword" doesn't raise some questions for you then there's really not much to discuss here... If you think all this came about without outside influence from a sword that looks quite dissimilar... then I really see no point in taking this further.



Mentioning the jist of a previous post of yours on the same thread regarding the exact same topic (pieces with provenance) is hardly out of context. You and I have managed to have friendly exchanges in the past, I see no reason for that to change.

The question remains then, have you pursue the provenance of pieces held within European museum collections?



Of course I have not persued the Omani Dancing Sword in European collections why on eaqrth would I do a thing like that... I'm in Oman researching it. The dancing sword isnt holding some hidden European clue... Its an Omani invention... if it was Belgian or French believe me I would be the first to say so...but its clearly not. This is a 1744 design encompassing some factors of the Old Omani Battle Sword and the whims of whoever finally decided its finished form... I don't think a European sword has been near the design of this sword. It's completely different. Why are you hung up on a European design... Its Omani...

This is not the first time you have spoken about European blade marks on these swords... I've seen hundreds and hundreds of these swords...no European blade marks ...rough copies yes a few... mainly stamped are Islamic, Persian and British Raj India marks and a few rough wolf marks clearly locally done... where's the link in that...?

Might you be trying to resurect that European blades as having been imported for Omani Dancing Sword Blades?

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Old 9th September 2013, 12:11 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Of course I have not persued the Omani Dancing Sword in European collections why on eaqrth would I do a thing like that... I'm in Oman researching it. The dancing sword isnt holding some hidden European clue... Its an Omani invention... if it was Belgian or French believe me I would be the first to say so...but its clearly not as a brought on design encompassing some factors of the Old Omani Battle Sword and the whims of whoever finally decided its finished form... I don't think a European sword has been near the design of this sword. It's completely different. Why are you hung up on a European design... Its Omani...

This is not the first time you have spoken about European blade marks on these swords... Ive seen hundreds and hundreds of these swords...no European blade marks ...rough copies yes... mainly stamped are Islamic Persian and British Raj India marks and a few rough wolf marks clearly locally done... wheres the link in that...?

Might you be trying to resurect that European blades as having been imported for Omani Dancing Sword Blades?...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Well I figured you'd be interested in pieces with provenance... I've asked about it multiple times now in this thread, not one answer. I guess that says all that needs to be said.

I'll have one last shot at this before I give up on this thread completely.

Why would European style wolf marks be copied in Oman onto a dance sword if the design and legacy owe nothing to European blades?
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Old 10th September 2013, 03:44 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
Well I figured you'd be interested in pieces with provenance... I've asked about it multiple times now in this thread, not one answer. I guess that says all that needs to be said.

I'll have one last shot at this before I give up on this thread completely.

Why would European style wolf marks be copied in Oman onto a dance sword if the design and legacy owe nothing to European blades?



Salaams Iain~ You may, as you wish, and at any time give up... that is none of my business... do what you will, however, I'm not giving up.

You have asked me several times about this European collections situation and looking back I think I have indicated my position and as a researcher here in Oman on the subject of the Omani Dancing Sword. Its an Omani Sword but certainly if I could I would examine European collections pieces. I live on the border of the UAE and OMAN ... It's a long way to Europe and I have, thus, no access to European collections. However, since this is the Bussaidi Dynastic Sword am I not reasonable in searching for details here? It is after all The Omani National Sword !

Your question about European mark is placed here in red;

Why would European style wolf marks be copied in Oman onto a dance sword if the design and legacy owe nothing to European blades?

Do you think that a couple of Omani Dancing Swords with copies of European style Passau Wolf marks indicates some sort of design transference of that sword from European to Omani culture?

Personally; I don't think so at all.

What I think is that blade marks on Omani dancing swords come in many shapes and forms all copied and or stamped/chiselled here... from Indian British Raj, Persian Lion and Sword, wolf marks, talismanic squares, various geometric shapes, stars, to straight applied Islamic marks in Arabic e.g.God Is Great etc etc.

Why do I think they struck the odd blade with wolf marks? No doubt because they admired the mark perhaps of quaility in blades and for quite the same reason they struck talismanic squares on some blades due to superstition/ power to the blade/good luck/protection ... It is a fact that the wolf appears in Talismanic belief here (the abu futtila is often seen with wolf skin applied to the butt) so it could be simply that. I can't see how that implies a transfer in sword design. I have seen wolf marks on the Old Omani Battle Sword but I don't think that implies a European design in that item does it?

The shape and design of the Omani Dancing Sword, however, owes nought in my opinion to European sword shape and a whole lot to the previous stiff Omani Battle Sword... which even has the same shield The Terrs... and the blade is razor sharp to both edges and the tip is round... not to mention its role in the Funoon.

The hilt known generally as The Omani Long Hilt in a flatish long conical form poses another question as to origin but again I see no European influence there but if anything perhaps African Mendingo style though it is not clear yet which came first; The Kattara Longhilt or The Omani Dancing Sword Longhilt. Since we have the Dynastic Swords birthdate at 1744 I'm certain an answer is close.


Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 10th September 2013, 04:18 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Iain~ You may, as you wish, and at any time give up... that is none of my business... do what you will, however, I'm not giving up.


There's a lot of repetition on these threads meaning there's little point posting at the moment as there are several perspectives which are in complete opposition. I look forward to further discussion after you've had a chance to pursue your inquires with the museums local to you.

Quote:
You have asked me several times about this European collections situation and looking back I think I have indicated my position and as a researcher here in Oman on the subject of the Omani Dancing Sword. Its an Omani Sword but certainly if I could I would examine European collections pieces. I live on the border of the UAE and OMAN ... It's a long way to Europe and I have, thus, no access to European collections. However, since this is the Bussaidi Dynastic Sword am I not reasonable in searching for details here? It is after all The Omani National Sword !


I'd suggested looking in European collections previously because of the issue of "freeze" meaning a weapon was removed and not changed for a specified period. Providing hard evidence for how the weapon was at differing periods. Hopefully you can find that locally.

Quote:
Your question about European mark is placed here in red;

Why would European style wolf marks be copied in Oman onto a dance sword if the design and legacy owe nothing to European blades?

Do you think that a couple of Omani Dancing Swords with copies of European style Passau Wolf marks indicates some sort of design transference of that sword from European to Omani culture?

Personally; I don't think so at all.

What I think is that blade marks on Omani dancing swords come in many shapes and forms all copied and or stamped/chiselled here... from Indian British Raj, Persian Lion and Sword, wolf marks, talismanic squares, various geometric shapes, stars, to straight applied Islamic marks in Arabic e.g.God Is Great etc etc.

Why do I think they struck the odd blade with wolf marks? No doubt because they admired the mark perhaps of quaility in blades and for quite the same reason they struck talismanic squares on some blades due to superstition/ power to the blade/good luck/protection ... It is a fact that the wolf appears in Talismanic belief here (the abu futtila is often seen with wolf skin applied to the butt) so it could be simply that. I can't see how that implies a transfer in sword design. I have seen wolf marks on the Old Omani Battle Sword but I don't think that implies a European design in that item does it?


It implies influence in the blades via exposure as do some of the aspects I've mentioned in the past. We'll just have to agree to disagree. I'm sure readers of the thread can and will make up their own minds.

All the best,
Iain
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Old 10th September 2013, 04:43 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
There's a lot of repetition on these threads meaning there's little point posting at the moment as there are several perspectives which are in complete opposition. I look forward to further discussion after you've had a chance to pursue your inquires with the museums local to you.



I'd suggested looking in European collections previously because of the issue of "freeze" meaning a weapon was removed and not changed for a specified period. Providing hard evidence for how the weapon was at differing periods. Hopefully you can find that locally.



It implies influence in the blades via exposure as do some of the aspects I've mentioned in the past. We'll just have to agree to disagree. I'm sure readers of the thread can and will make up their own minds.

All the best,
Iain



Salaams Iain, No doubt I shall get the confirming evidence from the National Museum at some future point. On reflection I have to say that you have chosen to weave into your post several quite extraordinary and strage pieces of logic for example in;

para 1... a peculiar link between apparent repetition and no point in posting which I cannot fathom...and coupled to inquiries at the museum?..I am unable to unravel that.

para 2... Freeze? Are you suggesting that the design of the Omani Dancing Sword has changed since its inception in 1744? No it hasn't. Do you imagine that there is a 1744 document waiting to be discovered perhaps next to the original dancing sword in some museum? No there isn't.

para 3...I am amazed that you think there is some odd linkage between blade marks locally applied and dancing sword design. There are some blade marks with stars on them ... does that imply they went to the moon?

Lastly your suggestion that readers will make up their minds and seemingly placed as The Sword of Damacles over my posts is just simply rediculous.. This forum, in hammering out the facts, expects disagreement and at times heated debate and generally over the hot anvil of discussion takes no heed of whether readers agree or not. This post is alive and kicking and the twists and turns encountered have no place in whether people agree or don't. If they don't agree the rules are simple; let them either do nothing or join the debate! The ink is free !!

It is our job (as I see it) to shine a light into the dark recesses of a bleak and murky history laden with lies and deceit, errors and misrepresentation and hopefully at the end of the day appear with something closer to the truth. If we had a motto I think those words would be echoed in it...not roll over and die , give up or just nod your head and agree.

This isn't a trick with a bowler hat and a white rabbit!

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 11th September 2013, 06:14 PM   #103
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Salaams all Note to Forum..

I have just read an interesting article from J E Peterson ...see http://www.jepeterson.net/.../Oman_...Society_Norther... in which he expertly describes the quite diverse population in Muscat and perhaps points to sword manufacturing in the city..

Meanwhile here is an interesting couple of pictures showing two groups...I sketch of soldiers in 1840 in Muscat with weapons and a photograpg by Wilfred Thesiger in 1950 of Bin Gabaisha bin Kabina. I met the son of Bin Gabaisha the other day and he reports that his father is doing very well and still buying and selling camels!

The reason for including both pictures is to illustrate the similarity in the physique and hair of the two diverse ages... and to prove the warlike worthiness of both and thus to confirm the artist (Colm) in his portrayal of the men as accurate. It is known that Bin Gabaisha and Kabina were probably the fiercest bedu on the circuit more than 60 years ago and were true mercenaries, guides and friends to Thesiger.

What is significant about the sketch is ...straight dancing swords.. pushing the envelope for known swords of such description as far as 1840 and toward the benchmark date of 1744. It also illustrates the sword as unchanged.

These are Omani guard soldiers and carry the main weapon the abu futtila. So why do they have straight swords in their possession. The casual eye of the onlooker/artist would probably consider these as weapons but they are not. Like any soldier / officer today in the West there are those that are issued or own their own swords but carried only for the traditional parade ... for marching past the ruler / dignitary/ commander and for parade ground duties. When I say soldier I mean mounted cavalry ...although for infantry in the west the officers and certain high ranking senior NCO's also carry swords on parade... for the exact same reasons. Thus it was in 1840 and before, that Omani guards carried these swords since they would often be required to draw them in praise for the ruler and for pageantry duty.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 11th September 2013, 07:06 PM   #104
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What is significant about the sketch is ...straight dancing swords.. pushing the envelope for known swords of such description as far as 1840 and toward the benchmark date of 1744. It also illustrates the sword as unchanged.

These are Omani guard soldiers and carry the main weapon the abu futtila. So why do they have straight swords in their possession. The casual eye of the onlooker/artist would probably consider these as weapons but they are not. Like any soldier / officer today in the West there are those that are issued or own their own swords but carried only for the traditional parade ... for marching past the ruler / dignitary/ commander and for parade ground duties. When I say soldier I mean mounted cavalry ...although for infantry in the west the officers and certain high ranking senior NCO's also carry swords on parade... for the exact same reasons. Thus it was in 1840 and before, that Omani guards carried these swords since they would often be required to draw them in praise for the ruler and for pageantry duty.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


I have no doubt swords were used in parade, danced and for salute etc in 1840.

I do however doubt the picture can quantify that these are flimsy dance swords alone, especially in the era of 1840 and that there are no other swords present in the image.

The practical flip side to your suggestion, after all 1840 was an era or practicality not excess, is that these are the fighting swords and bucklers used by these guard soldiers after the use of a rifle has past...after all there are no other swords pictured and these swords are in the hands and on the belts of these warrior guards.
What were they to do if they are guards and they can not defend because they have bending dance swords as a secondary defence after the rifle was shot and combat became close quarters... Surely not stop a threat with words...guards are meant to be at the ready at all times so it makes more sense that those pictured were their weapons as a guard would not be without an edged weapon in 1840.

Fighting swords that can equally be used to dance and pay tribute but by primary needs alone and the presence of no other swords, it makes more sense as guards have sword that work not dance with bends....

Gavin
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Old 11th September 2013, 08:34 PM   #105
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Hi Ibrahiim, your tone is a little strange. Perhaps you are taking this all a bit too personally for a friendly forum discussion.

Quote:
para 1... a peculiar link between apparent repetition and no point in posting which I cannot fathom...and coupled to inquiries at the museum?..I am unable to unravel that.


There's nothing complex or peculiar here. There are several points of view that have been presented in this thread, there is a lot of repetition in the presentation of those views. I've posted my views at this time, I see no reason to do it constantly. Personally, I'll be interested to continue the discussion when there's something else on the table - such as pieces with provenance or some of the museum documentation you've mentioned in the past.

Quote:
para 2... Freeze? Are you suggesting that the design of the Omani Dancing Sword has changed since its inception in 1744? No it hasn't. Do you imagine that there is a 1744 document waiting to be discovered perhaps next to the original dancing sword in some museum? No there isn't.


The way to establish what has or hasn't changed is via pieces with provenance, period artwork or illustrations. For example you recent post with illustrations dated to 1840 at least show the state of the hilt style at that date. That's a great piece of evidence with an associated date.

I am simply curious to see pieces with provenance and associated dates for the same reason. I have no idea what museum documentation you have access to, how can I until you present it.

Quote:
para 3...I am amazed that you think there is some odd linkage between blade marks locally applied and dancing sword design. There are some blade marks with stars on them ... does that imply they went to the moon?


We've had serious, perhaps even fruitful exchanges about this in the past, it's a pity you don't seem to want to continue that judging by your last comment. However perhaps it was intended as humor in which case I can only say... I'm surprised you're amazed.

In brief, the use of copied European marks applied locally onto these blades illustrates a link between local blade production, exposure to European blades and the associated connotations of quality perceived in the latter. Similarly the use of triple fuller and single patterns of a length that corresponds broadly to similar European blades found elsewhere in large numbers at a similar time period is not something that I consider coincidence. Particularly when the primary sword form in use before the inception of this design by and large is flat without fullers.

Obviously this is something that we don't and probably won't agree on. A differing point of view...

Quote:
Lastly your suggestion that readers will make up their minds and seemingly placed as The Sword of Damacles over my posts is just simply rediculous.. This forum, in hammering out the facts, expects disagreement and at times heated debate and generally over the hot anvil of discussion takes no heed of whether readers agree or not. This post is alive and kicking and the twists and turns encountered have no place in whether people agree or don't. If they don't agree the rules are simple; let them either do nothing or join the debate! The ink is free !!


Nothing has been placed over your head and I think it's a pity you've chosen to interpret a single phrase in this manner. My last post on this thread pointed out differing viewpoints had been presented. Everyone is free to assess what is written here and reach their own conclusion.

Some may choose to engage with your posted material, as I do on occasion, others may not.

That of course has no influence on the validity of the content you post - however a lack of response does not imply you are correct simply because nobody has bothered to post a rebuttal. As far as I'm concerned, the more participants the merrier.

There are parts of what you present that I find intriguing and raise interesting questions, parts where I disagree with your conclusions and parts where I appreciate the fascinating insight into the weapons of Oman you share. Your passion is to be commended.

All the best,
Iain
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Old 13th September 2013, 06:35 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Iain
Hi Ibrahiim, your tone is a little strange. Perhaps you are taking this all a bit too personally for a friendly forum discussion.



There's nothing complex or peculiar here. There are several points of view that have been presented in this thread, there is a lot of repetition in the presentation of those views. I've posted my views at this time, I see no reason to do it constantly. Personally, I'll be interested to continue the discussion when there's something else on the table - such as pieces with provenance or some of the museum documentation you've mentioned in the past.



The way to establish what has or hasn't changed is via pieces with provenance, period artwork or illustrations. For example you recent post with illustrations dated to 1840 at least show the state of the hilt style at that date. That's a great piece of evidence with an associated date.

I am simply curious to see pieces with provenance and associated dates for the same reason. I have no idea what museum documentation you have access to, how can I until you present it.



We've had serious, perhaps even fruitful exchanges about this in the past, it's a pity you don't seem to want to continue that judging by your last comment. However perhaps it was intended as humor in which case I can only say... I'm surprised you're amazed.

In brief, the use of copied European marks applied locally onto these blades illustrates a link between local blade production, exposure to European blades and the associated connotations of quality perceived in the latter. Similarly the use of triple fuller and single patterns of a length that corresponds broadly to similar European blades found elsewhere in large numbers at a similar time period is not something that I consider coincidence. Particularly when the primary sword form in use before the inception of this design by and large is flat without fullers.

Obviously this is something that we don't and probably won't agree on. A differing point of view...



Nothing has been placed over your head and I think it's a pity you've chosen to interpret a single phrase in this manner. My last post on this thread pointed out differing viewpoints had been presented. Everyone is free to assess what is written here and reach their own conclusion.

Some may choose to engage with your posted material, as I do on occasion, others may not.

That of course has no influence on the validity of the content you post - however a lack of response does not imply you are correct simply because nobody has bothered to post a rebuttal. As far as I'm concerned, the more participants the merrier.

There are parts of what you present that I find intriguing and raise interesting questions, parts where I disagree with your conclusions and parts where I appreciate the fascinating insight into the weapons of Oman you share. Your passion is to be commended.

All the best,
Iain



Salaams Iain, Your post has interesting points which I don't disagree with in the least... for example In brief, the use of copied European marks applied locally onto these blades illustrates a link between local blade production, exposure to European blades and the associated connotations of quality perceived in the latter. I agree with that... but I don't see the blades as having been made in Europe and imported... in fact I see the blades as having been entirely concocted and designed for and by the new Dynasty in 1744.

Fullering certainly made the blades lighter and more flexible but I have no idea where the principle was invented or which direction it came from onto this flexi blade form. If I knew which Omani sword came first ... The Kattara(curved) or The Sayf(straight)... I may be able to answer that. I think there are a few examples of fullers in the old Omani battle sword... but again I need to check. At any rate I have just read of Mamluke swords see a part of the document of Pisanellos Hat which for reference is, in part, at note below which has blades with grooves inserted much earlier. Still it's interesting since as you indicate a possible European link that could be the case in terms of the fullers or home grown or transmitted from Timurid/Ottoman or other Islamic Dynastic forms.

On the point of flat blades ... The Old Omani Battle Sword is, however, not flat. It has what I would describe an aircraft wing shape; ovoid and quite thick in the middle. It appears to be designed for slashing and chopping. That, moreover, is another subject covered over on "The Omani Battle Sword" thread...but which I am pleased to discus here linked as it is with the dancing sword.

No Iain! you are indeed a sword expert in your own right and any comments I make which may appear "sordid" (scuse pun) are meant only in the context of the short jibe ... "The parry"... oft used in swordsmanship and even more so in written exchanges... No harm meant at all... Nice to have your comments on board even if you don't yet agree...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


From Pisanellos Hat.

Note; 18. SABER
Ottoman, late 15th century(?)

Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi, inv. no. 1/397.
DESCRIPTION:
The grip is of wood covered with black leather inclined towards the cutting edge of the blade and with a flat topped pommel cap of brass below which is a large finger rest. The guard is of steel with quillons that flair very slightly towards their flat tips, the sides of the pierced quillons are decorated with gold inlaid panels forming circles and rectangles, inside the rectangles are steel balls. The large wide blade of steel is single edged with a double edged
section towards its point. It has two shallow grooves along its length and a series of thin grooves running along middle of the top side terminating before the double edged section and is engraved on the right side with a roundel containing an Arabic inscriptions in a cursive script, and before the grooves a large palmette form. The scabbard is of wood covered with leather with steel mounts of the bar and fan clamp type.
NOTES:
Cemal Arseven attributed this saber to Mehmed I but his reasons for doing so are unclear. This is one of a small group of sabers with wide blades deeply engraved with inscriptions and floral forms that contrast with a series of delicately chiseled grooves. Many of the other sabers in the group have large spear shape quillon tips in a distinctly Ottoman style.The deeply engraved fleshy leaf forms on one example suggest that the craftsman
was inspired by Eastern Anatolian carving such as on the facade of the mosque at Divriªi dated 1228-29. Although the carved palmette forms on the blade suggest a Timurid origin, this and the other sabers of the same type were probably produced in an Ottoman workshop.

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Old 13th September 2013, 07:14 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwordsAntiqueWeapons
I have no doubt swords were used in parade, danced and for salute etc in 1840.

I do however doubt the picture can quantify that these are flimsy dance swords alone, especially in the era of 1840 and that there are no other swords present in the image.

The practical flip side to your suggestion, after all 1840 was an era or practicality not excess, is that these are the fighting swords and bucklers used by these guard soldiers after the use of a rifle has past...after all there are no other swords pictured and these swords are in the hands and on the belts of these warrior guards.
What were they to do if they are guards and they can not defend because they have bending dance swords as a secondary defence after the rifle was shot and combat became close quarters... Surely not stop a threat with words...guards are meant to be at the ready at all times so it makes more sense that those pictured were their weapons as a guard would not be without an edged weapon in 1840.

Fighting swords that can equally be used to dance and pay tribute but by primary needs alone and the presence of no other swords, it makes more sense as guards have sword that work not dance with bends....

Gavin



Salaams SwordsAntiqueWeapons ~ You suppose an awful lot from a sketch.

You have to realise that this is the earliest document with a sketch I can dig up from any resource so far... I have no qualms about bringing this to table since it fits perfectly my description.

The huge historical mass of information I have built up is behind the real reason for the sword being carried ... what I have done is to prove the authenticity of the artist who has captured long haired tribals at Muscat... as known and titled Guards of The Immam of Muscat in 1841. I have illustrated similar tribals in the form of Ibn Gabaisha and bin Kabina who look remarkable similar in 1950. I therefor think that the illustrated sketch is authentic but of course it cannot be relied upon to speak... Its just a sketch.

I interpret it quite differently since I know that this sword is only and was only for Pageants and as described in the national archives and Museums as such. Not for fighting ... Pageants only. Quite rightly it is shown on guards of the Immam at Muscat. What is not shown are other blades or spears and other guns save what we see. No other written detail is available.

You are not the first to be hoodwinked by this sword... but by only taking it on at face value you have automatically fallen into the same trap as the 19th C. European visitors did.. into thinking like them, that this was a battle sword. It's not. It was only for Pageants.

Compouned in that mistake you have mistaken a recent rehilt as a battle sword version of this Pageantry item, however, that is shown as a souk mixture of a Red Sea Variant, tang extension, Omani scabbard and Omani long hilt. A (from) 1970 Muttrah Special.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 13th September 2013, 08:25 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Iain, Your post has interesting points which I don't disagree with in the least... for example In brief, the use of copied European marks applied locally onto these blades illustrates a link between local blade production, exposure to European blades and the associated connotations of quality perceived in the latter. I agree with that... but I don't see the blades as having been made in Europe and imported... in fact I see the blades as having been entirely concocted and designed for and by the new Dynasty in 1744.


I don't think the extremely flexible examples are made in Europe, quite the contrary. However, so far I have not seen a flexible blade example exhibiting any great age. This is partially why I've harped on provenance so much.

Quote:
Fullering certainly made the blades lighter and more flexible but I have no idea where the principle was invented or which direction it came from onto this flexi blade form. If I knew which Omani sword came first ... The Kattara(curved) or The Sayf(straight)... I may be able to answer that. I think there are a few examples of fullers in the old Omani battle sword... but again I need to check. At any rate I have just read of Mamluke swords see a part of the document of Pisanellos Hat which for reference is, in part, at note below which has blades with grooves inserted much earlier. Still it's interesting since as you indicate a possible European link that could be the case in terms of the fullers or home grown or transmitted from Timurid/Ottoman or other Islamic Dynastic forms.

On the point of flat blades ... The Old Omani Battle Sword is, however, not flat. It has what I would describe an aircraft wing shape; ovoid and quite thick in the middle. It appears to be designed for slashing and chopping. That, moreover, is another subject covered over on "The Omani Battle Sword" thread...but which I am pleased to discus here linked as it is with the dancing sword.


Fullers themselves are of course not an indication of European influence, but the configuration, use of marks and basic dimensions of the blades can be.

By flat I meant without fullers. But well noted on the slight midrib some exhibit.

Quote:
No Iain! you are indeed a sword expert in your own right and any comments I make which may appear "sordid" (scuse pun) are meant only in the context of the short jibe ... "The parry"... oft used in swordsmanship and even more so in written exchanges... No harm meant at all... Nice to have your comments on board even if you don't yet agree...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Glad to hear it, communication in a virtual format is always a tad frustrating but I'm glad to see we are back to business as usual.

I've got a few inquiries going on for you regarding some swords in European collections, if anything interesting turns up I'll post it here.

All the best,
iain
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Old 13th September 2013, 11:08 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams SwordsAntiqueWeapons ~ You suppose an awful lot from a sketch.


Hello.

No more than yourself using the drawing as supporting documentation for the sword being a dance sword and carried by guards....makes no sense

I must add, hence the personal invitation to attend a visit, that nothing is being taken at face value but as detailed examination of what I have here and others handled...the only hoodwinking going on is the absolute belief they do not exisit from antiquity

I and others I know have failed to be convinced with such little concrete evidence being bought to the table and resources out side of your country only now being looked in to but from afar. I do not need to travel, I have seen the rubbish from the souks and yourself being asked, have not yet bought a creadible dressed up souk sword to look like one from the past, because there are so many things they can not do to make this happen to support your claims.

I can't fault your passion and faith but the subject should have been explored a lot more and with concrete evidience after examing a 100 or more swords in and out side of your country before claiming absolutely what you do.

Peace brother

Gavin
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Old 14th September 2013, 04:50 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by SwordsAntiqueWeapons
Hello.

No more than yourself using the drawing as supporting documentation for the sword being a dance sword and carried by guards....makes no sense

I must add, hence the personal invitation to attend a visit, that nothing is being taken at face value but as detailed examination of what I have here and others handled...the only hoodwinking going on is the absolute belief they do not exisit from antiquity

I and others I know have failed to be convinced with such little concrete evidence being bought to the table and resources out side of your country only now being looked in to but from afar. I do not need to travel, I have seen the rubbish from the souks and yourself being asked, have not yet bought a creadible dressed up souk sword to look like one from the past, because there are so many things they can not do to make this happen to support your claims.

I can't fault your passion and faith but the subject should have been explored a lot more and with concrete evidience after examing a 100 or more swords in and out side of your country before claiming absolutely what you do.

Peace brother

Gavin




Salaams SwordsAntiqueWeapons, In 1744 the new (and current) Dynasty required that a sword be carried by all able bodied men with which to salute in march past and in pageants the countries ruler. This sword was to carry with it the Terrs Shield. It was to be the sword used in the Funoon and mimic fighting displays as well as other traditions and displayed at civic meetings and weddings. Based on the Old Omani Battle Sword it had a round tip and in honour of the forefathers was to be razor sharp and two edged. The hilt; the Omani Long Hilt. Notwithstanding these attributes it had to be flexible; bending easily from the tip through 90 degrees and returning immediately to straight.

Since then some western visitors recorded this weapon as a real war sword. Geary, Wellstead, Frazer and others commented on the weapons apparent ability and in the hands of such excellent swordsmen the item could easily chop a man in half etc etc. The notion became concretized as fact when, actually, it was only a dancing sword. (It still has an important place in Omani Traditions and many are handed down Heirlooms of some value.) To compound the issue it is used in mimic fighting in the Funoon; The unwritten, passed down, Omani Traditions which soldiers and people have performed throughout history from the beginnings of Ibathi Islam here.

I'm not sure that examining blades outside Oman makes any difference.. I have done locally in the UAE.. if that qualifies ? but since I am here, in Oman, researching on the ground this national sword in the country of its birth...I think I am properly positioned. I have identified the route of Red Sea Blades spuriously masquerading as Omani Swords, thus, I know the workshops ~ something I would be blissfully unaware of as an outsider. It looks like the game is up on these imposters but I can assure you that if the slightest scrap of evidence appears in support of your idea I will post it immediately.

The 1841 drawing of Omani Tribal soldiers Guards of the Imam of Muscat.
Although this is just a drawing I believe it is very accurate. They would have used the sword daily as they came into contact with dignitaries and the Ruling Family all the time... Imam/Sultan meetings would have been very regular. What we cannot see is other weapons like spears and daggers. It is only a sketch but underlines the straight sword as being carried by this type of Royal/Imam Guard group. It shows that the basic straight sword scabbard and Terrs have not changed.

You have confused the introduction of a straight blade, non flexible, post 1970 from Europe, Ethiopia, Yemen and changed in Mutrah, mixed with an Omani Long Hilt and Scabbard and made to look Omani. On my next trip to Mutrah I will shoot some other examples of such weapons and hopefully the maker can show me an album of weapons he has sold under this guise...but I doubt it. There are, however, usually a few in his store and others. I believe the number of such mixes runs to the thousands(from one store alone!) since they have been churning them out for over 40 years.. Even if they only sold 5 a week it looks like about 2,500 have entered the world markets...held in estates...collections...looking very real but ...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 8th January 2014, 07:22 AM   #111
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Salaams all~ Some silver work on a dancing sword... In the Nizwa style of typical "Arabesque" (a clue to the dancing sword blade manufacture?) The other known mass production centres are Salalah and Ras al Khaiymah. Zutoot or Gypsy wandering groups also were responsible for many blades made on commission pre. 1970.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 19th January 2014, 05:13 AM   #112
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Salaams All, Note to Library.

It is extraordinary but only about a handful of antique sketches seem to exist showing Omani militia with weapons and equipment. Amongst the kit is the Dynastic straight dancing sword. Even European military Officers today carry swords on parade to do something very similar for VIPs and Royalty (there is even a special Royal Salute) Here is such a "weapon" The Omani Sayf. The Omani Dancing Sword also used at pageants (The Funoon) weddings and most importantly at tribal march pasts where the sword is raised high and buzzed in the air and even thrown high and caught by the performers. Here shown with Terrs the traditional shield, the Khanjar dagger and long gun; The Abu Futtilla (The one with the match).

Since saluting and pageantry was very much part of a soldiers daily life it is not surprising to see the item carried as part of their equipment.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 19th January 2014, 05:53 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams All, Note to Library.

It is extraordinary but only about a handful of antique sketches seem to exist showing Omani militia with weapons and equipment. Amongst the kit is the Dynastic straight dancing sword. Even European military Officers today carry swords on parade to do something very similar for VIPs and Royalty (there is even a special Royal Salute) Here is such a "weapon" The Omani Sayf. The Omani Dancing Sword also used at pageants (The Funoon) weddings and most importantly at tribal march pasts where the sword is raised high and buzzed in the air and even thrown high and caught by the performers. Here shown with Terrs the traditional shield, the Khanjar dagger and long gun; The Abu Futtilla (The one with the match).

Since saluting and pageantry was very much part of a soldiers daily life it is not surprising to see the item carried as part of their equipment.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Salaams Ibrahiim,

Thank you very much for this beautiful post containing very important information.

Another note you could add would be whether the Omani sword was used in executing certain punishment to criminals committing certain crimes, and how did these swords differ fro other war or dancing swords.

Another important thing could also be the use of the sword in diplomatic gifts: Which Omani swords were usually given as gifts; from the monarchs to their outstanding subordinates, and between the monarchs themselves (Omani and foreigner)?

Frankly, I find you an encyclopedia; not just in Omani swords, but also in swords of nations that have shores on the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

Best regards,
Ahmed Helal Hussein
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Old 19th January 2014, 03:45 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by AhmedH
Salaams Ibrahiim,

Thank you very much for this beautiful post containing very important information.

Another note you could add would be whether the Omani sword was used in executing certain punishment to criminals committing certain crimes, and how did these swords differ fro other war or dancing swords.

Another important thing could also be the use of the sword in diplomatic gifts: Which Omani swords were usually given as gifts; from the monarchs to their outstanding subordinates, and between the monarchs themselves (Omani and foreigner)?

Frankly, I find you an encyclopedia; not just in Omani swords, but also in swords of nations that have shores on the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

Best regards,
Ahmed Helal Hussein



Salaams Ahmed; Thank you for your post and kind words but you are the maestro on Islamic Swords ...
The Dancing Sword is certainly the gift item..I think I have an example of that being presented at #1... There is another example at #29 on The Omani Shamshiirs http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...38&page=1&pp=30 of an Omani Shamshiir going to the famous Stanley of Livingstone fame... and another of French provenance being presented on the same thread at #31

The Omani Dancing Sword, howver, is often the gift item at many differing levels in Oman these days...(since so many presentations are required there is a steady stream of new ones being made for that market..gilded, framed etc etc) and of course the Khanjar is a gift item as well... and again at all levels.

Execution swords...In the early 20s in Muscat they used a caged Lion to "recycle" second offenders for very serious crime. The lion lived in a cage inside the Fort Jelali prison walls and prisoners were chained to the outside for first offences ...hopefully the threat of being chained to the inside would deter them from recommitting the crime...but, apparently, not always ...

I have no evidence of a punishment sword but there must have been some ... perhaps the big heavy backbladed curved Kattara was used... I will find out.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 19th January 2014, 05:38 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Ahmed; Thank you for your post and kind words but you are the maestro on Islamic Swords ...
The Dancing Sword is certainly the gift item..I think I have an example of that being presented at #1... There is another example at #29 on The Omani Shamshiirs http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...38&page=1&pp=30 of an Omani Shamshiir going to the famous Stanley of Livingstone fame... and another of French provenance being presented on the same thread at #31

The Omani Dancing Sword, howver, is often the gift item at many differing levels in Oman these days...(since so many presentations are required there is a steady stream of new ones being made for that market..gilded, framed etc etc) and of course the Khanjar is a gift item as well... and again at all levels.

Execution swords...In the early 20s in Muscat they used a caged Lion to "recycle" second offenders for very serious crime. The lion lived in a cage inside the Fort Jelali prison walls and prisoners were chained to the outside for first offences ...hopefully the threat of being chained to the inside would deter them from recommitting the crime...but, apparently, not always ...

I have no evidence of a punishment sword but there must have been some ... perhaps the big heavy backbladed curved Kattara was used... I will find out.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Salaams Ibrahiim,

Thanks a trillion for your kind words!

So, the "Sayf Yamaani" was also used in diplomatic gifts? I mean the "war sword".

As for executions and other dismembering punishments (that could've involved the use of the sword), one needs to know the opinion of the Ibaadhi scholars regarding certain crimes and punishments. Also, whether these punishments were ever carried out, or were compensated by indemnities, jailing, flogging, or other forms of execution; like hanging. The date may start from 751 CE till 200 years ago. You see, there were many events and incidents one could read about, like: The punishment of high treason, kidnapping, desertion, etc. Also executing prisoners of war was known at that time. Yes, a single-edged sword; whether straight or curved, may have been the type of sword used in such occasions.

Please do not think I'm pushy or anything. I was just trying to broaden the spectrum of this very important topic.

Also, please forgive my bias regarding the Sayf Yamani at the expense of the Omani dancing sword (this is clear in my obvious interest); for the fact is that I'm addicted to the Sayf Yamani;-)

Best regards,
Ahmed Helal Hussein
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Old 20th January 2014, 12:05 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by AhmedH
Salaams Ibrahiim,

Thanks a trillion for your kind words!

So, the "Sayf Yamaani" was also used in diplomatic gifts? I mean the "war sword".

As for executions and other dismembering punishments (that could've involved the use of the sword), one needs to know the opinion of the Ibaadhi scholars regarding certain crimes and punishments. Also, whether these punishments were ever carried out, or were compensated by indemnities, jailing, flogging, or other forms of execution; like hanging. The date may start from 751 CE till 200 years ago. You see, there were many events and incidents one could read about, like: The punishment of high treason, kidnapping, desertion, etc. Also executing prisoners of war was known at that time. Yes, a single-edged sword; whether straight or curved, may have been the type of sword used in such occasions.

Please do not think I'm pushy or anything. I was just trying to broaden the spectrum of this..very important topic.

Also, please forgive my bias regarding the Sayf Yamani at the expense of the Omani dancing sword (this is clear in my obvious interest); for the fact is that I'm addicted to the Sayf Yamani;-)

Best regards,
Ahmed Helal Hussein


Salaams Ahmed ~I am sure that in its day the Omani Battle Sword was much admired and that it could well have been a gift item at high levels ...and thus presented although rarely so. It was so honoured by the Omanis that they gave it the Royal Hilt treatment...in about the mid 1800s.

I can well imagine how interested you are in this weapon and since it carries the local name of Sayf Yamaani the apparent clue to where it could have been made.

When I get a chance I will view the execution weapons if there any existing in the museums etc.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st January 2014, 08:53 PM   #117
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Good day Ibrahiim,!

Are the curved battle Omani swords used for dancing as well?

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Old 22nd January 2014, 02:14 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
Good day Ibrahiim,!

Are the curved battle Omani swords used for dancing as well?

Spiral



Salaams spiral.. I am always very careful to distinguish what is meant by battle sword... The Curved European bladed Omani Kattara is both a badge of Office.. Slave Merchant Sword and Sea Captains sword for punishment and protection...and given the odd skirmish no doubt highly effective...I hesitate in using the term Battle Sword... Massed groups of men charging at each other etc etc It was never for that; The Omani Battle Sword or "Sayf Yamaani" is the true owner of that tittle. Used together with the Terrs Shield.

Your question .. The answer is yes I have pictures of this being done ... In the absence of a proper dancing sword a number of items may be used ~ camel stick, rifle, or other swords...In similar fashion in the mimic fight in the Funoon where there is no shield (Terrs...remember that the Terrs was awarded to be used with the new dancing sword at the start of the current dynasty in about 1744 but was the original "The Omani Battle Sword" partner) opponents may use a sandal in the left hand instead... However on swords in the mimic fight~ not a Kattara curved weapon ...always the flexible straight dancing sayf.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 22nd January 2014 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 22nd January 2014, 04:04 PM   #119
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Thank you! Ibrahiim

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Old 29th March 2014, 05:07 PM   #120
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Salaams All... Whilst ploughing through library I noted Ingrams fine work on Zanzibar and upon the subject of the Omani Terrs ... The thick Buckler shield. This was used with their old battle sword The Sayf Yamaani but with the advent of the new Busaidi dynasty (still in power today ) the old shield was chosen to accompany the new dynastic flexible dancing sword for heralding the ruler and for pageants only...in about 1744. See posts #4,5,65,68,112,103.

Ingram notes at http://books.google.com.om/books?id...0smiths&f=false

Quote.''In former days many other industries must have been carried on, for instance Colonel Sykes (Climate and Productions of Zanzibar 1850 ) says :
“One branch of manufacture is carried to a considerable extent, that of round shields some 18 inches in diameter made from the hide of a Rhinoceros, which, after being soaked and boiled, can be moulded into any form.”Unquote.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 29th March 2014 at 05:26 PM.
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