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Old 29th June 2018, 11:21 AM   #1
midelburgo
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Default Another Colombian Nimcha

I have this thing traveling to me. The seller does not seem to know what a Nimcha is. Sorry for the pictures, they are the sellers, but I do not know when I will get the time for doing better ones.

My idea for two days was how was possible an Algerian Nimcha could finish in a developing Colombia (Republica de Nueva Granada was its name between 1830 and 1858, with a couple of civil wars in between), where it became enroled and marked its state property.

Then I saw the Victorian machete with VR below and realized that it was the other way around, Nueva Granada ordered machetes from UK or Germany, with its name and date, and somehow, one of them became the blade of a Nimcha.

Then finally, I made the obvious search in google "Nueva Granada 1846 Nimcha" which unearthed a thread from this very forum dating from 2007, with a nimcha companion in it.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=4874

So, it was rather a batch of blades what landed in North Africa. Possibly the Novagranadians never paid for it and the maker found another buyer...

In a second thought, the Nimcha from 2007 has lost in comparison quite 1.5cm or more due possibly to sharpening, but the scabbard seems made for that breadth. Did it get a new scabbard sometime or was the blade like that when it became a Nimcha...
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Last edited by midelburgo : 29th June 2018 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 29th June 2018, 11:58 AM   #2
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Your nimcha perfectly demonstrate that the so-called berber swords are berber swords (of course with a strong Spanish influence on the hilt).Thank you!
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=Nueva+Granada
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Old 29th June 2018, 01:20 PM   #3
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Interesting thread with food for thinking...

meanwhile, this is just Puerto Rico. You can see a huge variety of machete handles, but nothing like Guanabacoa. Or exactly Nimcha. But...there is even a Yataghan like hilt.

http://forum.novarata.net/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=3587


Could those handles travel from Cuba to Spanish Morocco and Philipines but not too nearer Puerto Rico?
If I make a search for Berber saber in google images most of what I get I think are old Dominican machetes (without guard). There is some kind of degenerated involution (see below) under the trademark Promedoca. The older designs possibly did not survive the artisan family that made them.
The so-called Berber sabers I unconsciously related to Espadas Anchas, but I was wrong here. They could be a naive attempt to resemble a dussack or a clamshell cutlass?
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Old 29th June 2018, 01:59 PM   #4
Kubur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midelburgo
The so-called Berber sabers I unconsciously related to Espadas Anchas, but I was wrong here.


I don't thing that you are wrong, they have all the same ancestor, a Spanish hilt... What is wrong is to deny a Moroccan production.
I have a question, the blades were stamped "Nueva Granada" in America or in Spain? Just to know how these blades circulated...
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Old 29th June 2018, 03:07 PM   #5
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The South American revolutions cut relations between Spain and its old colonies for a long time. At least at the official level. UK would try to occupy the best trade agreements. I do not think Nueva Granada would buy machetes from Spain in 1845. I think they are English, too early for Germany and design matches the so-called "Steamer machetes". I think the government of Nueva Granada asked to have that imprinted and not the maker logo, because it takes its place.

What I see through the google images searches is that vikingsword has a lead in providing identities. So the Dominican swords now are Berber sabers as far as internet cares. Funny and scary. As I was writing above, this short living styles could last just the life of a prolific artisan, or small group of artisans and then just disappear.

The only way of being sure about the "Berber sabers" is finding them as archeological remnants. The Nimcha handle probably has been reinvented several times each century. It is a too logical design.

Guanabacoa machetes probably were fancy just at the time of the Cuban guerrillas 1888-1898. Then the style stopped being produced. On the other hand, decorative characters are not efficient, and possibly they could give better lineage clues.
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Old 29th June 2018, 04:32 PM   #6
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Nice nimcha, which demonstrates the diversity of blades that were mounted on Moroccan handles. Considering that we have seen examples ranging from 18th century backsword blades through a variety of European hangers all the way to French cavalry swords and even one potentially Indian made blade shown by Ariel earlier this year, it is not all that surprising at all to see a machete originally intended for South America end up with this hilt. As European merchants discovered, there was a huge market for blades in Africa (see Barth and earlier French merchant accounts quoted in the Nigerian Panoply), offering substantial profits for what were essentially surplus and antiquated blades elsewhere.

As for the Dominican swords, which thanks to Tirri are still sometime erroneously referred to as Berber, I believe we have shown enough factual evidence that they are indeed from the Spanish speaking half of Hispaniola: we have a provenanced example in the Museo del Ejercito in Toledo and multiple inscriptions in Spanish, some referencing areas in what is now the Dominican Republic. The North African attribution is based on conjecture and Tirri's books, and unfortunately Tirrri is incorrect on many of his attributions and a very unreliable source of information (though a great source of photos of more mundane examples). There is a separate discussions on these swords here, in case you want to read, with the Museum provenanced example in post 56 and then again in post 85:

http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10636
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Old 30th June 2018, 10:50 PM   #7
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There are a couple of museums at Madrid where to check for weapons of those lands colonies of Spain in XIXth century.
The Antropology museum (previously Ethnographic). I remember in the old display there were lots of weapons, especially from the Philippines, now is much less. From Africa there are only Targui weaponry.

Now it is possible to do a virtual visit

https://www.mecd.gob.es/mnantropolo...ta-virtual.html

The other is the Museo de America. The visit page is quite sanitized, but it is possible to make a search in a catalog for the pieces it houses. here:

http://ceres.mcu.es/pages/SimpleSearch?Museo=MAM

You shall use Spanish. For example "sable" provides with a Guanabacao machete.
"espada" gives 62 hits, specially krisses and other Philippine weapons. No Berberian saber. No Dominican machete (it was not a colony at the time of the museum formation). A few pieces from Guinea. Machete gives some hits. Cuchillo muchos mas.
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