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Old 1st March 2020, 08:41 AM   #1
Martin Lubojacky
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Default Arab (Yemeni) sword from Djibouti

Hello.
I am just posting a few pictures for pleasure (and any comment is warm welcome). The saber was bought in Djibouti, but it is of Yemeni origin for sure. It was used a lot ...,

Length: 88 cms, width 3.8 cms, thickness at the base 0.5 cms. There probably was something written on the blade. The blady is made if a good steel, I think (it is flexible and straight).
Martin
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Old 1st March 2020, 10:48 AM   #2
David R
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Nice to see. I do like these type of swords, made for use rather than display.
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Old 1st March 2020, 01:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Lubojacky
There probably was something written on the blade. The blady is made if a good steel, I think (it is flexible and straight).
Martin


Very nice Yemeni sword, good catch!
Mmmm to me, i's not writting but drawing, probably clouds and wind like on some European blades...
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Old 1st March 2020, 04:06 PM   #4
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Reference.
A. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=karabela
B. THE AMAZING PICTURE AT #1 OF A KARABELA AT http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...05&page=1&pp=30

We normally view this form as Karabela.. These are quite common appearing from Yemen centres like Sanaa with blades probably from Solingen. I wonder what you mean by straight...? These blades are slightly curved usually and this one appears to be such. Flexible to what degree...? I would think it bends to a few degrees but is quite rigid with a thick back blade. They are often found around Yemen; in neighboring countries and often in Oman and The Zanj...as well as into The Gulf. Often hilts were stripped off weapons and the expensive items re cycled onto Jambia etc... and less expensive hilts matched onto these blades and pushed across the middle Easts souks especially since about 1970 where they were often seen in souks like Muttrah and Salalah..who purchased them from Sanaa....and on and on... where you will still find loads of these still... and in souks up the Gulf like Sharjah et etc...
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Old 1st March 2020, 07:46 PM   #5
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Hi Martin,
Here is another which I have. Very similar but this has original scabbard.
I just noticed that this was the subject of Ibrahiim's "A" link above. It has obviously traveled a bit since the original post by wodimi.
Stu
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Old 1st March 2020, 09:58 PM   #6
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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I have only one or two questions about Karabella and that is;

1. Are they related in any way to Othmanli other weapons such as Kilij or Yatagans?

2. What is the origin of the term Karabella please...?
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Old 2nd March 2020, 02:19 AM   #7
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Hi Ibrahiim,
I have always understood that the word relates to the actual SHAPE of the hilt. Here is the definition of KARABELA from Wikipedia which suggests that this is correct. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karabela
So connection to different blade styles such as Kilij would (I think) depend on the shape of the hilt attached.
Stu
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Old 2nd March 2020, 05:50 AM   #8
Martin Lubojacky
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Thank you all for comments. Ibrahiim, I ment the blade was not bent to the sides (and maybe except of the first 25 cms it is also springy ...).

I remember a relatively long discussion on the origin of karabela name here in this forum (a few years back ...)

Stu, your saber is nearly identical, maybe the same workshop ! But in much better condition.
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Old 2nd March 2020, 03:36 PM   #9
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Habibi Ibrahiim
Please look at our web pages, you will find a long discussion about the origin of the karabela.
In short, some think that it originates from the town of Kerbala in Iran and others think (like me) that it originates from Ottoman Turkey. It's the reason why you have these hilts from Poland to Yemen...
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Old 2nd March 2020, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Habibi Ibrahiim
Please look at our web pages, you will find a long discussion about the origin of the karabela.
In short, some think that it originates from the town of Kerbala in Iran and others think (like me) that it originates from Ottoman Turkey. It's the reason why you have these hilts from Poland to Yemen...



Part of the reason for my questions is the detail contained in those references and I believe the theory pointed to quite different origins... I see similar hilts in the Kilij and hawk heads across many regions and wondered if they were of the same essential breed... Likenesses appear on many variants including Yatagans and Russian Cossack and Caucasian forms...
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Old 2nd March 2020, 04:43 PM   #11
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Khorasani claimed that this hilt was invented by Shah Abbas I on the basis of the configuration of windows in a Karbala Mosque. This is patently wrong.
Such handles were present well before Abbas was born (1571), and not in Persia.

See Pietro Befulco " Madonna with baby and the saints", painted in 1495

Also, karabela handles were widespread in all countries that contacted with Ottoman Empire, but were exceedingly rare in Persia proper.
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Old 2nd March 2020, 05:07 PM   #12
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Here is another one: Albrecht Durer " Peasants at the market", 1519.

Well before birth of Shah Abbas I the Ottomans took Constantinople, occupied Belgrade and large part of Hungary, had 2 attacks of Vienna, fought at Castelnuovo, Lepanto, Djerba, Malta, Nice and Corsica etc, etc. In short, Europe must have been acquainted with karabelas well before Abbas could have visited Karbala .

The biggest problems of sloppy researchers are their neglect of historiography and enchantment with their own biased "revolutionary" hypotheses.
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Old 2nd March 2020, 06:21 PM   #13
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Not only Albrecht Durer but many other references incuding a lot of EAA Library additions... make a clear case for re opening this discourse .. Take The one below from wikepedia;

Quote'' A karabela was a type of Polish sabre (szabla) popular in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Wojciech Zabłocki defines "karabela" as a decorated sabre with the handle stylized as the head of a bird and an open crossguard.[1]

The word "karabela" does not have well-established etymology, and different versions are suggested.[2] For example, Zygmunt Gloger suggests derivation from the name of the Iraqi city of Karbala, known for trade of this kind of sabres.[3] "Kara" means "Black/Dark" and "Bela" means "Trouble/Curse" in Turkish". Unquote.
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Old 2nd March 2020, 10:47 PM   #14
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Before I forget … I was considering Butins Charts on Nimcha swords and noted the potential re jigging of hilts from the standard Saudia Type Nimcha to Karbela form . This type already had a crossguard and sufficient material in the pommel region of the hilt to change it to a Karabela hilt...Thus is there not a potential overlap here from these weapons otherwise known as Nimcha to a type of Karabela...or subspecies of...

See 1007 and 1008 below.
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Old 3rd March 2020, 02:59 AM   #15
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My favourite deciphering of the moniker karabela is "Cara Bella", "Beloved and beautiful" in Italian:-)

Relying on homophones from different languages will certainly get you in trouble.
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Old 3rd March 2020, 08:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
The biggest problems of sloppy researchers are their neglect of historiography and enchantment with their own biased "revolutionary" hypotheses.


But you are quoting Rivkin and his book "Eastern sword" as a reference when the author is using only four pages of bibliography and missing many important references... This book is more or less a Viking forum discussion and personnal opinions with very little evidences... Nevertheless Rivkin published two books including the very good "Arms of Caucasus" and I have a lot of respect for him because he worked hard and wrote these books, whatever the quality.

I really don't know why you are so harsh with Khorasani or Marhat. I probably missed something... It is always easier to critic than to do... So I'm waiting for your book Ariel...




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Old 3rd March 2020, 08:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
My favourite deciphering of the moniker karabela is "Cara Bella", "Beloved and beautiful" in Italian:-)

Relying on homophones from different languages will certainly get you in trouble.


Mine is Nova, the name given to a Chevrolet car and used in the context of a stellar explosion. They wondered why it was not selling in many European and South American nations, until someone pointed out " No Va" is means "Doesn't go" in many languages. (It was also a crap car.)
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Old 3rd March 2020, 12:25 PM   #18
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Kubur,

Quality of a book depends not on the number of references but on their relevance to the topic, the veracity of their analysis and on the correctness of its grand purpose. Rivkin’s book on the history of saber is a bird’s eye view of the topic, not a detailed analysis of minutiae. Darwin’s “ On the origin of species” briefly mentions a total of 90 names but does not provide a single bibliographic reference.

One can acknowledge author’s tenacity, but lauding a book “whatever the quality” is a mistake. If you know any missed reference or a fact that would contradict the conclusions of Rivkin’s book, you are more than welcome to use it in your critique. That was the purpose of my bringing to attention iconographic evidence of the existence of karabela handle well before Shah Abbas’ not only visit of Karbala but his date of birth.

I do not plan on writing a definitive book about any kind of oriental weapons; I do not think I am qualified. We know far too many books written for a single purpose of stroking their authors’ graphomanic egos; I do not need it and do not think that yet another book ”whatever its quality” is required to muddle the field even further. Critiquing already published sources is a part and parcel of an academic discourse.
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