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Old 29th September 2015, 05:55 AM   #1
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Default Terrs. The Omani Battle Shield. A Buckler.

The Omani Battle Shield is called Terrs...in Oman. This group below is by far the largest number I have ever encountered and in fact they carry a very rare sticker ...This type of Buckler was used with the Old Omani Battle Sword in actual combat and transferred to the ceremonial dancing sword (an example appearing left on the picture and sometime in the early 19th C.

The point of manufacture is usually regarded as Zanzibar though anywhere on the mainland adjoining region is also generally acceptable and types of hide vary from Rhino to Water buffalo as well as Hippo, Whale skin and Walrus hide. The metalwork are interesting as they are usually of brass (though I have seen silver used to ornament the centre rounded section) and have two roles; In disarming by twisting a trapped blade and in securing the Terrs handle by rings on the inside.

Please note that this system is often referred to as Saif wa Terrs (Sword and Shield) and that other countries in the region also refer to their sword/shield combinations in the same way.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 29th September 2015, 12:42 PM   #2
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Here is another with three different views. ...Sold earlier in the year from Imperial Auctions.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 29th September 2015, 01:02 PM   #3
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Note that http://www.icomam.be/downloads/issue07.pdf on page 90 has a rendition and pictures of some Omani Terrs. I have also alluded to other materials being used including reed and even wood which can be seen in the Richardson and Dorr Omani Artefacts double book.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 29th September 2015, 07:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Note that http://www.icomam.be/downloads/issue07.pdf on page 90 has a rendition and pictures of some Omani Terrs. I have also alluded to other materials being used including reed and even wood which can be seen in the Richardson and Dorr Omani Artefacts double book.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Hi Ibrahiim,
A most interesting thread. I had never heard of an Omani Terr until now, they look very similar to the Ethiopian shields. When I was a child our local museum had two Omani battle swords which we were told were made from the blades of crusaders swords which conjured up all sorts of things in the minds of us children, we thought them beautiful things and I still do. Thank you so much for this thread and for bringing back happy memories from my childhood.
Regards
Miguel
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Old 30th September 2015, 08:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Hi Ibrahiim,
A most interesting thread. I had never heard of an Omani Terr until now, they look very similar to the Ethiopian shields. When I was a child our local museum had two Omani battle swords which we were told were made from the blades of crusaders swords which conjured up all sorts of things in the minds of us children, we thought them beautiful things and I still do. Thank you so much for this thread and for bringing back happy memories from my childhood.
Regards
Miguel



Salaams Miguel, Interestingly I had a shield ( Omani Terrs) with friends in the UK ...They bought it from me...and along with about 100 other items donated the whole lot to the research department at Durham University. They claim that the Omani Shield was in fact Ethiopian but whilst that may be the case the collecting centre and merchant hub for the entire region was Zanzibar...and included a large stretch of the African coastline and hinterland. No doubt that the great traders in that region who were Omanis collected many items (and slaves) etc from the whole area and deep into central Africa. Zanzibar then acted like a lightening rod for all tradeable commodities which included Terrs Shields; in great demand amongst the Manga (Omanis in Zanzibar) and for export to Oman.
Regarding the Old Omani Battle Sword which is the style you may be referring to it does look like it has stepped out of the 12 th C... because it has. In fact I place it earlier to the time of Ibn Julanda the first Imam of Oman in about 751/752 AD...... It compares favourably with the Abassiiid which can be seen at the Topkapi...There will be more about that later although it can be viewed at The Omani Battle Sword on Forum. Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ht=sayf+yamaani
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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 30th September 2015, 10:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
The Omani Battle Shield is called Terrs...in Oman. This group below is by far the largest number I have ever encountered
Ibrahiim, is that a private collection or from a museum, probably the most Omani shields anyone will ever see at one time.
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Old 1st October 2015, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Ibrahiim, is that a private collection or from a museum, probably the most Omani shields anyone will ever see at one time.



This is a private collection... I provided a couple of them ... It comprises more Terrs than I think I have ever seen in one group.
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Old 1st October 2015, 07:13 PM   #8
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Here is another which I have in my collection.
Stu
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Old 1st October 2015, 07:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Miguel, Interestingly I had a shield ( Omani Terrs) with friends in the UK ...They bought it from me...and along with about 100 other items donated the whole lot to the research department at Durham University. They claim that the Omani Shield was in fact Ethiopian but whilst that may be the case the collecting centre and merchant hub for the entire region was Zanzibar...and included a large stretch of the African coastline and hinterland. No doubt that the great traders in that region who were Omanis collected many items (and slaves) etc from the whole area and deep into central Africa. Zanzibar then acted like a lightening rod for all tradeable commodities which included Terrs Shields; in great demand amongst the Manga (Omanis in Zanzibar) and for export to Oman.
Regarding the Old Omani Battle Sword which is the style you may be referring to it does look like it has stepped out of the 12 th C... because it has. In fact I place it earlier to the time of Ibn Julanda the first Imam of Oman in about 751/752 AD...... It compares favourably with the Abassiiid which can be seen at the Topkapi...There will be more about that later although it can be viewed at The Omani Battle Sword on Forum. Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ht=sayf+yamaani
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Hi Ibrahiim,
Thank you for your informative comments and may I take the opportunity to say that it is a pleasure to belong to a Forum having members as polite and knowledgable as yourself you are a mine of information. Thank you again.
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Old 4th October 2015, 07:16 AM   #10
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I HAVE ALWAYS LIKED THESE AND HAVE ONE IN MY COLLECTION. I AM SURE THEY ARE QUITE EFFECTIVE FOR BLOCKING AND STRIKING BY ONE WITH TRAINING AND SKILL. THE LEATHER IS QUITE THICK AND HEAVY ON THE EXAMPLES I HAVE SEEN AND APPEARS TO BE IN ONE LAYER. IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO KNOW HOW THEY ARE SHAPED AND FORMED. MY EXAMPLE HAS A SPIKE ON THE CENTER BOSS AS WELL AS THE TWO DECORATIONS ON THE SIDES. THE METAL APPEARS TO BE SILVER AND NONE ATTRACTS A MAGNET NOT EVEN THE SPIKE. IT SHOWS AGE AND WEAR AND A FEW BLADE CUTS TO THE EDGES. 9 INCHES IN DIAMETER DESCRIBED AS 19TH CENTURY OMANI BUCKLER ZANZIBAR. PICTURE #1. MY EXAMPLE DESCRIBED ABOVE.
#2. OMANI SHIELD
#3. OMANI SHIELD 10 IN. DIAMETER FROM OLD ORIENTAL ARMS PICTURE.
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Old 13th January 2016, 08:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
I HAVE ALWAYS LIKED THESE AND HAVE ONE IN MY COLLECTION. I AM SURE THEY ARE QUITE EFFECTIVE FOR BLOCKING AND STRIKING BY ONE WITH TRAINING AND SKILL. THE LEATHER IS QUITE THICK AND HEAVY ON THE EXAMPLES I HAVE SEEN AND APPEARS TO BE IN ONE LAYER. IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO KNOW HOW THEY ARE SHAPED AND FORMED. MY EXAMPLE HAS A SPIKE ON THE CENTER BOSS AS WELL AS THE TWO DECORATIONS ON THE SIDES. THE METAL APPEARS TO BE SILVER AND NONE ATTRACTS A MAGNET NOT EVEN THE SPIKE. IT SHOWS AGE AND WEAR AND A FEW BLADE CUTS TO THE EDGES. 9 INCHES IN DIAMETER DESCRIBED AS 19TH CENTURY OMANI BUCKLER ZANZIBAR. PICTURE #1. MY EXAMPLE DESCRIBED ABOVE.
#2. OMANI SHIELD
#3. OMANI SHIELD 10 IN. DIAMETER FROM OLD ORIENTAL ARMS PICTURE.



Salaams Vandoo, My apologies for missing your post and the other fine additions to this thread. Great examples here...thank you for posting those ...
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 14th January 2016, 07:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Vandoo, My apologies for missing your post and the other fine additions to this thread. Great examples here...thank you for posting those ...
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Salaams Ibrahiim. I would be interested in any comment you have to make regarding the silver? centre boss with the spike as shown by VANDOO on his Terrs. All I have seen, including in books do not have this feature.
Stu
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Old 15th January 2016, 03:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi

The metalwork are interesting as they are usually of brass ....and have two roles; In disarming by twisting a trapped blade....

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



So the attacking blade is supposed to hit the protrusion of the shield, slide down and get trapped under the brass fitting?

This is interesting: is it really functional? Shouldn't the space between the fitting and the shield be bigger? It might be awfully difficult to squeeze the blade in such narrow crack.

In some examples here the crack does not seem to exist at all, and the hide "rings" would seem to prevent sliding of the blade and some would seem to obliterate the crack altogether.


Or am I not getting something important?
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Old 15th January 2016, 04:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ariel
So the attacking blade is supposed to hit the protrusion of the shield, slide down and get trapped under the brass fitting?

This is interesting: is it really functional? Shouldn't the space between the fitting and the shield be bigger? It might be awfully difficult to squeeze the blade in such narrow crack.

In some examples here the crack does not seem to exist at all, and the hide "rings" would seem to prevent sliding of the blade and some would seem to obliterate the crack altogether.


Or am I not getting something important?


Ariel,

The outer brass decoration is only a decorative anchor point for the inner bronze loop and buckle that hold the handle in place...nothing more, nothing less, except perhaps the notion of what the bronze decoration was intended to represent visually...one only has to handle the buckler to see and understand this...and those bucklers with cuts from swords are damaged at the rim and elsewhere on its surfaces...

Now best intentions for bragging rights and perhaps stories of local legend may be some peoples goals when defending with the buckler...simply to say hey look what I did in a freakish moment...but the design elements do not support this as a catch hook nor does it function as one

Gavin
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Old 15th January 2016, 05:10 AM   #15
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Actually one of the fascinating areas of the study of weapons is often the lore associated with them. While the presentation of these shields is descriptive as well as depictive with examples shown, I think the note on the 'function' of these features is more of a representation of such local lore rather than in actual use.

This sort of descriptive note is often included with many features of varied weapons, and while not necessarily subscribed to but simply inclusively .

I have always thought these were unusual in the pronounced dome shape, and when seeing them in person was admittedly stunned at what I consider pretty small size. I must admit if I were defending myself from a sword attack I would surely want a very big shield!
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Old 15th January 2016, 09:43 AM   #16
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Yup.
Just like Crocodile Dundee bringing in a very big " knOife":-)

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Old 15th January 2016, 11:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Actually one of the fascinating areas of the study of weapons is often the lore associated with them. While the presentation of these shields is descriptive as well as depictive with examples shown, I think the note on the 'function' of these features is more of a representation of such local lore rather than in actual use.

This sort of descriptive note is often included with many features of varied weapons, and while not necessarily subscribed to but simply inclusively .

I have always thought these were unusual in the pronounced dome shape, and when seeing them in person was admittedly stunned at what I consider pretty small size. I must admit if I were defending myself from a sword attack I would surely want a very big shield!


I think it's a "targe shield" or a "small rondache". The diameter of the targe is maximum 40cm, I think the Omani shield are around 20-30cm? the same function as a "main-gauche" dagger...
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Old 16th January 2016, 06:47 AM   #18
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Default Omani Terrs.

Salaams all above...Thank you for your input. This is an Omani Terrs.

On size; I think the key reference is #1 showing a variety of slightly different sizes. As noted by Gavin Nugent above; the device in brass is primarily for attaching the holding strap behind the Terrs. There are two ways of trapping the opponents blade..the first being to twist a blade which has been caught stuck in the hide shields face. The second method, it is said, is by trapping the opponents sword between the brass rectangle and the shield. I agree that is tenuous but with the thin swords quite possible; though I place the wording...: "it is said that"...

I think there is a question over the size of the shield and it may be considered what weapon this shield was first used with..? and that is perhaps best looked at when the Terrs was passed on from its defensive role with The Sayf Yamaani onto the Omani thin flexible Sayf. Two other functions were also transferred ...The sharpenend two edges of the weapon in honour of the forefathers and the flat spatulate tip.

Two answers to the shields size concerns the small stature of the average Omani and the speed factor... The concept was slash and chop with the heavier original Sayf Yamaani behind or ballanced with very fast manouvering behind the Terrs...also seen to devastating effect in the European Targe.

I think readers need to remember that the shield and sword were accompanied by the spear...which because of Gunpowder became extinct from probably the 18th C. The Terrs shield also goes in to battle with the Khanjar dagger and in the Funoon traditions there is such a dance performance usually seen in Southern Oman. The Bara'a.

Regarding decoration with silver which is an excellent observation...The question as to why and when may be interesting.. The Richardson and Dorr illustrates such a Terrs made in the samer shape but in wood... It contains examples of Terrs in reed as well...same shape. I suggest that once the Sayf Yamaani became Iconized in about 1830 a number of other design factors were introduced including the Busaidi Hilt on both it and the Royal Khanjar...plus the Royal Turban and the Royal Camerbund.

It seems probable that the Sayf Yamaani with the Iconized silver hilt will have brought designer attention to its Terrs...at the same time.

It is generally recognised that the wife of Said The Great ...or one of them..."Sheherazad"... the Persian princess... who designed the Al Busaidi Hilt to the Khanjar also may well have been the instigator for the other items.

see ... http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=omani+khanjar

and ...http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ght=Omani+terrs

and ... http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ght=Omani+terrs

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 29th January 2016, 05:26 PM   #19
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Salaams All...I post an interesting collage of weapons some of which are floated into the region from the Zanzibar Hub and some like the shield near the top already adopted by Oman.
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Old 29th January 2016, 06:24 PM   #20
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Salaams all...I wondered if the brass cross format of the two rivet heads in the front of the Terrs shield holding the back hand strap in place were related to the Ethiopian Cross. May that indicate that the Terrs was manufactured in Ethiopia rather than being made in Zanzibar...or that Ethiopian artesans made them that way in Zanzibar or both ?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 29th January 2016, 06:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all...I wondered if the brass cross format of the two rivet heads in the front of the Terrs shield holding the back hand strap in place were related to the Ethiopian Cross. May that indicate that the Terrs was manufactured in Ethiopia rather than being made in Zanzibar...or that Ethiopian artesans made it that way in Zanzibar or both ?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Salaam Ibrahiim,

For me it's a star not a cross.
The star is a common symbol in Islamic lands.
One question, where did you find your previous document, the drawing?
Thanks

Kubur
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Old 29th January 2016, 08:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Salaam Ibrahiim,

For me it's a star not a cross.
The star is a common symbol in Islamic lands.
One question, where did you find your previous document, the drawing?
Thanks

Kubur


Salaams Kubur,
The drawing is not initially attributed except that it appears as an image after searching for Omani Shield. In fact it is attributed to omanisilver.com only as a written reference not as a picture. From that reference it indicates it is from The commander of a French Frigate Capt Guillaine...in the mid 19th C. from his writing. see www.omanisilver.com

Star or cross... the Ethiopian version is called the Ethiopian cross though I agree it's a star shaped cross..Perhaps the shape mirrors the star cluster called the Southern Cross? Moreover my question is attached suggesting the link to The Ethiopian Cross..and perhaps to where it was manufactured.

In fact the question is virtually self answering as I note from Omani Silver.com Quote" Joseph Osgood in 1850 stated that many of these shields were turned at Zanzibar for Northern markets". Unquote....It can be seen that the shields are subjected to a turning or lathe effect cutting the essential grooves and ridges etc.I think therefor that more than one location was into making these shields and no reason why Zanzibar was not involved.....however, my point concerns the brass rectangles...Be they Ethiopian Crosses or what?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 30th January 2016, 03:30 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all...I wondered if the brass cross format of the two rivet heads in the front of the Terrs shield holding the back hand strap in place were related to the Ethiopian Cross. May that indicate that the Terrs was manufactured in Ethiopia rather than being made in Zanzibar...or that Ethiopian artesans made them that way in Zanzibar or both ?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Since the cross is generally accepted as a Christian symbol, is it likely to be accepted as a decoration in the Muslim world?
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Old 30th January 2016, 05:41 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Kubur,
The drawing is not initially attributed except that it appears as an image after searching for Omani Shield. In fact it is attributed to omanisilver.com only as a written reference not as a picture. From that reference it indicates it is from The commander of a French Frigate Capt Guillaine...in the mid 19th C. from his writing. see www.omanisilver.com

Star or cross... the Ethiopian version is called the Ethiopian cross though I agree it's a star shaped cross..Perhaps the shape mirrors the star cluster called the Southern Cross? Moreover my question is attached suggesting the link to The Ethiopian Cross..and perhaps to where it was manufactured.

In fact the question is virtually self answering as I note from Omani Silver.com Quote" Joseph Osgood in 1850 stated that many of these shields were turned at Zanzibar for Northern markets". Unquote....It can be seen that the shields are subjected to a turning or lathe effect cutting the essential grooves and ridges etc.I think therefor that more than one location was into making these shields and no reason why Zanzibar was not involved.....however, my point concerns the brass rectangles...Be they Ethiopian Crosses or what?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

The Southern Cross is only visible in the Southern Hemisphere. Ethiopia is in the Northern Hemisphere.
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Old 30th January 2016, 09:36 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Kubur,
The drawing is not initially attributed except that it appears as an image after searching for Omani Shield. In fact it is attributed to omanisilver.com only as a written reference not as a picture. From that reference it indicates it is from The commander of a French Frigate Capt Guillaine...in the mid 19th C. from his writing. see www.omanisilver.com




The plate is from Voyage à la còte orientale d'Afrique : exécuté pendant les années 1846, 1847 et 1848 par le brick le Ducouëdic, sous le commandement de M. Guillain : album.
Here’s another interesting plate from this publication, with the caption Soldats irreguliers du Sultan. Arabes d’Oman de la tribu des Beni-m’-hhaoen.
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Old 30th January 2016, 12:50 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Since the cross is generally accepted as a Christian symbol, is it likely to be accepted as a decoration in the Muslim world?


Salaams Khanjar 1, In the case of crosses they are common since the cross is a symbol of light often seen in rugs and textiles particularly on Yurt door carpets and up the silk road work.

Southern Cross. I perhaps need to just correct your statement slightly...From the N. Hemisphere, For readers in the USA you have to be in Hawaii, or south Florida or south Texas – about 26 degrees N. latitude or further south – to see the Southern Cross.

In Africa that appears to put Ethiopia in range at 8 degrees N. Also the Tuaregs; Among Tuaregs, the four most visible stars of Crux are considered iggaren, i.e. four Maerua crassifolia trees. I refer to star formations also often seen on Berber\North African jewellery work...and my original quest for the reason for the shape of the brass rivet covers/rectangles...(if that is understood?) on the Terrs face.

The shapes seem to be Ethiopian in design...? Interestingly they could also be construed as a geometric figure 5 configuration as in the Talismanic format..but I leave that pencilled in the margin.

Showing;

1. The dominant cross on Katchli or Katchlu door rugs from the Yurt tent...and there are vast numbers of rugs all up the silk road with smaller crosses indicating candle light/ welcoming signs.

2. The Southern Cross.

3. The rectanguilar brass shape on the Terrs.. Sold item from Ashok Arts.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 30th January 2016, 12:56 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Andreas
The plate is from Voyage à la còte orientale d'Afrique : exécuté pendant les années 1846, 1847 et 1848 par le brick le Ducouëdic, sous le commandement de M. Guillain : album.
Here’s another interesting plate from this publication, with the caption Soldats irreguliers du Sultan. Arabes d’Oman de la tribu des Beni-m’-hhaoen.
Andreas



Salaams Andreas, Thank you for posting these excellent pictures which I have often alluded to before but without knowing the original book from which they came...I believe these are of the first form of photography.
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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 31st January 2016, 08:12 PM   #28
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Default Daggeurotype Photography.

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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Andreas, Thank you for posting these excellent pictures which I have often alluded to before but without knowing the original book from which they came...I believe these are of the first form of photography.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


The type of picture was a daggeurotype...These began appearing in 1840 and present unique evidence to the ethnographic research student. The process can be viewed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daguerreotype A short write up can be viewed at http://www.wayfarersbookshop.com/sh...hp?txtBOOK=1443 against a backdrop of a picture Zanzibar harbour..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 1st February 2016, 12:34 AM   #29
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Most interesting notes on these cross like fixtures on the Omani terrs, and as has been noted, these issued in pairs on the shield are clearly intended not only as decoration but to secure the holding strap.

Earlier there was a note questioning if the cross would be something which would appear on a Muslim item. Actually, the 'cross' , while of course having a well known presence in Christianity, in this case is probably much as the forms of cross known among Tuareg tribes which are not intended as a religious symbol but directed to the four cardinal directions of the compass.
These Tuareg crosses, most commonly known as 'the cross of Agadez' (in Niger), were prolifically produced (at least 21 types with certain tribal significance) since the 16th c.
They were of course heavily traded and certainly would have been present in routes trans Sahara and into Ethiopia, then of course networked into Zanzibar.

With the Sunni Muslims among Tuareg tribes, these are often regarded as talismanic, the four arms to protect from evil 'from the four corners if the world' and the center representing God, the center of all.

As these types of cross were of this character and entered the trade systems into Zanzibar, it seems plausible that similarly shaped examples might have been added on these shields in that thought.

Another thought suggested for these, many of which are with the circle above, is that the Egyptian ankh may have had influence.
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Old 1st February 2016, 03:49 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Most interesting notes on these cross like fixtures on the Omani terrs, and as has been noted, these issued in pairs on the shield are clearly intended not only as decoration but to secure the holding strap.

Earlier there was a note questioning if the cross would be something which would appear on a Muslim item. Actually, the 'cross' , while of course having a well known presence in Christianity, in this case is probably much as the forms of cross known among Tuareg tribes which are not intended as a religious symbol but directed to the four cardinal directions of the compass.
These Tuareg crosses, most commonly known as 'the cross of Agadez' (in Niger), were prolifically produced (at least 21 types with certain tribal significance) since the 16th c.
They were of course heavily traded and certainly would have been present in routes trans Sahara and into Ethiopia, then of course networked into Zanzibar.

With the Sunni Muslims among Tuareg tribes, these are often regarded as talismanic, the four arms to protect from evil 'from the four corners if the world' and the center representing God, the center of all.

As these types of cross were of this character and entered the trade systems into Zanzibar, it seems plausible that similarly shaped examples might have been added on these shields in that thought.

Another thought suggested for these, many of which are with the circle above, is that the Egyptian ankh may have had influence.



Salaams Jim, Thank you for the post and excellent artwork ..It backs up my previous statement at #26 above that Among Tuaregs, the four most visible stars of Crux (The Southern Cross) are considered iggaren, i.e. four Maerua crassifolia trees. I refer to star formations also often seen on Berber\North African jewellery work...

In reference to the ancient Egyptian ankh see http://altreligion.about.com/od/symbols/p/Ankh.htm

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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