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Old 22nd January 2011, 01:47 AM   #1
celtan
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Default Yemeni/Omani Jambiya differences

Hi Guys,

How can we differentiate an Omani from a Yemeni Jambiya?

Best

M
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Old 22nd January 2011, 02:20 AM   #2
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Well I as far as I know this piece is Yemani because of the "T" type of hilt.
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Old 22nd January 2011, 02:32 AM   #3
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Hi Battara,

That's precisely the issue. I have seen many jambiyas id'ed as Omani with this very same T-feature.

I have also seen pictures of Yemeni merchants selling these T-Pommels on their market booths, among other jambiya types. But since I don't know anything about asian blades, I thought that perhaps they were omani-styled daggers made in Yemen.

BTW, I have been reading your previous posts on Jambiyas. You obviously are an authority on the subject..!

BTW, how can I check if the hilt/scabbard is made of silver?

Regards

Manuel



Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Well I as far as I know this piece is Yemani because of the "T" type of hilt.
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Old 22nd January 2011, 04:53 AM   #4
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Default Some Clarity??

From my experience and from various books on the subject, the main telling difference between Omani and other Jambiya is the prolific use of scroll engraving rather than the more complicated and often diamond shaped embellishments of Yemeni and other "Peninsula" types. Identification must also be placed at the steps of those who have written books on the subject. As to accuracy of these authors, one can hope that their sources were from the Arabian Peninsula itself. One book which I do have faith in, and from which I have sourced ACCURATE information, is the catalogue of an exhibition held at the King Faisal Centre in Riyhad, and published as Weapons of the Islamic World-Swords and Armour.
One other way to identify Omani origin is the style of belt buckle (if it still is attached to the belt). A typical Omani buckle is shown on the second and third items below. These buckles originate from Rostaq in the Omani interior.
Attached are pics of confirmed Omani examples and also other Peninsula Types.
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Old 22nd January 2011, 05:07 AM   #5
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....and some similar but NOT Omani.
The first one comes from Eastern Saudi Arabia along the Omani border so bears some characteristics of the Omani type, but has distinctly Yemeni type decoration style. The rest are from South-Western Saudi near Yemen so have similarities of that style.
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Old 22nd January 2011, 04:56 PM   #6
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Don't know about being an expert, but thank you for the vote of confidence.
Others will know more than I.

The hilt looks silver but the scabbard may be white metal or brass. Take it to a jeweler who should have the chemicals to test the metal.

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Old 22nd January 2011, 11:54 PM   #7
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I have been studying this subject mostly thanks to current posts made by Battara and Kahnjar. But, I must also thank past contributors such a Michael Blalock, Lew and Steve. Whenever I search Jambias, most of the good hits take me back to our very own forum!


From what I have read, my jambiya is probably made of german silver. The pommel type is known as Meccan, representing the Black Stone, the blade is "watered"(whatever that means), and it may have been made in Yemen's Hadramout Wadi ,or in Saudi Asir. The Omani provenance is unlikely due to the absence of their characteristic scabbard's ring belt holder. The scabbard chape is small, unlike the thum characteristic of Jeda/Mecca.

I tried to clean the scabbard's greenish blue deposits with a toothbrush an detergent, to no avail. I'm worried that anything else may affect the leather. Suggestions?

BTW, what is the proper spelling: Jambiya, Jambiah, Jambiyah, Jambia? Kukri/Kuhkri/Kuhkuri, and Kahnjar, Kanjar/ Khanjar ..?

Best

Manuel
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Old 23rd January 2011, 12:21 AM   #8
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Hi
on my background, synthetically I classify as follow the daggers with short and curving blade
- dagger with 90° angle scabbard as from Saudi or Emirati, or Omani
- dagger with 180° angle scabbard as from Yemenite

- dagger Saudi 7 rings on scabbard
- dagger Emirati and Omani 4 rings on scabbard
- dagger Yemenite, no rings

- all have the same type of blade (more or less)
double edge with a thick central rib

it's not a truth "formal"
according with the bearer's residence
if ... more or less near of borders,
the shape could be significantly different,

what's on above is valid as general rule
at my point of view

à +

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Old 23rd January 2011, 12:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
what is the proper spelling: Jambiya, Jambiah, Jambiyah, Jambia? Kukri/Kuhkri/Kuhkuri, and Kahnjar, Kanjar/ Khanjar ..?
no fixed spelling as far as those words are writing with an other alphabet

just a convention according with countries, for instance
in France we 'll not used the same spelling than in UK i.e.
- Jeddah (city) for English
- Djeddah (city) for French

now to clarify for you
- Jambiya
- Khanjar ... "kh" equal a son of "krrr"

on the pic, you have
- a Jambiya from Hadramout Yemen
- a khanjar from Oman

à +

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Old 23rd January 2011, 01:27 AM   #10
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Thank you very much, Dom. Yet, now I'm more confused!

Pardon my blatant ignorance.

My scabbard is 135 degs. bent. It doesn't then follow either Omani, Saudi, Emirati or Yemeni customs!

You have four blades on your picture, two lying and two standing. The one standing on the left has a 90 deg angle on the scabbard, it is then a ...Saudi, Emirati, or Omani? The one standing on the right has a 180 deg angle with a very high thum, making it Yemenite? I understand this high thum is characteristic of the gusbi jambiyas from Yemen's Hadramout Wadi?

The horizontal one on the left is, a persian Kahnjar? The right, an ottoman kard perhaps?


So, all in all, what do you make of mine. Yemeni?

Best regards.

Manuel

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Old 23rd January 2011, 02:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
I have been studying this subject mostly thanks to current posts made by Battara and Kahnjar. But, I must also thank past contributors such a Michael Blalock, Lew and Steve. Whenever I search Jambias, most of the good hits take me back to our very own forum!


From what I have read, my jambiya is probably made of german silver. The pommel type is known as Meccan, representing the Black Stone, the blade is "watered"(whatever that means), and it may have been made in Yemen's Hadramout Wadi ,or in Saudi Asir. The Omani provenance is unlikely due to the absence of their characteristic scabbard's ring belt holder. The scabbard chape is small, unlike the thum characteristic of Jeda/Mecca.

I tried to clean the scabbard's greenish blue deposits with a toothbrush an detergent, to no avail. I'm worried that anything else may affect the leather. Suggestions?

BTW, what is the proper spelling: Jambiya, Jambiah, Jambiyah, Jambia? Kukri/Kuhkri/Kuhkuri, and Kahnjar, Kanjar/ Khanjar ..?

Best

Manuel

Your Jambiya is not a Meccan style hilt, but is variously described as from Jizan or Hadhramaut areas. The catalogue from the King Faisal Exhibition describes this type as ZABIDI and from the Hadramaut (which is the Southern /Southeastern area of Yemen which borders to Oman). A pic of 2 Meccan style Jambiya is herewith. You will note that the tips of the hilt are NOT pointed.
Don't get too wrapped up in the various spellings as they all mean the same thing and probably "Jambiya" is much like the term "Wahabite" used by collectors to describe certain styles. The term "Khanjar" is used in Oman to describe their daggers, rather than "Jambiya".
Hopefully STEVE will come in on this post, as he has huge knowledge of (particulaly) Yemeni daggers.
Regards Stu
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Old 23rd January 2011, 02:22 AM   #12
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Hi Kahnjar,

Thanks for the extra info. I thought that the pommel's promontories depicted the Kaaba Mosque, and that made the style Meccan. Although the other example I saw had a different scabbard's tip.

Do you know anything about the Yemeni Hodeida style jambia from the Tihama plains..?

Best regards


BTW, any idea where I can get a correct chape for the broken scabbard 's tip on my persian kahnjar?

M
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Old 23rd January 2011, 04:41 AM   #13
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Hi Manuel, Not quite sure what you define as "Tihama" but the attached is reputed to be from that area, and described by Elgood as such, though the script on the hilt suggests that it was made in Jeddah in 1958.
My direct email is sabiki@clear.net.nz so you might like to send me a pic of the item you are missing the piece of.
Stu
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Old 23rd January 2011, 05:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
BTW, what is the proper spelling: Jambiya, Jambiah, Jambiyah, Jambia? Kukri/Kuhkri/Kuhkuri, and Kahnjar, Kanjar/ Khanjar ..?

Best

Manuel


Hello all,

just want to add that the correct spelling for these type of daggers is Janbiya or Jannabiyah depending on region. Khanjar is also used though you'd probably understand the "kh" if you hear an arab say it.

i think the reason why collectors call Janbiya's ; Jambiya is probably due to tourists not hearing the pronunciation correctly. the origin of the word is jnb which means; side. there is no word jmb in arabic that i know of.

beautiful collection of pictures folks, i really like the gusbi that Dom has

A.Alnakkas
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Old 23rd January 2011, 10:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
i really like the gusbi that Dom has
choukrane, fod'dol
à +

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Old 23rd January 2011, 11:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
You have four blades on your picture, two lying and two standing. The one standing on the left has a 90 deg angle on the scabbard, it is then a ...Saudi, Emirati, or Omani?
Omani bought in Sharjah UAE some 30 years ago ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
The one standing on the right has a 180 deg angle with a very high thum, making it Yemenite? I understand this high thum is characteristic of the gusbi jambiyas from Yemen's Hadramout Wadi?
yes, you 'r correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
The horizontal one on the left is, a persian Kahnjar? The right, an ottoman kard perhaps?
the first one, not exactly,
- Syrian/Iraqi (Kurdish) dagger (Baghdadi) with johar blade http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=8051
- Ottoman kard with johar blade http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...&highlight=kard

Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
So, all in all, what do you make of mine. Yemeni?
yes, a "Zabidi" dagger from Hadramout, very nice

à +

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Old 23rd January 2011, 11:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom
choukrane, fod'dol
à +

Dom


Ahlan wa sahlan
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Old 23rd January 2011, 03:03 PM   #18
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Default Omani?? Yemenit ?? Saudi?? and what is the real name for it??

I am not trying to answer these questions. All the postings above are doing good work. I just want to add that we will have the privilege to host Steve Gracie from Sydney in our next meeting in Timonim March 19. He will give us a presentation which hopefully will shed a new light on the names, origin and distribution of these fascinating daggers. Your are all more than welcome to join. We will announce the full program very soon.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 06:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriental-Arms
I am not trying to answer these questions. All the postings above are doing good work. I just want to add that we will have the privilege to host Steve Gracie from Sydney in our next meeting in Timonim March 19. He will give us a presentation which hopefully will shed a new light on the names, origin and distribution of these fascinating daggers. Your are all more than welcome to join. We will announce the full program very soon.

If you can make Timonim and are at all interested in Yemeni daggers, make sure that you get to the presentation!! I have had the privilege of meeting Steve and seeing his collection. What an eyeopener, and what a fountain of knowledge!!
Stu
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Old 23rd January 2011, 08:16 PM   #20
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The word transliterates from the arabic جنبية as janbiya but is pronounced as jambiya. The root JNB means by or side or beside. Watch the attached video and you will hear the pronunciation with an M. I have heard it is just something idiosyncratic in the Yemeni dialect. When they pronounce the plural it is with an N, janaby. I have heard it pronounced with an M since I was a child.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_DK2DmlsXE

Just to make sure I was not remembering this wrong I double checked with former ambassador David Newton who was stationed in Yemen on and off since 1966.

"Hello Michael. You are correct. The word is written with an "n," but it is pronounced with an "m," simply because of ease of speaking. The two letters "b" and "m" are spoken in the front of the mouth. whereas "n" is pronounced in the back of the mouth. So "m" is much easier to use next to a 'b." I'll look at your pictures. Regards. David"

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Old 27th March 2011, 04:27 PM   #21
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Default Khanjars

You can spot the difference between Omani and Yemeni work often because Yemeni craftsmen use a mixture of silver and other metals... some copper etc.... whereas Omani smiths use silver. Non silver items look dull grey to grey green tint whilst silver looks quite lively and rich by comparison. Because of the hugely difficult terrain these designs stuck...frozen in time and place ... plus in the traditions of weaponry in Arabia they have not changed in hundreds of years. The same goes for gunpowder weapons and the long jezail or abu futtillah was still being used until the mid 20th century along side the "newer" Martini Henrys. Quality nosedived in Yemen across the silversmith board as their best craftsmen left in the 1948 exodus of Yemeni Jews though there are still some remaining so that the occasional class piece can still be obtained. In the Yemen they use the lost wax process of pour moulding silver whereas in Oman its pure craftsmanship; employing delicate repouse technique and beautiful silver stitching. Identification is occasionally baffling as border areas in Saudia and Oman and Yemen have similar Khanjars to the Omani 7 ringer but you quickly realise the non Omani as a bit narrower...Phew !! Without the pictures of the whole ensemble its rather like trying to explain the rules of cricket to a martian!!! I find it easier to class all the Khanjars together as a family then look at the Jambiyya separately as another species ... so without further ado I will shut up and go away and photograph what I think are about 10 different Khanjars .. (Pl. Khanaja) all similar but subtly different...
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Old 29th March 2011, 04:49 PM   #22
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Default Thuma or Tihama ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Manuel, Not quite sure what you define as "Tihama" but the attached is reputed to be from that area, and described by Elgood as such, though the script on the hilt suggests that it was made in Jeddah in 1958.
My direct email is sabiki@clear.net.nz so you might like to send me a pic of the item you are missing the piece of.
Stu


Thats a Thuma. Easy to recognise as the scabbard follows the blade shape rather than being turned J shaped or almost U shaped. I wonder if thats the word being discussed as I never heard of Tihama but its a bit out of my area so who knows?? I was told that the Thuma is worn on the side rather than at the front whereas the others are worn at front.
I found an excellent note at www.lindahendrickson.com on Yemeni belt weavings ....and a bit about Yemeni daggers.. she writes;

Men in Yemen do not commonly wear jewelry, except for silver rings. The one exception is the decorative dagger called a jambia, which is a common item of dress for most highland Yemeni men. The jambia has great symbolic value establishing one's place in social hierarchies and tribal membership, though it is rarely used as a weapon. The j-shaped version of this dagger, asib, is worn by tribesmen, while judges, legal scholars and religious elites wear a more gently-curved version called a thuma or tuza (similar to the one in this picture). This version worn by elites often displays very intricate and exquisite silver craftsmanship on the sheath.
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Old 27th June 2019, 03:44 AM   #23
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Hello gentlemen,

I am new to this forum so my apologies if placed my first post in the wrong thread as did not want to start a new discussion.
Would you be able to help me to date correctly these two jambiyas (I believe they are of Yemeni origin)?
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Old 27th June 2019, 05:49 PM   #24
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What happened in Yemen with silversmithing was a notable crash in the quality of silver decoration and expertise caused by the exodus in about 1948 of Jewish craftsmen to Israel. Since then it has continued and is almost complete. No craftsmen were left to hand over the expertise so that only a few weeks or months were used to do what little they could to get some sort of continuation of the specialty. There is no comparison to highly specialized Jewish Yemeni work to the quality on Yemeni work... not surprising. I'm afraid that's it so far as Jewish Yemeni work is concerned.. The weapons shown on thread are post 1948 but its not a matter of just time but who did the work and what was lost in the repatriation process. Most of the Omani styled daggers shown here aren't Omani and I see Bahraini, Emirati and other variants some from Saudia in the mixture but for a reasonable selection see The Omani Khanjar at library.... or hit the link below.... to compare but realise that what you are comparing is not a fair issue because of what is outlined above.

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

By the way #23 ABOVE has the almost exact X IN LEATHER DECORATION ON THE SCABBARD AS DOES #9 AT http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...1835#post241835



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Old 28th June 2019, 01:27 PM   #25
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Hi
To answer precisely to your question, yes your jambiya are from Yemen and from the mid 20th c.The long discussion about the Jewish siversmiths has very little to do with your jambiya even for the date. Your jambiya are in between 1940-1970ties... Maybe earlier because of the copies of the tughra hidding the rivets of the hilt. But I'm not sure and I won't be presumptuous to give you more than that. Instead of refering to the same threads and same topics on this forum, I strongly advise you to buy Gracie's book on jambiya, a masterpiece.
BTW your jambiya are really nice, good catch!
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Old 28th June 2019, 08:01 PM   #26
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Reference..
A... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemenite_silversmithing
B...https://www.researchgate.net/profil...lication_detail


To be fair to the thread starter the heading does state..Yemeni/Omani Jambiya differences Thus how to compare the two since almost the entire population which included most of the Jewish Yemeni silvermakers left the country for reasons we all know … The few remaining have also now gone. This virtually wiped quality Jewish Yemeni work off the map. As described in Ref.A AND in the conclusion at Ref B.( An excerpt states Quote'' Conclusion Operation “Magic Carpet” brought most members of the Jewish community from Yemen to Israel. Craftsmen left with their families and the millenary-old tradition of silversmithery died in Yemen''.Unquote.)


The brilliant book by Gracie does focus very greatly on the skills of these past masters but they are all gone now therefor it is difficult to compare roughly sand cast silver decoration with Omani work...In fact it is impossible.. The weapons shown are post 1948. The silver is poor quality and sand cast. It may be noted that Muslim Yemeni people looked at silversmithing as an unclean occupation and wouldn't do that work before 1948..

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