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Old 13th August 2018, 02:09 AM   #1
ChristineR
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Default Help Identifying Middle Eastern Dagger

Hello!

I have a dagger that my sister bought for me at an auction and I was wondering if you could identify it for me--what it is specifically, where it might be from, the time period, if there is anything noteworthy in the markings, if it is ceremonial or not, etc. Based on my initial Googling, I'm guessing it is a Jambiya dagger, but if I am incorrect, please let me know!

Thank you in advance!

P.S. I also burned a bit of the cord to see if it was silk, and it burned pretty quickly, leaving a plastic-like residue, so I would say it is not.
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Old 13th August 2018, 04:21 PM   #2
corrado26
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I think this is a not too old Koummya made in Morocco
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Old 13th August 2018, 04:50 PM   #3
Battara
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Looks that way to me too......
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Old 13th August 2018, 06:17 PM   #4
Henk
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Yes, it is.
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Old 14th August 2018, 12:21 AM   #5
ChristineR
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Thank you, yes, that does make a lot more sense aesthetically! That is very interesting to learn that is it from Morocco.

Are there any other details you can glean concerning this dagger? Can you gauge the time period, or do you know if this type of dagger was used ceremonially or practically? Do the decorations mean or indicate anything? I know almost nothing about daggers, much less Koummyas. Any and all information is greatly appreciated, and if you require any other pictures, please let me know!
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Old 14th August 2018, 03:12 AM   #6
shayde78
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Welcome, Christine.

You may learn more about koummya here

If you look at the blade on your piece, you will note that it is not too refined. The patterns on your hilt are likely just decorative. As a knife of an Islamic culture, decorations tend to be abstract (as representations of living forms was typically forbidden).

As for ritualistic use, the koummya represents the standard everyday carry knife of Moroccan men. It would have been readily available to defend its wearer, but most likely used to slaughter livestock, and the like. As certain holidays required the head of the household to slaughter the meal, it would have some ancillary ceremonial function.

All in all, yours seems to be a not very old item, made likely for travelers to take home, not for use by the locals. That said, it is a unique souvenir that represents a specific culture. If you enjoy it, that counts for a lot
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Old 14th August 2018, 06:38 AM   #7
motan
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Hi ChristineR,
I am sorry, but I have to join the rest, especially Shayde78 who put it to words elegantly.
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Old 18th August 2018, 12:35 PM   #8
ChristineR
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Thank you, Shayde78 and Motan, for your input! I'm glad to know more about this dagger. Even if mine is more of a tourist piece, I'm grateful to learn more about the history associated with it. Now I'll have something to tell people (my sister, especially) when they come to visit!

Thank you, everyone, for contributing your thoughts and information!
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