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Old 12th April 2018, 12:29 PM   #1
Selohr
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Default Need advice - Kaskara

Hello, I'm new to this forum and would like to ask for advice. I recently purchased a kaskara and seller didn't have much info on it apart from it being brought from Egypt in 1970's. It is in fairly decent shape except for the loose hilt. Considering I don't know much about these swords I would like to ask for the help to see if it is an antique or a tourist souvenir. In case it is just a souvenir, without historic value, I'd go ahead with fixing the hilt and making it usable because it is such a nice, light and lively blade itwould be a shame not to let it cut some light targets
Here are the photos, excuse the quality but my mobile phone camera is all I have at disposal.
Thank you in advance!
Sinisa
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Last edited by Selohr : 13th April 2018 at 07:28 AM. Reason: clarity of post
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Old 13th April 2018, 12:33 PM   #2
Iain
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1970s sounds about right. I'd class it as a tourist object, these shorter examples were to a degree made to be easier to take back for tourists I think.

That's not to say its a bad little sword, its made in the same manner as the full size ones.
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Old 13th April 2018, 01:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
1970s sounds about right. I'd class it as a tourist object, these shorter examples were to a degree made to be easier to take back for tourists I think.

That's not to say its a bad little sword, its made in the same manner as the full size ones.

Thank you for your feedback. Actually blade is 89 cm which I think I read it's about right length.
Do you maybe know how the hilt is constructed in these?
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Old 13th April 2018, 09:43 PM   #4
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I agree with Iain with a caveat. In my experience the major market for these simple kaskara were to use in urban Sudanese weddings. As part of the post marriage festivities the groom (and perhaps other male relatives) would dance around to music and shake a sword in the air no doubt he was prepared to protect his new household.

These swords, at least in the 1980s and much before, were sold on the street by itinerant vendors or in local periodic markets in most towns. Tourists, other foreign visitors, as wells as potential grooms, would find them attractive to buy. While your sword may have been bought by a tourist it wasn't necessarily made for that purpose.

Regards,
Ed
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
....these shorter examples were to a degree made to be easier to take back for tourists I think....


Iain, How much shorter are these tourist blades? I thought most Kaskara were about a yard 35-37 inches (89-104 cm ) in the blade. I agree Selohr's blade looks like tourist or wedding quality but I don't see it as being particularly short for ease of transport.(88.5 cm )
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Old 14th April 2018, 07:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain
1970s sounds about right. I'd class it as a tourist object, these shorter examples were to a degree made to be easier to take back for tourists I think.

That's not to say its a bad little sword, its made in the same manner as the full size ones.


I agree with 1970ties probably from Aswan.
I disagree with the "short blades" for tourists, I've seen several short blades on Tabouka and Kaskara and in fact its the opposite they were the real daily life kaskara much more easier to use...
Two examples from Beni Amer and Beja hills, Hadendoa.
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Old 14th April 2018, 11:22 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your feedback. Blade is sharp and looks like it was bought sharp. Were tourist or wedding pieces usually made sharp? Also, how would one go about fixing a loose hilt? Is it fixed with just resin or can I expect a rivett under the wrap too?
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Old 15th April 2018, 09:52 AM   #8
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They are usually a fairly short tang, with a punched hole towards the end. They are fixed by a metal pin, or a nail through the grip and the tang.
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Old 15th April 2018, 12:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
They are usually a fairly short tang, with a punched hole towards the end. They are fixed by a metal pin, or a nail through the grip and the tang.

Thank you!
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Old 15th April 2018, 12:27 PM   #10
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The blade would have been sharp when it left the "factory" as the maker would not know the ultimate type of customer. In the 1960s-70s sword use was still an active means of self defence and/or of "being armed". BTW the cross guard is of good quality and rather old; in the Sennar location style.
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Old 23rd April 2018, 06:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selohr
Thank you for your feedback. Actually blade is 89 cm which I think I read it's about right length.
Do you maybe know how the hilt is constructed in these?


Looked shorter for some reason. That's about the usual size.
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Old 23rd April 2018, 06:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I agree with 1970ties probably from Aswan.
I disagree with the "short blades" for tourists, I've seen several short blades on Tabouka and Kaskara and in fact its the opposite they were the real daily life kaskara much more easier to use...
Two examples from Beni Amer and Beja hills, Hadendoa.



I've seen some shortened older blades but these are rare. There are mainly examples of poor quality thuluth blades and period quotations I have posted in the past of these being hawked to tourists.

That doesn't mean every example is/was for the purpose. But certainly some were during the time madhist pieces were in fashion as bring backs.
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Old 23rd April 2018, 07:05 PM   #13
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That does look like the blade was fullered rather than a more touristy flat stock. the wormholes in the grip could be filled in with superglue to help stabilise the wood if you do try cutting with it. If there is no staple/bent nail/cotter pin hidden under the wrap, holding the grip scales and blade, I'd be leery of cutting anything with it, especially with anyone in the immediate vicinity that might be hit by a flying blade while you are left holding the remains of the grip. The long ones were often used from camelback & would be an impediment if dismounted, or trying to defend a building, these, like naval hangers (and roman gladii) are more suited for close work. A lot of indigenous people STILL guard their homes with cold steel.
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Old 25th April 2018, 07:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
That does look like the blade was fullered rather than a more touristy flat stock. the wormholes in the grip could be filled in with superglue to help stabilise the wood if you do try cutting with it. If there is no staple/bent nail/cotter pin hidden under the wrap, holding the grip scales and blade, I'd be leery of cutting anything with it, especially with anyone in the immediate vicinity that might be hit by a flying blade while you are left holding the remains of the grip. The long ones were often used from camelback & would be an impediment if dismounted, or trying to defend a building, these, like naval hangers (and roman gladii) are more suited for close work. A lot of indigenous people STILL guard their homes with cold steel.


Had some time to examine it and the movement within a hilt is because the wood of the grip has rotted towards the guard, it does seem to be held by a rivet beneath that leather strip wrap, in any case I won't attempt any swinging until i find a way to fix it. I suppose it will require taking the grip off and making a new one. Anybody got any tips on restoring the leather of the scabbard, it is very dry and starting to crack?
Was thinking on selling it as is but my kid said that he wants to have it when he grows up...I was a bit surprised he would prefer it over the shiny, modern reproduction European swords I have...
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Old 3rd May 2018, 12:52 PM   #15
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Just found a photo of a takouba's tang, might be of interest...
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Old 3rd May 2018, 01:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Just found a photo of a takouba's tang, might be of interest...


It might have been in takouba mounts but that was at some point mounted as a kaskara.

Takouba don't use a pin, but a full tang through the pommel.
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