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Old 17th June 2019, 06:55 PM   #1
drac2k
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Default Honest Kaskara to share.

I think that this is an honest older Kaskara sword that is a little bit unusual in that it is not of the flat wide blade type, but more of a stout "European type," cavalry sword blade (even though I think that it may have been locally produced). The blade measures approx. 35" long, and at the base 3/8" on the spine and 1 3/8" wide.
In regards to the obvious need for a repair to the covering of the handle and the drag of the scabbard, I have found that on e$ay they have scraps of lizard and crocodile that are very reasonable. Would a repair using these materials detract substantially from the weapons historical value? I think I can manage to make the work look crude enough to be a field repair.
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Old 17th June 2019, 07:51 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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I always appreciate a good kaskara! and it would be very kind of you to bring this to more aesthetic status. This is not of 'great antiquity' and they do not carry high values basically unless with notable provenance. This appears Kasallawi, of the typical Hadendoa form within last 50 years likely.
Still they are significant ethnographically as tribesmen still have them for personal purposes such as wear as traditional events etc.

I prefer weapons to remain static as much as possible, but stabilizing corrosion and repairing noticeable damage is a reasonable approach.
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Old 17th June 2019, 08:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input Jim, as I have noticed from previous threads, you appear to be very knowledgeable about these swords(as well as a great many other things), so I was hoping you would comment. Maybe I will leave it "as is," since I am more inclined to agree with this approach.
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Old 17th June 2019, 08:32 PM   #4
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My pleasure Drac, and thanks for the kind words!
Even left as is, it would make a great display along with a framed pic of Sudanese scenes, even those of the campaigns there in 1890s. Those times and memories of the Mahdi are still very vivid there in Sudan, so carry even into present times.
I recall years ago talking with a young man from Darfur, who told me that sa'if (they do not call them kaskara) are still well known there, and that his father always had one hanging on their wall.
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Old 17th June 2019, 08:33 PM   #5
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Very nice European blade
I agree with Jim leave it as it is or just consolidate with wire around the languet
but don't put crocodile... or just brown leather as it was originaly...
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Old 17th June 2019, 09:26 PM   #6
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It would be nice to get better pictures of the blade. If this was originally a single edged blade, that had its back ground and sharpened to modify it into a broadsword according to the traditional taste in Sudan, then to me that would indicate an imported blade, modified locally.
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Old 17th June 2019, 10:38 PM   #7
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Drac,

Go to Classics and check the most recent entries ( the lowest): splendid topics on Kaskara .
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Old 17th June 2019, 11:40 PM   #8
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Drac,

This could well be a Mahdi Era sword. In the early part the Sudanese were getting blades from whatever sources were available. This presumably European blade could have been dressed in the Kaskara style. After the British Reconquest these was a general disarmament period with mush lesser demand to cobble a sword from uncharastic blades. Plus, there was a vast "surplus" of Kaskara resulting from the Mahdist defeat.

Your blade has what could be a maker's mark just under the lower langet. Is the blade otherwise marked with Arabic/Islamic inscriptions? If not inscribed it could be of Italian origin as they were active in the Kassala area, and many of their Sudanese allies were against the Mahdi. Either way it could help in identifying its source.

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Ed
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Old 18th June 2019, 12:04 AM   #9
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Thank you, gentlemen, for your comments and information; I will try to post some better pictures. I can't see any makers' marks, but I will look more closely with a magnifying glass.
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Old 20th June 2019, 05:57 PM   #10
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I hope these additional pictures help
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Old 20th June 2019, 06:17 PM   #11
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Thank you for the additional images - the blade looks like it was actually reforged from curved and single edged to straight and double edged. I have a sword that started as a gurade and went through a similar rework here:

http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthrea...ghlight=kaskara

Teodor
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Old 20th June 2019, 06:44 PM   #12
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Teodor that is a very astute observation, and seeing these additional images I think this could be the case. You can see the remains of a European ricasso block, and the fuller seems remarkably asymmetrical, where it would be central on the usually seen broadsword blades.

I recall the discussions where it was shown that this reworking of a sabre blade could be done, but it seemed like a lot of work! Still, blades were at a premium in these Sudanese regions, and were refurbished continually through generations. The sharpening of blades in these and Saharan regions was often pretty brutal and crudely done so it is amazing these blades could survive as long as they have.

This falls directly in place with the British disarmament after Omdurman, as noted by Ed, and the availability of blades was pretty dismal in most Sudanese areas. It seems more remote Darfur still got blades OK, but through varied trade routes aside from those virtually restricted by England.
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Old 20th June 2019, 07:03 PM   #13
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Thanks once again gentlemen for your insights. I should have mentioned that the spine of the sword is unsharpened, except for the last 5 or 6 inches, where it is very sharp, as is most of the blade on the belly side. Upon further reflection of your comments, I do believe that it is a reworked European sword; maybe this long stout sword made for thrusting, as opposed to the long, wider and flat blades they normally used for slashing was as a direct consequence due to an encounter with British Cavalry.
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Old 20th June 2019, 07:09 PM   #14
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Hi
a last word
you have French heavy cavalry sword 1885 with one assymetrical fuller
reforged for sure as Teodor said
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