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Old 19th May 2010, 09:30 PM   #1
Alvaro
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Exclamation My Jambiya [need help]

Hello everybody my name is Alvaro and I am new to this forum.
I am following my last year in highschool in The Netherlands and I am working on a history project.
The project is about a Jambiya dagger my parents bought in Jemen in the 1980's
I would like to know more information about this dagger (like what stlye,value, when it was made, and where etc.) so I thought this forum could help me out.
The more information, the better!
So, here are some pictures of my Jambiya
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Old 20th May 2010, 03:09 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Alvaro

Your jambiya is from Yemen and is considered a Mecca style jambiya circa 1960-80. This style I think comes from the more southern part of the country? Attached is a photo of Lawerence of Arabia with a similar style dagger on his sash.

Lew
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Old 20th May 2010, 04:46 AM   #3
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Meccan jambiya could also be made in Saudi Arabia, but this one I think is Yemeni
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Old 20th May 2010, 06:38 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Forum.

Yes I agree with the other posts. This is of Meccan style. The Forum does not give valuations and I believe this is against the rules anyway.
Pics of a couple of Meccan style I have in my collection.
Regards Stu
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Old 20th May 2010, 10:54 AM   #5
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thanks for the quick reply's!
the information you all gave me is very usefull for my project
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Old 20th May 2010, 04:08 PM   #6
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A NICE DAGGER BUT DON'T OVERLOOK THE BELT WITH IT. IT APPEARS TO BE OF VERY GOOD WORKMANSHIP WITH LOTS OF FANCY AND BEAUTIFUL DECORATION.
THE OLD ONES MADE BY HAND ARE WORKS OF ART IN THEMSELVES. I DON'T KNOW IF MORE MODERN ONES ARE MADE BY MACHINE OR BY HAND THESE DAYS BUT THE BELT IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE SET (DAGGER AND BELT) AND NO DOUBT SHOWS STATUS AND DENOTES WEALTH AS WELL AS BEING USEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL IN SOME CASES. IN SOME OF THE OLD ONES SILVER AND GOLD WIRE WAS USED TO MAKE SOME OF THE DECORATION. DOES ANYONE HAVE FURTHER INFORMATION OR KNOW THE NAME OF THESE BELTS.?
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Old 21st May 2010, 05:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
A NICE DAGGER BUT DON'T OVERLOOK THE BELT WITH IT. IT APPEARS TO BE OF VERY GOOD WORKMANSHIP WITH LOTS OF FANCY AND BEAUTIFUL DECORATION.
THE OLD ONES MADE BY HAND ARE WORKS OF ART IN THEMSELVES. I DON'T KNOW IF MORE MODERN ONES ARE MADE BY MACHINE OR BY HAND THESE DAYS BUT THE BELT IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE SET (DAGGER AND BELT) AND NO DOUBT SHOWS STATUS AND DENOTES WEALTH AS WELL AS BEING USEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL IN SOME CASES. IN SOME OF THE OLD ONES SILVER AND GOLD WIRE WAS USED TO MAKE SOME OF THE DECORATION. DOES ANYONE HAVE FURTHER INFORMATION OR KNOW THE NAME OF THESE BELTS.?

Hi Barry,
I can find no actual name for the belts though I suspect that there is one. Forum Member "Steve" is the most like source of further info on these but I believe that he is travelling at present. Some earlier daggers are known to have had belts added in much more modern times so the age of the 2 may be considerably different.
The attached pic is of one of these, which I have on the way. When it arrives I will post better pics, but the belt is known to be a much later addition. Earlier belts in my experience were of leather rather than the later fabric embroidered (either machine or hand) ones.
Stu
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Old 21st May 2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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I guess the name for a belt is Hizam, anyone agree?
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Old 21st May 2010, 07:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devadatta
I guess the name for a belt is Hizam, anyone agree?

I can find reference to a belt being called Hizam in Sudan, but not in Arabia. I would expect that there is a specific name for a Jambiya belt, and that it is very likely to differ depending on the particular region, as with many things on the Arabian Peninsula.
Regards Stu
Further to the above after a bit more research, it would appear that the term HIZAM is also used in Yemen.
Attached is a link reference which I think will be interesting as it comments on the present situation re Jambiya belts in general.
http://www.yobserver.com/culture-an...y/10018119.html

Last edited by kahnjar1 : 21st May 2010 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 22nd May 2010, 01:37 PM   #10
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so , whats more important for the yemeni men
is wealth based on the belt or more on the dagger itself?
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Old 23rd May 2010, 02:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
...Further to the above after a bit more research, it would appear that the term HIZAM is also used in Yemen...


Like Stu mentioned earlier - I checked with my Yemeni friends and they said that "hizam" applies to both the belts for jambiya as well as generic belts.

They also mentioned that in practice the hizam have their own pricing scheme and CAN cost more than the jambiya itself...never having been to/lived in Yemen myself, nor never having seen my friends in Yemen I can't attest to whether or not they had a "regular" jambiya/hizam, "formal" jambiya/hizam or if some guys had one-hizam-fits-all jambiyas owned, etc.

I would assume that, like any other accessory, this would depend on personal taste/station/occasion (although I guarantee you that any self-respecting Yemeni male would only refer to a jambiya as a necessity vs. accessory).

Regards,
Ron

Last edited by lindylars : 23rd May 2010 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 02:24 PM   #12
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Here is a web page describing the tablet woven belts.

http://www.lindahendrickson.com/yem...t-main-page.htm
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Old 23rd May 2010, 05:53 PM   #13
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''There are several theories about the origin of the Jambia. There are historical facts, concerning the existence of the Jambia revealling that it used to be worn at Sheban times, in the Himiarite kingdom. They take the statue of the Sheban king (Madi Karb 500 bc ) as proof. This statue, which was discovered by an American mission in Marib in the 1950s, was found to be wearing a Jambia.''

I can't find a picture of this person, can anyone translate Madi Karb back in arabic? Maybe it will be easier to find a picture of him
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Old 23rd May 2010, 06:53 PM   #14
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This person is shown at yemeni 50 rial banknote

Actually I saw somewhere at the web a very good photo of this statue with dagger very well seen. But I don't remember the source

You can see something at the left side of his belt reminding of a dagger



But it's shown much better at the original statue
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Old 23rd May 2010, 08:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devadatta
Actually I saw somewhere at the web a very good photo of this statue with dagger very well seen. But I don't remember the source

Are we talking about the 200 riyal note?

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Old 23rd May 2010, 08:37 PM   #16
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wow THANKS ALOT My history teacher will be amazed.
but which one is the statue the americans found in 1950's ? the one from the 50rial banknote or from the 200 rial?
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Old 23rd May 2010, 09:35 PM   #17
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Hmmm...

So who must be the man shown at 50 YMR banknote? He also has a dagger...Strange - I was sure that's Ma'adkarib (and search-engine actually thinks the same)
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Old 23rd May 2010, 09:45 PM   #18
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in my opinion the man on the 200 YER banknote doesn't really look like a statue.
Anyway, I've got another question
is the Jambiya unique to Jemen, or is it used in other countries as well?
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Old 23rd May 2010, 10:05 PM   #19
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Well, the same forms can be found in all regions of Arabic peninsula and in other countries which were influensed by Arabs. In most western sources all such daggers are called jambiya, however they have their own regional differences and in most cases they have local names (for example, Omanian traditional dagger is called khanjar, and even though it looks very similar to Yemeni, still there are certain differences which allow to bring it to a separate category).
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Old 23rd May 2010, 10:07 PM   #20
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Thanks for the quick reply youre posts are very useful to me
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Old 23rd May 2010, 10:11 PM   #21
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Always welcome, and I also suggest you to use search-engine of this forum to find some interesting topics about jambiya. There are a lot of specialists here whose knowledge on the subject are much wider, than mine are

And I'd also show one of Hizam, as we spoke about these belts...

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Old 24th May 2010, 04:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devadatta
Well, the same forms can be found in all regions of Arabic peninsula and in other countries which were influensed by Arabs. In most western sources all such daggers are called jambiya, however they have their own regional differences and in most cases they have local names (for example, Omanian traditional dagger is called khanjar, and even though it looks very similar to Yemeni, still there are certain differences which allow to bring it to a separate category).

Some pics of the various types herewith for comparison with the Meccan style.
Shown are: 3 different Omani Khanjar, Jizan, Tehama
As you can see that while there is a distinct similarity, there are subtle differences.
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Old 24th May 2010, 05:03 AM   #23
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Hi Stu,

I maybe mistaken, but I think your third Omani khanjar is actually more typical for Saudi Arabia

That's a picture from flickr.com taken by a french photographer Eric Lafforgue



Also as I noticed those khanjars worn in Saudi usually have more curved scabbard than Omani ones, and mainly they are placed straight vertical, not with a slope to the left like Omanis...
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Old 24th May 2010, 06:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devadatta
Hi Stu,

I maybe mistaken, but I think your third Omani khanjar is actually more typical for Saudi Arabia

That's a picture from flickr.com taken by a french photographer Eric Lafforgue



Also as I noticed those khanjars worn in Saudi usually have more curved scabbard than Omani ones, and mainly they are placed straight vertical, not with a slope to the left like Omanis...

I see what you mean. Quite possibly the third one is of Saudi origin. I had not noticed that the scabbard tip had a more upward end to it. In more modern times the styles tended to "drift" somewhat as travel became easier on the Arabian Peninsula.
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Old 24th May 2010, 08:51 AM   #25
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Why are the silver Jambiya's called meccan stlye even when they're made in Jemen? Doesnt ''meccan'' refer to the city Mecca, Saoedi-Arabia?

Last edited by Alvaro : 24th May 2010 at 02:00 PM. Reason: After some research I found out myself:)
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Old 24th May 2010, 11:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Barry,
I can find no actual name for the belts though I suspect that there is one. Forum Member "Steve" is the most like source of further info on these but I believe that he is travelling at present. Some earlier daggers are known to have had belts added in much more modern times so the age of the 2 may be considerably different.
The attached pic is of one of these, which I have on the way. When it arrives I will post better pics, but the belt is known to be a much later addition. Earlier belts in my experience were of leather rather than the later fabric embroidered (either machine or hand) ones.
Stu

This has now arrived and I have removed the belt so that it can be seen clearer.
In my opinion it is machine made as opposed to hand sewn. As you can see, the stitching on the back is too straight and even to be hand done. The Arabic I expect is a Koranic verse.
Regards Stu
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:49 AM   #27
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Here are some images of ancient south arabian swords and the statue discussed above. I especially like the one with the man with two bulls heads. I found it recently in some pictures taken at a Yemeni museum.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 08:57 AM   #28
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Default belt hizzam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devadatta
I guess the name for a belt is Hizam, anyone agree?

Correct... Hizzam...Belt.
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