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Old 30th May 2018, 11:50 AM   #1
Martin Lubojacky
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Default Correction of origin - Oromo camel herders dagger

I was of the opinion till now, that the dagger on the picture was of the Kunama (Sudanese - Ethiopian - Eritrean borderland) origin. This was mainly based on the painting which I saw in Ethiopia years ago. After a recent trip to Babile (between Harrar and Ji Jiga) I have to repair this my probalby erroneous view. The man keeping the dagger on the picture is Oromo camel Herder from Babile...

The daggers have very typical handle made of horn, always with the brass sideways flattened bulbous pommel. The length varies from small (totally cca 20 cms) till the length of a bigger Afar gille.
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Old 13th June 2018, 02:26 PM   #2
roanoa
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OK, Martin. Now you got me curious.... I have this dagger in my collection and I had always thought it was Somali. The shape of the hilt is different, but the flat pommel is consistent with your dagger. Overall length is 298mm and blade is 167mm. So, what would you say about this one? Cheers. Ron
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Old 14th June 2018, 12:05 PM   #3
Martin Lubojacky
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Hi Roanoa,

There is variety of similar daggers and I think majority of them come from Ethiopian/Somali borderland, including regions in Somalia and in Ethiopia. And the borderland is very, very long. When you open this link, you can see a few daggers: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16045. - Based on what I saw personally, the second from the left and the second from the right on the first picture are typical "tooreis" from Somaliland region (in Hargeisa they produce it as a souvenir there ... but the new ones are very crude and not nice).

The man keeping the knife on the picture taken in camel fair in Babile town was Oromo - if you look on the maps, he could be "Harerge Oromo" (Ala, Babile, Jarso - ? It is, sometimes, not polite and possible to ask such questions and one could be happy that he was allowed to take a photo).

I am not able to make any exact conclusions re your dagger. The vendors in Addis definitely do not mind where is the staff they are selling, from. And the occasions to see something like this "in situ" are more and more rare.

(Interesting is, that some "Afarised" Oromo tribes like e.g. Kereyu have been using the same or very simlilar giles like Afars ...).

I am enclosing pictures of two big similar daggers (the one with the sheath is around 50 cms) and maps.
Best
Martin
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