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Old 18th March 2012, 09:51 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams All ~ Note to Library; "The Al Bu Saidi Dynasty" start date of circa 1744 was previously considered as a possible start date on the sa'idiyyah hilt; royal khanjar and royal old omani battle sword iconic hilt. This is wide of the actual mark since it seems that the likely designer was the wife of the ruler who was in power from 1806 (though there were 2 shared years previous) to 1856. ~ Sultan Said's second wife Binti Irich Mirza who was Persian and also called "Sheherazade" and it appears she designed the hilt. That puts the design date at no earlier than the marriage in about 1850.
Thus the dates of both hilts are revised to Circa 1850.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Interesting, can I ask why it is assumed the designer was the wife?
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Old 19th March 2012, 06:51 AM   #302
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Salaams Iain ~This is almost impossible to prove beyond doubt therefor I begin by saying that ~"It is said that"~ It seems she(Sheherazad) was bored with the usual khanjar form and using her Persian design ideas created what I can only describe as an Indo Persian hilt. Detail is scant since this lady seems to have run off with her lover back to Persia(aprox 1832) and when she was married only seemed interested in gallavanting about like a wild thing horseriding and so forth.(seems reasonable to me!) The Sultan(Bin Sayf) meanwhile went on to sire something like 36 children with other wives (none with her) though it looks like nearer 50 or 60, however, 36 survived his death in 1856

Regards Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Note~ (Sayyid) Said bin Sultan Al-Said (Arabic: سعيد بن سلطان‎, Sa‘id bin Sulṭān) (June 5, 1797 - October 19, 1856) was Sultan of Muscat and Oman from November 20, 1804 to June 4, 1856. He became joint ruler of the country along with his brother Salim on the death of their father, Sultan bin Ahmad, in 1804. Said deprived his brother of joint rule on September 14, 1806.

In 1837, he conquered the town of Mombasa, Kenya. In 1840, Said bin Sultan moved his capital from Muscat, Oman, to Stone Town, Zanzibar. In 1840, he sent a ship to the United States in an attempt to establish a trading relationship.

Upon Said's death in 1856, his realm was divided: his third son, Thuwaini bin Said, became the Sultan of Muscat and Oman; and his sixth son, Sayyid Majid bin Said, became the Sultan of Zanzibar.

The National Museum of Oman in Muscat still houses numerous items of silverware and other possessions that belonged to Said.

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Old 19th March 2012, 12:11 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Iain ~This is almost impossible to prove beyond doubt therefor I begin by saying that ~"It is said that"~ It seems she(Sheherazad) was bored with the usual khanjar form and using her Persian design ideas created what I can only describe as an Indo Persian hilt. Detail is scant since this lady seems to have run off with her lover back to Persia(aprox 1832) and when she was married only seemed interested in gallavanting about like a wild thing horseriding and so forth.(seems reasonable to me!) The Sultan(Bin Sayf) meanwhile went on to sire something like 36 children with other wives (none with her) though it looks like nearer 50 or 60, however, 36 survived his death in 1856

Regards Ibrahiim al Balooshi.


Thanks for the clarification Ibrahiim. So this is basically one of those "legend has it" type of things?
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Old 19th March 2012, 02:15 PM   #304
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Thanks for the clarification Ibrahiim. So this is basically one of those "legend has it" type of things?


Salaams Iain, It is rather odd. I knew about the story more than 25 years ago when I first really got interested in Khanjars and it seemed fairly common knowledge then... however people have short memories and I cannot find a reference to back it up except that on this forum there is an old reference citing the origin to the period of ruler at the time said bin sultan between 1806 and 1856. Certainly no pictures paintings or graphics of previous sultans have the royal hilt form but after that they do... and there are some graphics with that sultan in the royal hilt. The rumour was that a beautiful princess had designed the hilt and that she was Persian. What the rumour(if that is what it is) did not specify was that she had beeen divorced essentially for adultery and had gone back to Persia etc etc. in the date range outlined by me... I have raided almost every resource on the web to not much avail and will check it out fully on a future museum visit.

Regards Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Note; Larry in 2005 on the "Khanjar Identification" thread #3 noted in very much the terms as I have ... quote "The story goes that the Persian queen of Oman, the loyal loving Persian wife of Al Bu Said Sayydi Ibn Sultan who reigned Oman in 1806-1856, thought that the classical Omani Khanjar, with the rather simple I shaped handles was boring, and designed a new and more flashy khanjar dagger for her husband birthday. The new style rapidly become very popular and its used was spread all over the Arabian peninsula." Unquote.
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Old 19th March 2012, 04:20 PM   #305
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Intriguing tale, and as with most lore which has become entwined within the perameters of the popular culture of arms collecting and literature, there are always elements of fact embellished in degree. These things are often the bane of weapons scholars as many of these things were absorbed by early arms writers and adventurers in thier narratives, and became almost venerable cliche's which perpetuated with the growing interest in old arms.

Actually the first time I ever heard mention or use of the name Scheherazade was colloquially as an expression, and seems linked to the popular culture images from literature and I believe even theatricals much akin to the "Arabian Nights". If not mistaken, in this sense the name was emblazoned on at least one American bomber in WWII, and perhaps others, reflecting the well known presence of the famed name in those parlances.

This by no means intends to diminish the fascinating tales linked to these weapons, particularly the rich history of the khanjhar, however it is important to remember this perspective in further research as far as reconfirming elements and facts.

As always, magnificent insight into this amazing culture Ibrahiim, and excellent discourse along with great observations made by Iain. This truly is a most educating thread which I hope continues long, as it is an adventure in itself learning about this, until recently, relatively remote culture through these intriguing weapons and thier history.

All the very best,
Jim
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Old 19th March 2012, 05:41 PM   #306
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Intriguing tale, and as with most lore which has become entwined within the perameters of the popular culture of arms collecting and literature, there are always elements of fact embellished in degree. These things are often the bane of weapons scholars as many of these things were absorbed by early arms writers and adventurers in thier narratives, and became almost venerable cliche's which perpetuated with the growing interest in old arms.

Actually the first time I ever heard mention or use of the name Scheherazade was colloquially as an expression, and seems linked to the popular culture images from literature and I believe even theatricals much akin to the "Arabian Nights". If not mistaken, in this sense the name was emblazoned on at least one American bomber in WWII, and perhaps others, reflecting the well known presence of the famed name in those parlances.

This by no means intends to diminish the fascinating tales linked to these weapons, particularly the rich history of the khanjhar, however it is important to remember this perspective in further research as far as reconfirming elements and facts.

As always, magnificent insight into this amazing culture Ibrahiim, and excellent discourse along with great observations made by Iain. This truly is a most educating thread which I hope continues long, as it is an adventure in itself learning about this, until recently, relatively remote culture through these intriguing weapons and thier history.

All the very best,
Jim

Salaams Jim ~ Yes "elf layla wa layla" "The thousand and one nights" tales Scheherazade (Persian: شهرزاد‎ Šahrzād also called Shahrazad) is the legendary Persian queen and the storyteller and narrator of The Nights. She is the daughter of the kingdom's vizier and sister of Dunyazad(Persian: دنیازاد‎).She marries King Shahryar, who has vowed that he will execute a new bride everyday. For 1001 nights, Scheherazade tells her husband a story every night, stopping at dawn with a cliffhanger, forcing the King to keep her alive for another day.

It is quite odd since the Sultan apparently built baths for Sheherazade in 1850 at Zanzibar but the chronicles have her running off to Persia earlier than that... As a precaution and until I can unravel that error I have estimated 1850 as the rough date for the Royal hilt ~ I also find it strange that a Dynastic Hilt was designed by a wife of an important Sultan .. when she ran away with another man ! More work needed on this story! At least I have some roughly accurate names and dates to play with.

Regards Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th March 2012, 02:57 AM   #307
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In looking further into the 'Sheherazade' part of this story, this seems probably a bit of a red herring as the question is really whether the wife of Al Bu Sa'idi was actually the designer of what appears to be a variation on the hilt design. The mention of her being called 'Sheherazade' is not included in the mention in Larry's 2005 thread 'Khanjhar identification ', nor is the nearly verbatim paraphrasing by Oriental Arms in their description of this type taken from Elgood (p.83) who does not mention the sheherazade name either. Elgood cites his reference to the origins of this form and attributes to the Persian wife of the sultan (citing Ruth Hawley "Omani Silver" (Longman group, 1978). I do not have this reference so unsure what details of that reference are.
This tracing of references and sources is one of the best ways to check primary source comments which have often neen lifted and paraphrased to see what the original context was.

As the this Omani dynasty began in 1744, and it is claimed that the reigning sultan's wife, who was Persian 'designed' the hilt in the 1840s-50s? it does seem possible that the variation of the Royal Khanjhar as we are calling it came from that period. The reference to her being called 'Sheherazade' seems apocryphal and possibly a nickname from the Persian female character the 'Arabian Nights' tales.

Elgood (op.cit.p.83) describes the key features of the hilt on these Sa'idi khanjhars are the silver cones either side of the rounded horn pommel and the top crested with three silver balls, as well as filgree buttons on front.
He notes further that these are somewhat resembling the Mahri daggers of Al Mahra in Eastern Hadhramaut and Dhofar in Western Oman.
It is worthy of note that in addition to trade with India through Muscat, the Hadhramaut tribes, Yafa'i in particular, were long mercenaries to the Deccan in India. If one looks into the daggers of Deccani regions of the 16th century, the basic structure of the regular Omani khanjhar seems strikingly similar.

While the Sa'idi form of khanjhar (hilt) may have originated in the 19th century under the auspices of this ruler's reign, it seems doubtful that its design variation can be attributed to this or any particular person associated with Al Bu Sa'idi with any certainty. Also, it seems quite likely that the general hilt form of these khanjhars quite likely developed much earlier with the influence of the daggers of the Deccan known as 'chilanum' of centuries before. The decorative embellishments added later may have simply been to distinguish these important daggers to the standing rule of Al Bu Sa'idi, and which seems to have accomplished the perpetuation reflecting the style just as intended.


All the best,
Jim
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Old 20th March 2012, 09:49 AM   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
In looking further into the 'Sheherazade' part of this story, this seems probably a bit of a red herring as the question is really whether the wife of Al Bu Sa'idi was actually the designer of what appears to be a variation on the hilt design. The mention of her being called 'Sheherazade' is not included in the mention in Larry's 2005 thread 'Khanjhar identification ', nor is the nearly verbatim paraphrasing by Oriental Arms in their description of this type taken from Elgood (p.83) who does not mention the sheherazade name either. Elgood cites his reference to the origins of this form and attributes to the Persian wife of the sultan (citing Ruth Hawley "Omani Silver" (Longman group, 1978). I do not have this reference so unsure what details of that reference are.
This tracing of references and sources is one of the best ways to check primary source comments which have often neen lifted and paraphrased to see what the original context was.

As the this Omani dynasty began in 1744, and it is claimed that the reigning sultan's wife, who was Persian 'designed' the hilt in the 1840s-50s? it does seem possible that the variation of the Royal Khanjhar as we are calling it came from that period. The reference to her being called 'Sheherazade' seems apocryphal and possibly a nickname from the Persian female character the 'Arabian Nights' tales.

Elgood (op.cit.p.83) describes the key features of the hilt on these Sa'idi khanjhars are the silver cones either side of the rounded horn pommel and the top crested with three silver balls, as well as filgree buttons on front.
He notes further that these are somewhat resembling the Mahri daggers of Al Mahra in Eastern Hadhramaut and Dhofar in Western Oman.
It is worthy of note that in addition to trade with India through Muscat, the Hadhramaut tribes, Yafa'i in particular, were long mercenaries to the Deccan in India. If one looks into the daggers of Deccani regions of the 16th century, the basic structure of the regular Omani khanjhar seems strikingly similar.

While the Sa'idi form of khanjhar (hilt) may have originated in the 19th century under the auspices of this ruler's reign, it seems doubtful that its design variation can be attributed to this or any particular person associated with Al Bu Sa'idi with any certainty. Also, it seems quite likely that the general hilt form of these khanjhars quite likely developed much earlier with the influence of the daggers of the Deccan known as 'chilanum' of centuries before. The decorative embellishments added later may have simply been to distinguish these important daggers to the standing rule of Al Bu Sa'idi, and which seems to have accomplished the perpetuation reflecting the style just as intended.


All the best,
Jim




Salaams Jim ! Not that we are unfamiliar around here with the concept of red herrings ~ but ~ The second or third wife of the ruler of Oman at that time Sayyid Said bin Sultan (who ruled the al busaiyyidi dynasty 1806 to 1856 when he died on board ship near Zanzibar and succeeded by 36 children according to references) was the daughter of Persian Royalty and her name was Sheherazad.

"It is said" that the Persian princess was responsible for the new royal hilt design.... and though a specific reference is avoiding me at the moment I'm sure it will surface to that effect as we go forward. I take the 1850 mark as somewhere to park this for the time being until clarity prevails. Some slight readjustment looks likely in the date by a decade or so earlier however that will probably pan out later. For sure there are no signs of this hilt until the one seen worn by the ruler in a picture viewable at images of him on the web and by subsequent rulers and others thereafter.

The hilt does look similar to other variants like the adjoining Saudia region close to Oman ( Habbaabi style; not to be confused with Wahhaabi ) but is said to have been concocted around Indian or Indo Persian fashion by his Persain wife. (it can only have been Sheherazade)

The reference http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb...ersiaqajar.html indicates that she married Said Sultan in 1827 viz;

Shahzadi (name unknown), married in July 1827, Sayyid Said bin Sultan Al-Busaid, Sultan of Oman.

And that her father was viz;

HIM Shahanshah FATH ALI SHAH, 2nd Shahanshah of Persia 1797/1834, born 1771, married (amongst others) about 1797, Agaba Begum, daughter of Khan Ebrahim Khan, Khan of Qarabagh, married (b), Taj ud-Dawlah, married (c), Ziba Chehr Khanum, and had issue, 57 sons and 46 daughters. He died 23rd October 1834 in Isfahan and was buried at Qum.

Some time line confusion exists over when she left permanently and the web states in many references that the Persian baths in Kidichi, Zanzibar, were built for Sultan Said’s second wife Sheherazade, the daughter of a Persian Shah or Persia. This is claimed to be 1850 in a host of references apparently copied from the same source.

Thus the temporary allowance of 1850 attributed to the Royal Hilt appearance..which must be close.

An image appears with notes at http://safmuseum.gov.om/pop40.html on the provenance timewise but so far as I can see not absolute..on the Royal Hilt.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 20th March 2012, 03:57 PM   #309
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Absolutely outstanding and well presented research Ibrahiim!!!
It would seem that the 'red herring' would be from my own net and was by my presumption of the apparantly well established Persian name Sheherazade being fancifully woven into the stories on the origins of this distinct khanjhar hilt form. Obviously such a fabled name would be a select choice within regal families for a daughter, and such traditions run deeply.
My associations with the popular figure in literature and later even in theatricals and films then we can relegate to an interesting coincidence in name, not relevant to this research.

Returning to our case on this hilt form, it would seem that the terminus a quo for the introduction of these embellishments on the extant Omani khanjhar hilt form would correspond to the period of his marraige to this wife (1827-1836? depending on details of her departure with another suitor). There are no details of further specifics in Elgood, but I am wondering if the reference he often cites, "Tribes of Oman" (J.R.C.Carter, 1982) might have more. In any case, the 'design', which simply carries embellishments to the overall motif on the regular Omani khanjhar hilt, does seem to have attained great popularity and wide diffusion in its use.

Though this focus would seem to be outside the scope of this thread on kattara and the Omani old sayf, it is well placed in examining the context of events that may have bearing on the development of these swords as well.
It is great to have this kind of comprehensive dimension in discussions!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 20th March 2012, 05:14 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Absolutely outstanding and well presented research Ibrahiim!!!
It would seem that the 'red herring' would be from my own net and was by my presumption of the apparantly well established Persian name Sheherazade being fancifully woven into the stories on the origins of this distinct khanjhar hilt form. Obviously such a fabled name would be a select choice within regal families for a daughter, and such traditions run deeply.
My associations with the popular figure in literature and later even in theatricals and films then we can relegate to an interesting coincidence in name, not relevant to this research.

Returning to our case on this hilt form, it would seem that the terminus a quo for the introduction of these embellishments on the extant Omani khanjhar hilt form would correspond to the period of his marraige to this wife (1827-1836? depending on details of her departure with another suitor). There are no details of further specifics in Elgood, but I am wondering if the reference he often cites, "Tribes of Oman" (J.R.C.Carter, 1982) might have more. In any case, the 'design', which simply carries embellishments to the overall motif on the regular Omani khanjhar hilt, does seem to have attained great popularity and wide diffusion in its use.

Though this focus would seem to be outside the scope of this thread on kattara and the Omani old sayf, it is well placed in examining the context of events that may have bearing on the development of these swords as well.
It is great to have this kind of comprehensive dimension in discussions!

All the best,
Jim



Salaams Jim,
Yes this is quite a diversion though as you point out it is also important (Oh I think we just crashed through the 10 thousand barrier ! ) My money is on the second wife not the third (therefor not Scheherezade the Persian lady whos real name was Binte Irich Mirza ) because the second wife was the woman behind the throne and looked after affairs of state. Even if the Persian wife had her hand on the design it would never have got accepted into the Royal Household without the say-so of the second wife "azze binte sayf bin ahmed". It looks like Sheherazade was in fact the grand daughter of the Persian Shah and she had a lover .. disappeared back to Persia, became divorced, and apparently joined the army to fight against the Omanis... This lady certainly had attitude !!

It looks like circa 1840 / 1850 as a probable date bracket for the Khanjar and "Sayf Yamaani" (The Old Omani Battle Sword) Royal Hilt Forms. It can be assumed, therefor, that the Sayf Yamaani became iconized in that date period. It may indicate the date in which it ceased to be the weapon used in the Funoon Pageants and was superceded around that time by the straight sayf; The Dancing Sword. If that is the case this could also be the lynchpin connector to the long hilt migrating from the dancing sword to the curved Kattara.... and Kattara iconization to boot.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 22nd March 2012, 09:26 AM   #311
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Old Sayf photo ... arriving soon !

Salaams all; Just about to post... A new variant in dancing swords... The "Abu Falaj". (The one with the irrigation channels) In this case three fullers which would normally be termed "abu thalaatha musayil" ...

In the Abu Falaj however the fullers run almost all the way to the tip. This makes for an extra springy blade ideal for the pageants.... picture on way....maybe today....

This is an old sword late 19th C. (Circa 1880)
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 24th March 2012, 03:31 PM   #312
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Salaams All ~ Here is a dilemma; The case for the Round Tip to Both Swords on;

1.The Old Omani Battle Sword; Sayf Yamaani. see photo below.
2.The Flexible Omani SAYF; The Dancing Sword. see photo below.

First I intend to show the similarity between the two swords above since the second superceded the first in the dance pageant(only) and it can be assumed that some similarities in design would be apparent.

Indeed both swords have 2 razor sharp edges and they both are called Sayf as the honorific flexible sword was given that in respect and honour of the users of the old weapon. ie the forefathers of the nation. Both use the famous Terrs shield and again in remembrance or the former system.

They both were the funun pageant weapons until one succeeded the other(circa 1840) and the only difference was that the old Sayf Yamaani at 1, was a Battle Sword...but is this the only similarity?

It can be argued that some parts of the hilt in the new sword are reminicent of the old... in the Islamic shape of part of the grip. It also could be said that the scabbards are identical in design except the new swords housing is simply longer; but is this all..?

What about the tip? We generally recognise the old sword as having a sharp tip... whilst the new sword tip is very round.

I will now make the case for a round tip on the old Omani Battle Sword and call into support 5 factors;

A. Fighting Style.
B. The Terrs Shield.
C. The Tip design on the New Sword.
D. Age, deterioration and wear.
E. The Funun Mimic Fight.

A.Fighting Style. I compare The Old Omani Battle Sword with the Roman Gladius which was essentially a spear pointed, short sword that had one "major strike"... The Thrust ..combined with the phalanx or defensive formation set behind a huge wall, line or block of defensive but manouverable "large shields".
This manouvre is not possible with tiny bucklers.( Terrs Shields see photo below) The major strike (The Thrust), therefor, is irrelevant in ancient Omani fighting style.

B.The Terrs Shield.The Old Omani Battle Sword used a small buckler shield(Terrs) and had no facility for phalanx protection thus it was used differently... mobile, fast moving swordsmen approaching an adversary rather like a boxer would today... darting in and out; slash and chop behind a fast worked buckler shield... no need for a sharp tip... Just slash and chop. No point in a point... so to speak !

C.The Tip design on the New Sword. I put it to Forum that the weapon had a round tip and many years later this was mirrored in the design of the new dancing pageant only sword. The fact that in the new sword design the dancing and mimic detail whereby the swordsmen can score a winning point by touching the opponents shield hand thumb is incidental and possibly invented after the fact but that the major element in the design is a direct and deliberate copy of the round tip.

D.Age, Deterioration and Wear. Old Battle Swords have some wear in the blades... noticeably because of sharpening(original width of blade can often be found just under the throat at the hilt where sharpening did not occur) and secondly shortening by wear and tear at the tip. It can be assumed that swords are up to one eigth of an inch narrower than before(sharpening) and up to 2 or 3 inches shorter at the tip.
The primary reason why these old blades appear sharp not round... is because of this shortening effect caused by age deterioration and wear. Indeed the tip section of say the final 12 inches of blade is quite a lot less thick than the rest of the blade making wear more likely over time.

E.The Funun Mimic Fight. The Funun mimic fight mirrors the technique outlined at B above in that swordsmen engage like dueling boxers in a mobile, fluid, fast moving, whirling encounter darting in and out and not employing thrust strokes at all. The technique is one of cut and slash working with a very fast Buckler Shield action.


Therefor I conclude that the Old Omani Battle Sword had a round tip, now degraded, and that this is reflected in the new dancing sword design.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Note; At #5 I compared the Old Omani Battle Sword with an Abbasid Sword and need to ammend that accordingly though it is not clear whether in fact the Abbasid could also have had similar attributes in the tip..see http://users.stlcc.edu/mfuller/turk/TopkapiArms2.html
The ammendment should include that the Old Omani Battle Swords main function was Slash and Chop behind a fast worked Terrs Buckler Shield.

Photos; For interest I show a third picture with 3 swords and the Terrs Shield viz;
The Old Omai Battle Sword with Quillons... Sayf Yamaani.
The Flexible Sayf Dancing Sword.. Straight Omani Sayf.
Kattara curved sword on a long Omani hilt.. Curved Kattara.
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Old 25th March 2012, 02:02 PM   #313
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[QUOTE=Ibrahiim al Balooshi]Old Sayf "Abu Falaj" photo.

Salaams all; A hitherto, not seen on forum, variant in Omani Sayf dancing swords... The "Abu Falaj". (The one with the irrigation channels) In this case three fullers which would normally be termed "abu thalaatha musayil" ...

In the Abu Falaj however the fullers run almost all the way to the tip. This makes for an extra springy blade ideal for the pageants....


The Abu Falaj"[/B] noted for its added spring in the dance and pageants owing to three fullers extending virtually to the end point. This one traceable to a great grandfather is antique. I would say 110 years to be fair. (32 inch blade on an 8 inch hilt.)

Although this is not a fighting weapon it is easy to see how onlookers were fooled because with a concerted effort one solid swipe with this could remove a limb. The blade has no marks except 2 small X marks at the throat; likely to be owners identifying marks.

This Omani Dancing Sword; The Omani Sayf, reflects the same spirit of embodiment of the nation of Oman as does the Japanese Katana for Japan. Here in Oman it marks in celebration the honour of Omans ancestors and is worn with great pride at the pageants which are a living history; a handed down set of enacted poems, music, dances and traditions. The Funun.

Great care is taken when choosing Swords for the Funun. Considerable money can change hands for the right blade with which to honour the fore-fathers of the nation. Some become family heirlooms. The blades are locally made in some cases in the past by wandering gypsy (Zutoot) specialists whist others were, and still are, manufactured in Nizwa, Sanau, Mussandam, Salalah and Muscat.

Blades are sharpenend by the owners in respect of the forebears who fought with the Old Omani Battle Sword and so...It is reflected in the dancing traditions (The Funoon) today by a sword that has never seen a war because it is to honour those that did.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Note; Picture attached; The Abu Falaj ( The one with the irrigation channels ) Some work is needed to expertly refurbish the scabbard toe and the scabbard furniture has seen better days and will be replaced by mastercraftsmen~ but this is a beautiful, well balanced pageant and dancing sword.
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Old 28th March 2012, 03:45 PM   #314
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Salaams All ~ Note to Forum.

Re-Comparison of Abbasid sword and Sayf Yamaani The old Omani Battle Sword ... Ammended as below:


The Topkapi museum holds the key. The Abbasid 9th Century Sword in their collection viz; http://users.stlcc.edu/mfuller/turk/TopkapiArms2.html
is compared to the Omani Short Battle Sword (Sayf Yamaani)as follows;

1. Both are early two edged Islamic Arab Battle Swords.
2. Both blades have an integral tang with an added pommel or cap.
3. Both have three holes in the handle which is similarly constructed with rivets. The top hole apparently for a wrist strap.
4. Both weapons have quillons.
5. Both blades are wing shaped in cross section, thinning toward the tip.
6. Both blades culminate in a round/spatulate tip.
7. Both blades (though not all examples of the Omani sword) have the golden dot or dots on the blade. The dot in Islamic geometry is an important centre of the universe construct.
8. Both hilts are topped with a cap in the case of the Abbasid and an Islamic arch pommel culminating in a short spike on the Omani.
9. Neither blade has risers nor fullers though in much later blades fullers may appear.
10. Both blades are stiff and generally only slightly flexible.
11. Both handles are octagonal in cross section *
12. If the rounded tip concept is accepted; the style of fighting must have been "chop and slash" in both cases.

Since the Abassid were in Oman with garrisons suppressing the Ibadi religious movement, thus, in direct conflict with the organisation led by the Omani Ibn Julanda (First Immam) in 751 a.d. It is therefor additionally evidenced by the 12 factors above that their battle sword was designed from the Abassid weapon and slightly changed to reflect a heraldic hilt or modified to the Omani design. It was called Sayf Yamaani though precise location of manufacture is still being sought; Yemen(Hadramaut), Nizwa or elsewhere in Oman being likely contenders.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 29th March 2012, 03:20 PM   #315
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A Partial quote from #307; Elgood cites his reference to the origins of this form and attributes to the Persian wife of the sultan (citing Ruth Hawley "Omani Silver" (Longman group, 1978). I do not have this reference so unsure what details of that reference are.
This tracing of references and sources is one of the best ways to check primary source comments which have often been lifted and paraphrased to see what the original context was.

All the best,
Jim[/QUOTE]


Reference Duly Traced.
Salaams Jim~ On sweeping back I noticed your reference to The Elgood quote at # 307 which inspires me to recommend the simple but brilliantly done pamphlet by Ruth Hawley on Omani Silver (Longman) now out of print (ISBN 0 582 78070 5) In my opinion the best work ever on Omani Silver. For many years and to date this was the only book worth carrying and my copy is in shreads! She indeed does mention the Persian Princess (though not by name, however, there was only one.. "Sheherazade")

"There is a story," she says; that the wife of Sayyid Said bin Sultan, a Persian Princess, grew bored with the curved top of her husbands khanjar, and designed a more ornate one to brighten him up. She is also credited with designing the Al Bu Said Turban.

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Old 28th May 2012, 07:00 PM   #316
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Reference A; 237 of Early makers trade marks (Jim McDougall)
Reference B; Omani Sayf; markings for ID (Ilyiad)

Salaams all, There is an interesting discussion on European with the addition by fernando of a Spanish Rapier which I have considered omongst other things as evidence toward the problem of which mark was copied onto Arabian blades ? ~ The Perrillo Spanish Dog or the Running Woolf of Solingen?

It is my view that whereas German Swords flooded the African market in the 18/19th Centuries that the running woolf was here earlier in the shape of Portuguese weapons and Spanish (both Navies were in these waters) from the late 1400s. The Portuguese in particular were stationed as a foothold on Muscat where they built forts Mirani and Jelali and other places such as Sohar, Musandam, Bahrain etc... from which blade marks could have been seen and copied by local smiths.
The only definition seems to be that the running woolf is seen as running whilst the perrillo dog is more of a rampant rearing shape.

As a secondary note the discussion involves the blademark of a zig zag snakelike object also seen at reference B.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 12th June 2012, 04:00 PM   #317
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Salaams All ~ I was backtracking through the library and ran into something on Omani Saifs #7 by Jens Nordelunde an absolute master of Indian weapons in particular and noted his excellent addition to this debate which I now include on this thread~

Quote "Besides all the blades made in the region, they had a big import of blades and ingots from other countries, India being one of them.
With your interest of old blades from the region I think you will enjoy this book - Hoyland, Robert G. and Gilmoure, Brian: Medieval Islamic Swords and Swordmaking. Kindi’s treatise ‘On swords and their kinds’. Gibb Memorial Trust, London, 2006.

In the book the authors tell of the very famous Yemen blade, and a lot of other interesting things about blades." Unquote.

I don't have the reference.. but if anyone has it (and I am searching the web) please help in reference to this so called famous Yemeni blade which may be the link to the Old Omani Battle Sword blade. AKA "Sayf Yamaani"

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Old 26th June 2012, 08:40 AM   #318
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Salaams All ~ Note to Forum; High quality silver craftsmanship is still being done today on new Omani swords; take for example this straight dancing sword: The Omani Sayf. Likely provenance is Musandam. Chromed blade stamped on one face with a Crown (locals call Taj) and the other ...a lion with sword raised. Triple fullered. (Thulatha Musayl.)
A sword similar to this can be seen at Bait al Zubair museum in Muscat.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 12th July 2012, 06:18 AM   #319
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Salaams All, Now is perhaps a good time to raise the question about those swords at # 1, 28, 47,81, and 144 that defy description as Omani swords but which cry with another voice... Schiavona!!

They are thicker swords which do not easily bend to 90 degrees yet they are two edged probably culminating in a point. Some fullering. Rehilted. These are red sea variants or at least so it seems... however, that can be misleading as they could have drifted in from Italy or Venice and were rehilted in Ethiopian or Arabia or Yemen.

There is another thread with museum swords from Saudia and Yemen..on http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...military+museum

See #1 in particular the second foto right hand blade in glass frame. This thread and #1 first foto is also the source of one of the swords at para 1 above.

Currently on forum are some excellent threads on Schiavona both on the European and Ethnographic Forums ~ It seems like a good time to float the idea of Red Sea Schiavona.

Comments welcome please.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 12th July 2012, 02:55 PM   #320
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Default 14th Century CE trade travel routes Dar El Islam

If one is curious about trade and travel routes in the Islamic world in the 14th Century CE, there are many great maps in Dunn's book, The Adventures of Ibn Battuta.

Battuta travelled between Yemen and East Africa, and much later, by camel caravan from Tunisia into the Sahel, hence to Mali and back.

He also went through Anatolia, Mesopotamia, the steppes, Afghanistan, Sindh, and lived in India.

Dunn gives maps for Battuta's various itineraries, describing the modes of transport and times needed.

There is no information given about travel across central Africa between the East and Mali, as Battuta did not take that route.

http://www.google.com/search?q=dunn...9-1&btnG=Search
But one can get an idea of how very many travel routes existed throughout Dal al Islam, for trade and for making the Haj.

Blades and technicians would have circulated far and wide.

One very great discovery was managing boat traffic across the Indian ocean by exploiting the monsoon patterns. India, Muskat/Oman, Yemen/Hadramaut and Mogodishu and surrounding ports would have been well connected.

Even though Dunn offers an overview, his book is very readable and the maps are a big help.
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Old 13th July 2012, 06:44 AM   #321
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Default Red Sea Schiavona

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams All, Now is perhaps a good time to raise the question about those swords at # 1, 28, 47,81, and 144 that defy description as Omani swords but which cry with another voice... Schiavona!!

They are thicker swords which do not easily bend to 90 degrees yet they are two edged probably culminating in a point. Some fullering. Rehilted. These are red sea variants or at least so it seems... however, that can be misleading as they could have drifted in from Italy or Venice and were rehilted in Ethiopian or Arabia or Yemen.

There is another thread with museum swords from Saudia and Yemen..on http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...military+museum

See #1 in particular the second foto right hand blade in glass frame. This thread and #1 first foto is also the source of one of the swords at para 1 above.

Currently on forum are some excellent threads on Schiavona both on the European and Ethnographic Forums ~ It seems like a good time to float the idea of Red Sea Schiavona.

Comments welcome please.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.



Salaams all ~ The thread to which I draw attention is INTERESTING Ottoman (?) sword.... very old... comments? or just press ...http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ed=1#post142373

There is a great discussion of Schiavona on the European at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14049 by Vandoo which has magnificent photographs of two edged Schiavona.

I intend to show just cause for the transmission of these blades down the Red Sea.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 30th October 2012, 12:43 PM   #322
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Default RAK Kattara

Salam,

I am new to the forum and hope that it is ok to post on this thread. I would like to submit an interesting Kattara i have for comments. See attached photos. The vendor told me it was from RAK (Ras Al Khamiah) and had been in his possession for more than 20 years. The overall length of the sword is 810mm (tip to hilt), with the blade being 645mm long by 20mm at the widest part. The thickness across the back of the blade is 4mm at the widest part. Whilst i have seen similar larger style swords in the UAE/Oman region, i haven’t seen anything this small in size, so would be interested in the forums opinions on origin, use and age, etc
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Old 2nd November 2012, 05:14 PM   #323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Shamal
Salam,

I am new to the forum and hope that it is ok to post on this thread. I would like to submit an interesting Kattara i have for comments. See attached photos. The vendor told me it was from RAK (Ras Al Khamiah) and had been in his possession for more than 20 years. The overall length of the sword is 810mm (tip to hilt), with the blade being 645mm long by 20mm at the widest part. The thickness across the back of the blade is 4mm at the widest part. Whilst i have seen similar larger style swords in the UAE/Oman region, i haven’t seen anything this small in size, so would be interested in the forums opinions on origin, use and age, etc


Salaams Al Shamal~ Welcome to the forum!! and thanks for putting this one on here ... This is a Mussandam rehash. I thought at first glance it could have been an attampt at a Flyyssa? The Sword maker has reground the blade giving a rather peculiar shape; retaining the heavy back edge and playing with the cutting edge ...Could this have been a straight blade? The scabbard toe in what looks like brass appears to be European in design but could be Indian Russian or Chinese...nothing like widening the field !! The decoration otherwise to scabbard and hilt are Omani work typical of The Mussandam. It's curved now so it falls more to the category weapon(Kattara) than dancing sword (straight Sayf). Sword workshops in Oman are certainly capable of modifying weapons and I was just in Muscat where I saw a lot of this going on.
The Mussandam crew, however, are famous for doing this.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 2nd November 2012, 06:13 PM   #324
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Solingen sword at #229

Note to Forum; I saw today(in Muscat)that the The Solingen sword at #229 top picture has now been re scabbarded in Sennau. Regrettably the blade had been reground with a power grinder ... tutt tutt !! The blade is clearly marked in the old style of capitals SOLINGEN and to the reverse STAMM STAMM marked as at original description on #229 etc
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Old 2nd November 2012, 06:23 PM   #325
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Salaams~ Note to Forum ~ Bringing on some more swords following a Muscat Mutrah Souk visit today and yesterday. The general consensus is that big buyers are moving in and snapping up swords and artifacts for museums and collections up the gulf. There are some good items still around but the writing is on the wall. Its going fast.
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Old 2nd November 2012, 06:36 PM   #326
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Salaams ~ Note to Forum ~ and adding to the above post some blade marks to illustrate that Omani blades with marks are copied marks from European makers styles. Illustrated here are the two moon marks, cross and orb, stars and moon clusters (haven't seen a lot of those this is the first) and Passau Wolf... all copied. I have never seen an original European mark on an Omani Sword. Apologies for the occasional blurred pictures. I was wobbly not the camera !
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 4th November 2012, 07:20 AM   #327
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Salam Ibrahiim,

Shokran for your very helpful insights!

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Old 5th November 2012, 03:10 PM   #328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Shamal
Salam Ibrahiim,

Shokran for your very helpful insights!




Salaams Al Shamal ~ Thanks, and I look forward to seeing more of your collection.
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Old 13th December 2012, 11:14 AM   #329
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Omitted: see new thread

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Old 28th January 2013, 06:16 PM   #330
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Salaams Note to Library; Odd stamp .. Stag.

Small Curved Omani KATTARA ... The blade apparently a European style ..heavy back edge on an Omani long hilt. Spotted in Buraimi Souk recently.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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