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Old 8th December 2010, 04:53 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default ARABIAN SPEARS-HAS ANYONE SEEN THESE?

In his book Arms and Armour of Arabia, Elgood illustrates spears used on the Arabian Peninsula. Has anyone seen these, or better still actually got any in their collection? We see many spears on the Forum, from Africa, and other places, but I do not recall ever seeing any described as being from Arabia.
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Old 8th December 2010, 09:54 AM   #2
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Default Arabian lances

The problem is that he doesnt provide any clear illustrations, one hazy photo and one somewhat indistinct painting . The descriptions in many cases are very detailed but each seems to describe something completely different . References to lances up to 25 feet long seem astonishing and a bit unlikely to me .. what would be the point ( forgive the pun ) of such an unwieldy weapon . However I have been inspired by your post to check through my lances / spears to see if any match any of the descriptions .
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Old 8th December 2010, 11:18 AM   #3
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Old 9th December 2010, 02:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas


Fantastic collection of old photos!!! It's wonderful to see. Thanks for sharing!!!
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Old 9th December 2010, 03:32 AM   #5
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Sorry my mistake as to source. Not Elgood, but from an exhibition at the King Faisal Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Pic attached describes the spears as being called SHILFA and from the Najd Region of Saudi Arabia.
Mounting is described as bamboo sticks.
..................so I guess the original question remains. Has anyone seen these or have any in their collection?
Thanks to those who have replied re the Lance, but not quite what I was trying to find out about, though interesting just the same.
Regards Stu
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Old 12th December 2010, 02:41 AM   #6
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Stu,
I've attached some additional photos of Bedouin spears, although they look more like a lance to me.
As previously mentioned it appears bamboo is the preferred haft.
The caption for the photo of the spear head by itself says that " this is not typical, most spear points are more conical and elongated in form". From the other illustrations I guess he is saying that the bedouin spear head usually has a long metal cyclinder running from it into the haft.
This may be a means of identifying these spears. I'm not a spear man but it could be useful information.
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Old 12th December 2010, 03:37 AM   #7
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Thanks Steve. The guy on the horse, I would say, has a lance rather than a spear. I like the saddle gun though That group of spears you have shown does not look like those in the earlier pic from the exhibition in Riyadh. Is there a caption with the group you show?
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Old 12th December 2010, 07:53 AM   #8
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Caption reads " Typical of Bedouin spears, this range of examples displays the conical and elongated form of the head and the blunted shape of the spike, for sticking into the ground, at the other end".

They look reasonably easy to identify?
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Old 24th November 2015, 11:36 PM   #9
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Last edited by estcrh : 25th November 2015 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 25th November 2015, 07:29 AM   #10
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Great images, thanks for posting. Arabian spears/lances have always been a bit of an enigma. These images (from the Jordan area ?) show the distinctive form of head with that metal "sleeve".
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Old 25th November 2015, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
Great images, thanks for posting. Arabian spears/lances have always been a bit of an enigma. These images (from the Jordan area ?) show the distinctive form of head with that metal "sleeve".

Colin, I am sure that there are more examples out there, just as I am sure that some people have these in their collections without knowing what they are. Some more images would be helpful, most are blurred or not detailed enough to learn anything from.
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Old 25th November 2015, 09:19 AM   #12
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I have a feeling these may get misidentified as Indian at times. That would be initial reaction without the photo evidence of where they are actually from!
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Old 25th November 2015, 10:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Sorry my mistake as to source. Not Elgood, but from an exhibition at the King Faisal Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Pic attached describes the spears as being called SHILFA and from the Najd Region of Saudi Arabia.
Mounting is described as bamboo sticks.
..................so I guess the original question remains. Has anyone seen these or have any in their collection?
Thanks to those who have replied re the Lance, but not quite what I was trying to find out about, though interesting just the same.
Regards Stu


An observation - I'm fairly sure the blade on the spear at the far right of this image is from Somalia. ie. the image with the red background.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
An observation - I'm fairly sure the blade on the spear at the far right of this image is from Somalia. ie. the image with the red background.


Colin, the one with the arrow, it does look distinctly different than the rest.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Colin, the one with the arrow, it does look distinctly different than the rest.


Yes, that the one...
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colin henshaw
Yes, that the one...


It is, typical for the region and a similar style can be found in Ethiopia as well I believe.
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Old 25th November 2015, 11:57 AM   #17
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Does anyone else think this one is a re-purposed Qama/Kindjal blade?
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Old 25th November 2015, 12:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
Does anyone else think this one is a re-purposed Qama/Kindjal blade?



Yes, this makes sense in my opinion. The other lance heads have a central rib for stiffening but this example has two fullers, which makes no sense on a lance head. The lower end of this lance head is another indication.

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Old 25th November 2015, 04:39 PM   #19
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I think I have a spearhead that corresponds to your photos ..
iron measuring 22cm long and 48cm with sleeve
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Old 25th November 2015, 05:11 PM   #20
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That sleeve at the base looks a very good way of converting another blade into a spearhead. Looking at the photos above make me wonder if this one started life as a dagger.
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Old 25th November 2015, 05:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
Does anyone else think this one is a re-purposed Qama/Kindjal blade?


What about this one.
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Old 25th November 2015, 05:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weapons 27
I think I have a spearhead that corresponds to your photos ..
iron measuring 22cm long and 48cm with sleeve
Looks like a match to me.
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Old 26th November 2015, 04:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weapons 27
I think I have a spearhead that corresponds to your photos ..
iron measuring 22cm long and 48cm with sleeve


This is one in my collection. Some have copper or bronze inlay or slots on the shaft.
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Old 26th November 2015, 02:46 PM   #24
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Although my primary interest is Ethno firearms, I enjoy reading these Threads and always learn something. And sometimes I get a surprise.........

Steve: Thanks so much for the photo showing a Ottoman style Knee Pistol suspended from a belt in typical "ready" fashion. Best original pic I've seen.

Estcrh: Thank you for the original pic showing the warrior in the middle with a brace of pistols being carried in a typical Ottoman style double bucket/holster.

Thank you again gentlemen. I can add these photos to my gun library.

It seems the spear/lance was one of the oldest, most widely used weapons in history, dating back to the stone age.

Rick.
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Old 26th November 2015, 04:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
This is one in my collection. Some have copper or bronze inlay or slots on the shaft.


Nice example. What are the dimensions? Could you perhaps photograph it next to a saif? One of the hardest things I find with spears is to get a sense of the scale of the heads.

PS: Clean it up!
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Old 26th November 2015, 07:28 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Although my primary interest is Ethno firearms, I enjoy reading these Threads and always learn something. And sometimes I get a surprise.........

Steve: Thanks so much for the photo showing a Ottoman style Knee Pistol suspended from a belt in typical "ready" fashion. Best original pic I've seen.

Estcrh: Thank you for the original pic showing the warrior in the middle with a brace of pistols being carried in a typical Ottoman style double bucket/holster.

Thank you again gentlemen. I can add these photos to my gun library.

It seems the spear/lance was one of the oldest, most widely used weapons in history, dating back to the stone age.

Rick.


Rick, Colin Henshaw originally posted the photo of the knee pistol on another thread, he said it was from "Traditional Crafts of Saudi Arabia" by John Topham, 1982. There is a mention of both the lances/spears of the Bedouin and their firearms.
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Old 26th November 2015, 09:25 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
This is one in my collection. Some have copper or bronze inlay or slots on the shaft.

Another nice example.
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Old 27th November 2015, 03:20 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Estcrh: Thank you for the original pic showing the warrior in the middle with a brace of pistols being carried in a typical Ottoman style double bucket/holster.

Rick, here is one more example.
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Old 27th November 2015, 11:27 AM   #29
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In my ignorance, I catalogued this as being from Kafiristan, because of the way the base is 'stepped' - which looks similar to a Kafiri dagger. So, now I know better !

Unfortunately, the wooden shaft is not original, it looks like it has been put on by a collector.

Is there any definite information about the distribution of these spears in Saudi Arabia ?
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Old 27th November 2015, 11:57 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJ
In my ignorance, I catalogued this as being from Kafiristan, because of the way the base is 'stepped' - which looks similar to a Kafiri dagger. So, now I know better !

Unfortunately, the wooden shaft is not original, it looks like it has been put on by a collector.

Is there any definite information about the distribution of these spears in Saudi Arabia ?


Another nice example. If these are mainly a bedouin weapon then distribution would have been much wider than just Saudi Arabia, I believe that the bedouin were all over the Middle East/North Africa.
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