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Old 16th August 2011, 04:32 PM   #1
Martin Lubojacky
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Default Ethiopian dagger for comment

This is comming from Ethiopia. My idea is the smith was inspired with Caucasian blades (e.g. Russian delegation comming to Menelik at the end of 19th century was accompanied by group of guard Cossacks, representatives of Cossacks from Ural division and others...)
Handle is made of horn, silver and brass.
Any opinion is most welcome.
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Old 17th August 2011, 09:01 PM   #2
Lew
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Martin
Interesting theory? I love the Dagger is the design on the blade on both sides?
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Old 17th August 2011, 10:55 PM   #3
Martin Lubojacky
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Yes, the design is on both sides and it is deep. The dagger is cca 40 - 45 cm long (is not with me now), the blade cross - section is lenticular and thick in the middle. The item was bought in Addis.
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Old 17th August 2011, 11:24 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Martin, this is a most interesting dagger, and I just wanted to say it is great when someone posts an item, and actually presents thoughts or ideas on what they believe it is ! This to me always suggests they have actually done some research, or in the case of those who are notably well versed in a field, to share observations and help discussion. There are too many posts with just a picture and laconic blurbs, and I just wanted to say I appreciate the way you and a good many others offer this kind of participation.
I think your theory sounds most plausible, and look forward to developing the idea.
Thank you for this great example!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 18th August 2011, 07:35 AM   #5
colin henshaw
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Interesting dagger. It may be coincidence, but the handle finial is similar in form to the phallic head ornament worn by the Konso of southern Ethiopia. Here is an image.

Regards.
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Old 18th August 2011, 04:50 PM   #6
Jim McDougall
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It really does seem like I haved seen similar fuller/channeling system on Caucasian kindjhals, and possibly they were Georgian. The Georgians, along with Russia, are Orthodox Christians in majority, and in looking at the interesting symbol on the blade, it appears in the shape of the 'mandorla' (Ital. =almond). The shape is associated with the 'vesica piscis' (the area in the intersection of two superimposed circles, much in the virtual concept of the Star of Solomon created by two opposed and superimposed triangles).

The mandorla is often used in traditional Christian art to create the aureola (as in 'halos' etc.) but typically in vertical position. Perhaps this symbol as seen here may represent that image, noting that Abyssinian art often is very much in the fashion of early Christian iconic art with thier Coptic Christian Faith.
Interestingly, while this almond shaped device, as the vesica piscis, has been linked to Masonic symbolism, Kabbala, mathematical equations and Gothic architectural systems, it has also been suggested to have a 'yonic' value, that is associated with the female genitalia. I only add this note as coincidental to the curiously compelling comment on the pommel shape.
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Old 18th August 2011, 08:06 PM   #7
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Jim and Colin, thank you for interesting remarks, especially info about "mandorla" is interesting. I was thinking about something like eye... Somewhat similar pommel also occurs on Amaro daggers (see photo)
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Old 5th October 2017, 03:14 PM   #8
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Enclosed please find pictures of the Ethiopian dagger with the distinctive pommel which is very similar to the dagger pommel in the first pictures from the top of this thread. Based on the picture of the dagger also with the very similar pommel (incl the signs of geometrical engrawings) published in 1900 edition of "With the Armies of Menelik II" by A. Bulatowich, (photo taken by lieutenant Davydov in 1898). also enclosed below, I tend to opinion that both daggers (beginning of this theread and posted now) are comming from the Ethiopian Jimma Region (or Jima).

My added speculation is that both posted daggers (the first one and now) could be of newer origin than that in the old picture by Davydov) and possibly influenced (as already suggested at the beginning of the thread) by the daggers and qamas of the Russians/Cocsacks who were in the Menelik IIs accompanion (also based on 1901 in the Czech language book "Cossacks in Abyssinia", which is practically translation of the diary of the first lieutenant Krasnov, Head of the Cossack escort of the Russian Envoy to Abyssinia Mr. Vlasov /1897-1898/). I can see the influence in the bottom part of the handle of the dagger posted now and in the grooves of the first posted dagger. If the daggers are from Jimma (the distictive pommel) - it is relatively far from Somali Arabic/islamic influence (Rift Valley) and also from Sudan Arabic/islamic influence. Menelik II was, I think, the first who annexed (militarily) these south western territories to that time Abyssinian "imperium".
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Old 5th October 2017, 06:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Lubojacky
Enclosed please find pictures of the Ethiopian dagger with the distinctive pommel which is very similar to the dagger pommel in the first pictures from the top of this thread. Based on the picture of the dagger also with the very similar pommel (incl the signs of geometrical engrawings) published in 1900 edition of "With the Armies of Menelik II" by A. Bulatowich, (photo taken by lieutenant Davydov in 1898). also enclosed below, I tend to opinion that both daggers (beginning of this theread and posted now) are comming from the Ethiopian Jimma Region (or Jima).

My added speculation is that both posted daggers (the first one and now) could be of newer origin than that in the old picture by Davydov) and possibly influenced (as already suggested at the beginning of the thread) by the daggers and qamas of the Russians/Cocsacks who were in the Menelik IIs accompanion (also based on 1901 in the Czech language book "Cossacks in Abyssinia", which is practically translation of the diary of the first lieutenant Krasnov, Head of the Cossack escort of the Russian Envoy to Abyssinia Mr. Vlasov /1897-1898/). I can see the influence in the bottom part of the handle of the dagger posted now and in the grooves of the first posted dagger. If the daggers are from Jimma (the distictive pommel) - it is relatively far from Somali Arabic/islamic influence (Rift Valley) and also from Sudan Arabic/islamic influence. Menelik II was, I think, the first who annexed (militarily) these south western territories to that time Abyssinian "imperium".

Interesting hilt on the last item you posted pics of. The bottom part looks very much like the Kurdish style and so does the blade shape, BUT the top is certainly not of Kurdish shape. Do you think that the top has been reworked and the pommel added?
Stu
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Old 6th October 2017, 06:17 AM   #10
Martin Lubojacky
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This is interesting idea .... I think this possibility cannot be excluded.

Also the blade was not originally so squashed by cold hammering. Originally it was a little bit thicker and more narrow and smooth (see the 1st cm under the handle)1
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Old 6th October 2017, 09:22 PM   #11
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Dear Martin,
With interest I read your opinion about the origin of Abisinian blade.I admit that I do not understand from African daggers,but I can certainly say that it is not Cossack, Caucasus or Russian.Probably,the used blade is originating in Southern Europe ,in particular Italy Of course, it will be interesting to hear other opinions.
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