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Old 15th October 2012, 01:03 PM   #1
A.alnakkas
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Default Publications On Iraqi Arms?

Hello All,

Is there any work about Iraqi arms around? Would appreciate any info.

Lotfy
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Old 15th October 2012, 04:36 PM   #2
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
Hello All,

Is there any work about Iraqi arms around? Would appreciate any info.

Lotfy


Salaams ~ You may like to pop over to the Tareq Rajeb museum in Kuwait... they must have something ..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 16th October 2012, 04:12 AM   #3
Jim McDougall
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Hi Lofty,
Actually I think that any references or articles specifically on Iraqi arms and armour would be difficult to find, as these are typically among the collective corpus of references on Islamic arms in general. In Robert Elgood's outstanding book "Firearms in the Islamic World, in the Tareq Rajab Museum, Kuwait", the arms of Syria and Iraq are given only brief mention in chapter 9, consisting of only three pages. It seems most of the references refer primarily to Kurds, and Syria, but no examples are illustrated, though as Ibrahiim has noted, it would be surprising if there were not some examples in the museum even if of lesser quality that may have not met the standard for the book.
He does note the book by J.L.Burckhardt, "Travels in Syria and the Holy Land" (London, 1822) which seems to focus on Kurds and thier use of some Caucasian arms and thier swords of Arab and Turkish types.

Im not sure of the scope of arms you are interested in and what period(s) but early forms which would correspond to Abbasid swords in degree are found in "Islamic Swords and Swordsmiths" (Yucel).

In "Weapons of the Islamic World: Swords and Armour", exhibition catalog of the 1991 exhibition in the King Faisal Foundation Center in Riyadh, there a number of excellent examples of janbiyya of 'Baghdadi' form. These have enlarged pommel and guard of corresponding shape with narrow central grip and resemble these used by the ethnic group in Iraq I believe termed Marsh Arabs, but I do not have more specific on this. These 'Baghdadi' form janbiyyas are used in Syria and Iraq and listed as NW Mesopotamia as well.

The swords of distinct Syrian type hilt (termed 'Baddawi') seem to certainly have been likely to have been used in Iraq much as they were from Syria into Saudi Arabia.

These are the only references I have seen available in the west with a degree of inclusion of specifically noted Iraqi weapons.

I hope this might help, and would be interested to know more specifically what you might be looking into, maybe I can look further.

All the very best,
Jim

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 16th October 2012 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 16th October 2012, 10:00 AM   #4
A.alnakkas
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Hello All,

Thank you for the info.

Jim, I have Elgoods book somewhere in my pc and have looked at it awhile ago sadly I cant find the information I am seeking.

You are correct that the Syrian style saif (called Soori/Syrian, rather then badawi) the badawi being the Najdi hilt type.

My curiousity regarding Iraqi arms have been growing since I have owned 3 Iraqi shamshirs (I call them Iraqi because they have been there for a long time) and all seem to have distinct pommels in that they do not have a pommel cap and the other decoration can be similar to Persian, Badawi and Syrian styles. In the sense that hilt slabs can have the stars and dots decoration of Syrian hilts and wire wrap etc.

Also, an elderly Iraqi collector have told me some info regarding ( http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15930 ) so I am trying to see if I can gather the same info from other sources.
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Old 16th October 2012, 12:39 PM   #5
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!! I actually found some reference in the Elgood book. I have no idea how I missed it...

The term gdaimi is mentioned in Elgood book but references to Najd Bedouin rather then Iraqis, this ofcourse very helpful and many Najdi tribes have actually moved to Iraq (Zbair for example)

Now another thing I couldnt find is the term "akfa" refering to marsh Arab daggers.

Reference: Elgood, Arms and Armour of Arabia, Page 70 - 71
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Old 16th October 2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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Lofty thank you so much for the response and info, quid pro quo! Outstanding, and exciting to be learning more on these terms. As always applied terms offer considerable challenges in ethnographic weapon typology and nomenclature.
I am curious on the terms used in the Riyadh publication I noted, and interesting to know there are distinctions in the 'badawi' and 'Najd' hilt forms on saif. Could you say more on this? I am wondering also on the 'badawi' term, which I had presumed was with regard to wide occurrence with a full range of Bedouin tribes.
Incidentally, I really look forward to information you share on these fascinating tribal groups! While incredibly complex, this history is entirely intriguing and little known to the west, with the exception of the material in Elgood's "Arms and Armour of Arabia". I'm glad you mentioned it! I had not really forgotten it, but could not locate my copy, buried in the strata here in the bookmobile

There also was the elusive notes on the marsh Arab daggers, which I now realize seem to have a rather characteristic peaked pommel from the other khanjhars with this type hilt, if I understand correctly.

In the thread you linked you noted that the akfa term used for these daggers meant 'the curve' but they were also termed shalfa. Are these words dialectic or varying descriptively? It seems the example shown has a dramatic curve, and perhaps types with less so might be called differently?

On the Iraqi shamshirs, it is interesting that these seem to have the collective character of Persian, Badawi and Syrian types with the exception of the absence of pommel cap as you describe. Would this possibly be a local anomaly with the group if collected together, or possibly a defining characteristic?
We definitely do need more help in these classifications, which actually are clearly far more complex than the obviously broad presumptions carried in far too general references.

Great stuff Lofty!! I hope we can develop some of this further, and learn more on these weapons along with thier associations with Bedouin and Kurdish tribal groups.
All the very best, and thank you again,
Jim
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Old 16th October 2012, 10:32 PM   #7
A.alnakkas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I am curious on the terms used in the Riyadh publication I noted, and interesting to know there are distinctions in the 'badawi' and 'Najd' hilt forms on saif. Could you say more on this? I am wondering also on the 'badawi' term, which I had presumed was with regard to wide occurrence with a full range of Bedouin tribes.


While reading Elgood, he did seem to refer to Syrian saifs as the badawi style (pronounced Badaawi) but based on info gathered from AlSufayan and alSane'a family who specialize in restoration of swords (alSane'a being in the sword business for centuries) they call the Najdi style hilt as Badawi and simply refer to the Syrian variation as Soori (Arabic for Syrian)

Badawi in Arabic means Bedouin but it also can refer to objects or things involved in the bedouin life style such as swords and sadu carpets etc.

Quote:
In the thread you linked you noted that the akfa term used for these daggers meant 'the curve' but they were also termed shalfa. Are these words dialectic or varying descriptively? It seems the example shown has a dramatic curve, and perhaps types with less so might be called differently?


I think the term shalfa is more related towards northern parts of modern KSA. Mainly spoken by tribes there like Dhafeer and Shamar. It is dialectic but likely refers to any curved dagger..

Quote:
On the Iraqi shamshirs, it is interesting that these seem to have the collective character of Persian, Badawi and Syrian types with the exception of the absence of pommel cap as you describe. Would this possibly be a local anomaly with the group if collected together, or possibly a defining characteristic?


Thats what I am to find. I built this opinion based on the last shamshirs I have owned/own and ones sold from dealers here who mainly import from Iraq. The main defining feature is that the hilt does not have a pommel cap. some have a wire wrap and some dont so I guess that part is more of a preference thing. Blades range from wootz to Majari and some European stuff.

Quote:
We definitely do need more help in these classifications, which actually are clearly far more complex than the obviously broad presumptions carried in far too general references.

Great stuff Lofty!! I hope we can develop some of this further, and learn more on these weapons along with thier associations with Bedouin and Kurdish tribal groups.
All the very best, and thank you again,
Jim


Yep, its very complex. Even in the badawi (known as najdi) there is the coastal variation more native to Qatar and Bahrain which has a significantly shorter pommel akin to Persian shamshirs.
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