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Old 3rd September 2013, 12:50 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default The Dharia Dagger

Dharia is the term used to describe the long dagger which originates from the west of modern day Saudi Arabia, around the Azir/Hijaz area, and down as far as Yemen.
The word Dharia appears to come from the Arabic Dhura'eyah which translates as Arm Long Dagger. These daggers are also called Sabiki, Sabak, Sabik etc depending on the spelling. The term Wahabite is also commonly used to describe these, but any direct connection with the Wahhabi Movement except perhaps the actual geographical area is likely very co-incidental, and perhaps that this style was one used by them. To my knowledge there is no concrete proof of this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabi_movement
Styles do vary considerably but some hilt styles can be linked to actual Tribes, such as Bani Malik, Bani Qarn and Bani Shahr.

There are a few useful books available for reference and they are:
Weapons of the Islamic World--Swords and Armour
Published by King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh
The Arms and Armour of Arabia Robert Elgood
Jambiya-Daggers from the Ancient Souks of Yemen Stephen Gracie

The Dharia was/is worn in a horizontal way across the body and the hilt is always shown to the left. The reason for this is not clear, but may have roots in the Arab culture, where the right hand is used for "clean" tasks such as eating, and the left for other less hygienic uses.

If anyone wishes to add further detail or correct the above, please do so. I have a particular interest in these daggers and am always interested in further information. Any non Forumite who wishes, can email information to sabiki@clear.net.nz

Stu
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Old 3rd September 2013, 04:10 AM   #2
Battara
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Some of these are the size of short swords!

Thank you for clearing up the term "Wahabite" for nomenclature.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 04:49 AM   #3
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Default Short sword? Yes I think so....

Yes indeed these could well be used as a short sword. The two longest I have (2nd to top in bottom pic) is 25" overall and the blade is 16 1/2", (and second from left on the first pic on belt) is 25 1/2" overall with a 19 1/2" blade.
Stu

Last edited by kahnjar1; 3rd September 2013 at 06:36 AM. Reason: Additional info
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Old 6th September 2013, 12:24 PM   #4
A.alnakkas
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Excellent info, Stu. Thanks!

I would like to add that the term dharia is indeed derived from Dhurai'ah which is derived from dhera'a or arm length.

Both the term dhurai'ah and Sabiki refer to these long daggers though sometimes it appears to be regional names rather than type names...
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Old 6th September 2013, 09:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.alnakkas
Excellent info, Stu. Thanks!

I would like to add that the term dharia is indeed derived from Dhurai'ah which is derived from dhera'a or arm length.

Both the term dhurai'ah and Sabiki refer to these long daggers though sometimes it appears to be regional names rather than type names...
I agree.... regional terms used to describe these daggers/short swords do differ. Dharia appears to be the term favoured by the Saudis (King Faisal Center), whereas Sabiki/Sabik/Sabak etc seem to be used in the west and southwest (Yemen area) for these. As stated above, the term Wahabite does not seem to figure in the local descriptive list, and is likely a convenient term used by collectors.
TYPE names are different and relate to the HILT STYLE and BLADE TYPE. I have not included that information here, but it can be found in the publication by the King Faisal Center.
Not all styles shown in my pics are identified by name, but some are. Give me a few days and I will add the information that I have.
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Old 7th September 2013, 11:10 PM   #6
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Default Hilt Style and Blade Style names

Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
I agree.... regional terms used to describe these daggers/short swords do differ. Dharia appears to be the term favoured by the Saudis (King Faisal Center), whereas Sabiki/Sabik/Sabak etc seem to be used in the west and southwest (Yemen area) for these. As stated above, the term Wahabite does not seem to figure in the local descriptive list, and is likely a convenient term used by collectors.
TYPE names are different and relate to the HILT STYLE and BLADE TYPE. I have not included that information here, but it can be found in the publication by the King Faisal Center.
Not all styles shown in my pics are identified by name, but some are. Give me a few days and I will add the information that I have.
As promised here is the information I have on names given to various hilt styles.
Refer the top pic from left to right:
1.SHBEYL
2.SHBEYL
3.This is NOT a Dharia. It is an Al Mahri Khanjar
4.RASHAQ
5.SAYFANI
6.SHBEYL

Second pic top to bottom:
1.SHBEYL
2.MUQAFFALA or MUFARRAGHA
3. Probably as above but a much earlier piece.
4. Unknown
5.MALSA
6.RASHAQ
7.Unknown Saudia

BLADE NAMES:
Central rib blade is called MUAYYAR
FLAT blade with no rib is called BEYD
Rhomboidal blade with no rib and usually highly polished is called NAFIHI.

As usual I stand corrected if these terms are wrong.

Stu
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