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Old 18th December 2013, 06:57 PM   #31
blue lander
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Here's a picture from an old auction described as a "TOUAREG JIBOULA". The pattern on the hilt looks very similar to mine, and there's some similarities in the blade it seems too.


Here's a link to another thread with a similar knife, but much smaller:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?p=36293

Actually, if you google zanzibar sword or jiboula sword you can find lots of similar example. Most blades look like cut down larger blades with fullers going all the way to the tip, but on some the fullers stop right before the end of the blade. I wonder if these are locally made blades that were made to look like cut down European blades. I haven't seen any other jiboulas/s'boulas/zanzibar swords with any kind of maker's mark, though. That seems more common on Nimchas.

Also, do we think this blade was made in Germany for export, or was it once a European sword that made its way to Africa?
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Old 18th December 2013, 08:32 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams blue lander,
Very interesting blade form. Clearly a reworked European blade but from where I wondered may it have originated. I thought Falchion.

Metropolitan Museum Quote."Falchion refers to a type of curved sword that was used in Europe from about 1200. This one BELOW is one of the few to survive from the late fifteenth century. Its long narrow blade and interlaced decoration on the hilt suggest the Middle Eastern influence that was an important feature in Venetian and Spanish art''.Unquote.


Transmission of Nimcha and associated weapons throughout the Mediterranean is well known.. I see this as possibly the potential design origin of your weapon at #1.

Any ideas anyone?

The crosses look similar to those at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=3996 on #3. Perhaps it is attributable to that specific tribal group?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi



An astute assessment Ibrahiim, and it is well established that many of the weapon forms in North Africa indeed have certain distant ancestry from a number of Italian forms. These of course filtered into the indigenous forms over long progression and long standing trade and colonial contact. The form seen here is also termed 'storta' and beyond the blade features note the guard system on the hilt. This configuration is believed to be loosely the ancestor of the Moroccan sa'if ('nimcha') via Arab trade sources as well as trade routes to the east and the Ceylonese 'kastane'.
Other weapon features are considered often to plausibly have Italian infuences such as the lunette pommel on many koummya, and other dagger blades referred to as 'janawi' or derivative (=Genoa).

Fascinating detail on the potential association between Raisuli and the crosses and that is indeed an intriguing historical perspective. I recall a great movie on the Raisuli , "The Wind and the Lion" with Sean Connery.
I often defer from referencing movies in illustrating in discussion but some, like this one, seems reasonably well researched and interesting perspective.
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Old 19th December 2013, 08:14 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
An astute assessment Ibrahiim, and it is well established that many of the weapon forms in North Africa indeed have certain distant ancestry from a number of Italian forms. These of course filtered into the indigenous forms over long progression and long standing trade and colonial contact. The form seen here is also termed 'storta' and beyond the blade features note the guard system on the hilt. This configuration is believed to be loosely the ancestor of the Moroccan sa'if ('nimcha') via Arab trade sources as well as trade routes to the east and the Ceylonese 'kastane'.
Other weapon features are considered often to plausibly have Italian infuences such as the lunette pommel on many koummya, and other dagger blades referred to as 'janawi' or derivative (=Genoa).

Fascinating detail on the potential association between Raisuli and the crosses and that is indeed an intriguing historical perspective. I recall a great movie on the Raisuli , "The Wind and the Lion" with Sean Connery.
I often defer from referencing movies in illustrating in discussion but some, like this one, seems reasonably well researched and interesting perspective.



Salaams Jim... This is one of those moments when suddenly the thick cloud lifts and for a while everything seems clear... links into and from European East Mediterranean to West and to Arabian and far eastern weaponry is sitting there staring off the page. Here are the magnetic attractions caused by war, trade, slavery and exploration between West and East. Not surprising that the great conduit Genoa is in the mix. I see now the potential for the Kastane link, the Nimchas, the east west Mediterranean hands of the Genoans, Italians, East Roman Empire, Arabia et al !! I am learning such a lot from this one... Shukran Jim...

On with the show !!!!

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

P.S. A couple of pictures~VARIOUSLY JANAWI(GENOA DAGGER), SBOULA AND STORTA DAGGERS.
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Old 19th December 2013, 02:42 PM   #34
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I can see a family resemblance to those Storta, as well as the Falchion you posted earlier. I have to say it's been fun watching you guys piece together the history of this blade form.
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Old 20th December 2013, 07:04 AM   #35
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Old 20th December 2013, 07:10 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
I can see a family resemblance to those Storta, as well as the Falchion you posted earlier. I have to say it's been fun watching you guys piece together the history of this blade form.



Salaams blue lander ~ Well much of it has been done before. For example just put into search Storta and heaps of stuff comes up... same with Nimcha, S'boula and the rest.

This thread can run and run.. but it needs input and constructive criticism...Lots of authors have had a go at these linkages some like Burton and Tirri have perhaps been less accurate than others like Buttin.

It is a broad subject reaching across the desert to the Indian Ocean and by sea the long way round as well as desert caravan (the same route that Ibn Battuta took) Transition of sword style and influence is clear on \Zanzibari Nimcha as well as the tantalizing link to the Sri Lankan Kastane. Reverse engineering the designs leads to the city states of Rome, Venice, Constantinople and Genoa...Pressing the button marked slavery, trade and war exposes these swords to international travel to and via South America with the Spanish and into the Indian Ocean aboard Portuguese men of war...

I think for the uninitiated here is a superb place to commence their study...and for me too long perhaps in the blinkered look at Arabian style it is a staggering eye opener.

Here is an idea I had about crosses which have obviously different meanings depending on where you're from..

This one depicts a huge cross( http://m.skinnerinc.com/m/auctions/2680B/lots/642 )and is on a Tekke tribal rug in west Turkmenestan used as a door hanging..The cross signifying a welcome light..The flickering light (if you like) of a candle.

The second smaller picture is the clincher with the St. James Cross form clearly depicted on a Moroccan rug.

This raises another important question... Is what we are looking at the famous Cross of St James/Sandiago (like the necklace shown) or something quite different?


Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th December 2013, 08:09 AM   #37
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Default Sandiago/St James or Southern Cross? Berber!

And...whilst I'm about it ... shall we look to the other great indicator down the historical timeline... Traditional Silver Jewellery.

Salaams all ~ How did the special cross shape gain acceptability in Moroccan traditions? In their designs on rugs and on swords. If the design was well known in Morocco who placed the cross designs on swords ..The Europeans or the Moroccan craftsmen or both?

Look at the design of the cross shaped tribal jewellery below. http://www.dphjewelry.com/art-n0912-104.html

1. On the necklace~This particular cross is stylized from the actual constellation in the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere, the Southern Cross. This design, often with rivets, is associated with the Tuaregs and Berbers.

2. On the ring.. A clear illustration of Berber tradition using the southern cross as the design in this silver ring.

Thus I present the arguement that the St James Cross was not imported to Morocco from the Spanish though it may well have gone the other way entirely. I also argue that it was not the St James Cross but a simple rendition of the Star form seen in the night sky... The Southern Cross. A Berber construct.

Perhaps this also places the basic moon inscriptions in a different light?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th December 2013, 02:34 PM   #38
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Very good information that raises the question... who stamped the crosses and moon in these blades? On the one hand it looks like they were stamped in the metal with a die rather than etched. Can you stamp a cold steel blade, or does it have to be done while it's being forged? I guess you could heat it up to stamp it after the fact, but wouldn't that ruin the temper?

On the other hand, it sort of looks like this blade was cut down at both ends and where the current hilt is attached was once part of the blade. If the crosses were stamped into the blade when it was a longer sword, wouldn't that place them somewhere in the middle of the original blade? If that's the case then they may have been stamped at the time the blade was cut down.
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Old 20th December 2013, 03:06 PM   #39
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Salaams all; Note to Forum. Wikipedia speaks of moons and stars.

Quote. ''Crescent moon and star ;It wasn't until the Ottoman Empire that the crescent moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world. Legend holds that the founder of the Ottoman Dynasty, Sultan Osman I, had a dream in which the crescent moon stretched from one end of the earth to the other. Taking this as a good omen, he chose to keep the crescent and make it the symbol of his dynasty. There is speculation that the five points on the star represent the Five Pillars of Islam, but this is pure conjecture. The five points were not standard on the Ottoman flags, and it is still not standard on flags used in the Muslim world today.


The Ottomans also used a flag with a crescent. When the first Ottoman Caliph, Selim I assumed power, the religious flag and the national flag were separated. While both flags featured a right facing crescent, the national flag was red and the religious flag green, and, at a later date a five-pointed star was added. This type of flag has become the de facto Islamic flag, and is used, with variations, by multiple Muslim lands such as Algeria, Azerbaijan, the Comoros, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Uzbekistan, and the Western Sahara. As the crescent and star have no religious significance however, some Muslim scholars are against attaching these signs on mosques and minarets or using them to denote Muslim societies''.Unquote.

So far as the Berber star situation it seems clear that their ancient traditions which were not written down but were handed down, thus, a Southern Cross format could have preceded the other stars mentioned above. The non religious aspect is interesting since it refers more to the sighting of the new moon (Crescent Moon to ascertain the Lunar Calender) rather than a religious consideration... though it may also have Talismanic reasoning and is, perhaps, pre Islamic as could be the stars and southern cross insignias..

At any rate, moons and stars preceded the advent of such European sword marks since The Ottoman Empire, sometimes referred to as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a contiguous transcontinental empire founded by Turkish tribes under Osman Bey in north-western Anatolia in 1299. That was about 500 years before European trade blades entered Africa.

The transition of moon and star concepts may have moved in parallel with the conquest of Africa meaning that they would have been well versed in its use quite early since the conquest of North Africa continued under the Umayyad dynasty, taking Algeria by 61H/680AD, and Morocco the following year. Even assuming a few hundred years ...it can be seen that by say 1400 AD the moon cross and star insignia across North Africa would have been well known.

In addition the 5 pointed star, crescent moon and southern cross are insignias common in Morocco today.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 20th December 2013, 03:44 PM   #40
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Salaams All Note to Library; Members may be puzzled that a womens jewellery design or an item of womens Jewellery could be used on a mans item such as a sword...however...

The Southern Cross from Agades or Iferwan was originally worn only by men who transferred it from father to son at puberty. It hints to the virility and strength of the young men in relation to their traditional nomad lifestyle. The cross represents the saddle pommel of their camels or in a wider view, the four cardinal directions.

Traditionally a father would transmit the cross to his son saying "Son, I give you the four directions, as no one knows where your path will end."

And.... Each Tuareg village has its own Agadez or Southern Cross. There are 21 distinct crosses that have been documented to identify the Tuareg tribal groups of Northern Niger viewable below and on http://www.raken.com/info/eng/historique/touareg.asp

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th December 2013, 05:37 PM   #41
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Salaams, All ~ Here is one of the very few paintings displaying Arab swords I thought it worth capturing for Library. I can see Yats, Flyssa and some sort of scimitar...

Information Description = Painting entitled "A Tale of 1001 Nights" Oil on canvas, 19'' x 27 7/8'' |Source = http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/datab...age.asp?id=6674 |Date = 1873 |Author = Gustave Clarence Rodolphe Boulanger.

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Old 20th December 2013, 05:41 PM   #42
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Absolutely excellent input Ibrahiim!!! and what you well point out are the profound connections between symbolism, design and iconography in the decoration and styles in ethnographic arms.
In tribal tradition and folk religion there are many interpretations and perceptions pertaining to these interesting elements seen on these arms, and indeed many are considered in accord with western or European counterparts.
The cross as noted, typically is perceived as representing the four cardinal directions, and many symbols and devices have certain ecumenical meanings. Also, celestial symbolism is key in tribal folk religion and various representations in talismanic or allegorical themes.

A great book on much of this, in this case jewelry, is "Africa Adorned" by Angela Fisher. She spent many years in field work studying these very topics with the jewelry of these tribal peoples and shows the significance of varying symbolism and beliefs.

Another aspect of profound associations between material culture, artistic iconography and symbolism on weapons is with items such as rugs and textiles. One instance of this is a book titled "Afghan Amulet", and cannot recall author. It concerns a triangular shape used through Central Asia and its inherent symbolism. Also, Tarussuk & Blair, in their encyclopedia of weapons in the reference on 'flyssa' I believe, note the strong connection between the symbolism in designs in Berber rugs and the apotropaics on the weapons.

Also as noted, the crescent moon was a well known symbol long before Islam, much in the way the Star of David was in use long before becoming associated with Judaism, and the cross symbolically known long before Christianity. In most cases, understanding the application of symbols or devices must be considered in context, as most simple geometric symbols have far different meanings in their various cultural spheres.
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Old 20th December 2013, 06:00 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Absolutely excellent input Ibrahiim!!! and what you well point out are the profound connections between symbolism, design and iconography in the decoration and styles in ethnographic arms.
In tribal tradition and folk religion there are many interpretations and perceptions pertaining to these interesting elements seen on these arms, and indeed many are considered in accord with western or European counterparts.
The cross as noted, typically is perceived as representing the four cardinal directions, and many symbols and devices have certain ecumenical meanings. Also, celestial symbolism is key in tribal folk religion and various representations in talismanic or allegorical themes.

A great book on much of this, in this case jewelry, is "Africa Adorned" by Angela Fisher. She spent many years in field work studying these very topics with the jewelry of these tribal peoples and shows the significance of varying symbolism and beliefs.

Another aspect of profound associations between material culture, artistic iconography and symbolism on weapons is with items such as rugs and textiles. One instance of this is a book titled "Afghan Amulet", and cannot recall author. It concerns a triangular shape used through Central Asia and its inherent symbolism. Also, Tarussuk & Blair, in their encyclopedia of weapons in the reference on 'flyssa' I believe, note the strong connection between the symbolism in designs in Berber rugs and the apotropaics on the weapons.

Also as noted, the crescent moon was a well known symbol long before Islam, much in the way the Star of David was in use long before becoming associated with Judaism, and the cross symbolically known long before Christianity. In most cases, understanding the application of symbols or devices must be considered in context, as most simple geometric symbols have far different meanings in their various cultural spheres.


Salaams Jim.. Shukran ~ Like the Southern Cross insignia .. This thread I believe points in several directions! It is difficult to say where it will turn next since encompassed in the mix are Flyssa, Yatagan, Italian, East and West Mediterranean weapons Tuareg, Moroccan, Algerian, Zanzibari and Sri Lankan swords and daggers... to name but a few.

I have looked into the library but I cannot seem to find your dissertation but it must be in archives somewhere ... from 2003...I think..

I hope we can keep everything under one roof so we can build a major thread from this foundation.

The book you mention is "The Afghan Amulet" by Sheila Paine.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 20th December 2013, 06:24 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
The seller described it as an Asian saber, but it looks too much like a Takouba style blade to be anything but North African. It's going to be awhile before it arrives here but I thought I'd post a few pictures from the auction.

Judging from the odd shape of the end of the blade and the way the fullers look truncated at the tip, I'm guessing this was cut down from a larger blade. The handle looks like it's riveted on, which is odd. Since the fullers look forged and the moon and crosses on the blade look stamped, is it safe to assume this was a European blade made for export to North Africa?

The maker's mark is a man in the moon with three crosses on each side. I found a Nimcha with similar markings, 4 crosses instead of three though, here

There's no sheath with it, so I'm not sure If it's possible to determine exactly where it came from. Any ideas? Or what I should call it? Was it a Nimcha at some point? Is it possible to tell where the blade was manufactured or how old it is? I got a pretty good price on it and nobody bid against me, so I hope I didn't get another dud.


Salaams Blue lander... How are we doing?... Perhaps you would like to chose a direction to spearhead our approach ... pick a sword please ? Its your thread...
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 20th December 2013, 06:52 PM   #45
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My head's still spinning from all the cultural context you've been providing Ibrahiim! Hopefully I should have the blade in my grubby little hands within the next week or so, and I can take more detailed pictures that might provide more clues. As it is, I've learned immensely from following this discussion and I thank you all for sharing your knowledge.

As a side note - I bought another African sword that looks to have a European blade. This one doesn't look cut down, I assume it's some sort of 18th or 19th century cuttoe or hanger. There appears to be a maker's mark near the hilt but you can't quite make it out from the pictures. Some sort of triangle? There may be some writing there too. I don't know if it's interesting enough to warrant discussion like the s'boula, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyways. If I can make out any details on the blade that look interesting I'll of course start another thread.
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Old 20th December 2013, 08:57 PM   #46
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Probably should start a new thread with a different sword.

Looks to me like a variation of a western Sahara "Manding" sword, and if those are hammer marks I think I see, you are likely right that this one is not cut down, but a native made blade.
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Old 20th December 2013, 09:07 PM   #47
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True - I'll start a new thread when it arrives. Doesn't really pertain to the matter and hand, I was just eager to show it off
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Old 21st December 2013, 06:54 AM   #48
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Default Manding, Mandin, Mande

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
True - I'll start a new thread when it arrives. Doesn't really pertain to the matter and hand, I was just eager to show it off



Salaams blue lander~ If you feel it has the slightest relationship to Moroccan Berber or Tuareg weapons then give it an airing and see where it goes... Its an African sword after all but...how did it develop and from where?..

The first place to look is Forum Library where you will find two full pages on Mandingo...( Just type in Mandingo )Whilst it appears that the development of the hilt was an African tribal thing it certainly has similarities across the whole vast region but in terms of blades where they have been commonly imported Manding blades are predominantly French but some are German...as well as the home grown variety; Simply reflecting the dominant French presence in the region and the effects of the massive German trade in blades in the 19th C. into Africa ~

So lets have a look at the web where I just found a nice article at http://art-of-swords.tumblr.com/pos...-a-sword-common

Quote." The Mandingo Sword. The Mandingo is a sword common for the region of Africa. African swords were developed in different countries and different ethnic groups in Africa as war, hunting, cultural and ethical weapon and used. The actual name of the weapon is a expression of this type of weapon, with a particular ethnic group is assigned.

The Mandingo sword has a curved, single edged blade with and overall length of about 78 cm. The blade does not have a central ridge or hollow ground. This part of the sword is narrower in the middle and is slightly rounded. The booklet has no parry while the hilt is covered with wood and copper. The knob is designed as a ball.

These weapons are well known for their leather-work and the work applied to the scabbards. The iron work skills are less well developed. Many blades are taken from European weapons such as sabers and cutlasses. The beautiful leather work and the distinct discs and the guardless hilt, it is quite possible these may have diffused of course to other regions to the west.

While the Baule are a distinct tribal group to the west, it is important to observe that ‘Malinke’ is a variant term applied to the ‘Mandingo’ (also Manding, Mandin, Mande). In Fulani these weapons are called ‘kota’, this being the apparent term in Fulani for sword (probably generally applied).

In general, these remain primarily considered Mandingo weapons, and from regions in Mali. These were of course invariably mounted with European sabre blades of 19th century, and most typically French with the colonial presence there. Also, the Mandingo sword used by the ethnic groups of the Malinke and Mandingo".Unquote.

I suggest that this combined with Forum libraries superb details on Mandingo wraps this one up... Next ?

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st December 2013, 09:57 AM   #49
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Old 21st December 2013, 10:01 AM   #50
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Couple of maps about now to focus the minds...
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Old 21st December 2013, 10:31 AM   #51
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Salaams All !Whilst Forum ponders the above maps and someone throws in an idea on which sword or dagger to link next in this extraordinary tale of design influence ... perhaps a quick vignette on exactly what is meant by Piracy ... The Barbary Pirates...in the Med . Based where? AND IN WHAT?

The Pirate Republic of Bou Regreg
The Republic of Bou Regreg is located on the west coast of Morocco. The area has been settled for thousands of years – Phoenecians, Romans, Berbers (including the Tuareg like Tariq, the harem master), and later Morisco refugees fleeing persecution in Christian Spain.

In the 17th century, the small towns of Sale and Rabat united to form the Republic of Bou Regreg, named for the river that flowed between the two towns. Later, it became associated with the Ottoman Empire.

The republic became a center for trade and supported the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain, and other areas. The walled cities and the gated harbor were very useful to the pirates, providing safe harbor and a market for their captured treasures. Those treasures included plundered gold, silver, spices, silks, fabrics, and slaves which were brought back to the city-state by the pirates after raids on European shipping vessels and towns.

In one decade they took 6,000 slaves and the equivalent of about $5 billion dollars in goods.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st December 2013, 10:42 AM   #52
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Khoummya
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 21st December 2013 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 21st December 2013, 06:03 PM   #53
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Salaams~ So I present the Khoummya of Morocco.

* There is a superb rendition on http://www.vikingsword.com/ethsword/koummya/

* Members are encouraged to type koummya into Forum Search for more than 4 pages of great threads on this subject.

My initial note suggests that this should be the easier of the group to pin down as we have almost already done so earlier. The configuration of the hilt generally follows that of the Genoui or Janwi of Genoa. Many of the swords and daggers mirrored in Morocco and surrounding regions are inspired in design from those of the City States of Genoa, Rome, Venice and Constantinople.
Khoummya;
Full length: 40, 5 cm, blade length; 22 cm

Dagger used by the Muslim peoples of North Africa, particularly in Morocco. Characterized by its slightly curved smooth steel blade, which is half edged, and four fifths counter edged.

The Koummya is always worn visible over the tunic (dejellaba), on the left side, hanging vertically up to waist-length by a long wool string (baldric), tied to the rings of its sheath. This sheath is worn with its point turned towards the front.

I illustrate below the link in the design of hilt between the straight Genoui and the curved Koummya.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st December 2013, 07:23 PM   #54
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Worth considering how these equipments moved over such vast distances...The Camel Train.

Camels were able to eat and drink without stopping...and where permanent overnight facilities existed in towns and cities the stop over places or Caravanserai's were built with wells at their centres. It was not unusual for such trains to consist of over 1,000 animals which could deliver huge loads over long distances.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st December 2013, 07:37 PM   #55
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The Camel.

The technical specifications for this "ship of the desert"; A 4 legged HGV, economical, environmentally friendly beast of burden, personnel carrier, heavy lift and purveyor of trade goods by desert caravans often in teams of more than 1000 animals. It can travel at 20 kph over considerable, grueling distances and barely does its heart rate increase. It can cover 150 kilometres a day and can carry a huge load of up to 200 kg. Remarkably camels were fed and watered on the move therefore big caravans rarely stopped.

Consumption; Very economical! Fuel capacity is either a couple of jerry cans of water every two days or 30 gallons about every 10 days to two weeks so long as it can nibble up greenery on route between times and the odd handful of straw and perhaps some "shire" or wheat from a canvass bucket. They get bad tempered without that extra supplement. It lives for twenty to twenty five years though during that time can give birth only about 10 times.

Remarkably a camel can operate hot… allowing its body to heat up to 115 degrees without sweating (thus preserving fluid). Peculiar urine chemistry 3 times more efficient than other animals allows them to limit fluid loss so that they pass urine far less in hot weather. Specially developed kidneys allow them to drink low quality, brackish, salty water often found in remote desert wells. Their nasal passages are so twisted that the air cools 10 degrees going in and dries as it exhales conserving water by preventing dehydration. The camel sucks in water like a huge vacuum cleaner and can ingest between 20 and 30 gallons in one session of a few minutes. Water is stored not in the stomach but in the tissue cells and blood. Their oval red blood cells can expand 240 times their volume. Humans are in serious trouble when they lose about 5% of body weight through water loss however a camel can drop 25% without any problems. They simply shrink. Their extremely long eyelashes protect them from the glaring sunlight and in sand storms they simply shut their eyes and can see through the lids! Built in anti sand storm and sunglasses!! Somehow they can scent water miles off and will make a beeline straight for the water source. Overnight at camps they can be left on their own untethered but with their front feet tied so that they can wander a little to eat their favourite desert thorn tree food. Given half a chance, however, the camel will run off!

The soles of the feet are calloused so they don’t get hot feet as are the elbows on which they rest when crouched down. Its teeth resemble those of a lion with huge incisors which are used to tear down branches of acacia thorn trees so that the more juicy leaves can be nibbled and eaten. The camel has specially designed mouth and lips to carefully and delicately separate thorn from leaf. Great care must be taken especially in the colder mating season since getting between a bull and a cow can prove fatal. A "Galaisa" or lead bull camel can be very vicious at this time.

Camels get sick for no apparent reason and can suddenly just drop dead. Toxic plants and bad water are their main enemies. After exhausting journeys they need proper rest since they have no mechanism for indicating that they are tired. They are extremely unpredictable and just when you think you have an animal trained it will run away or even try to bite. They are susceptible to fright at the least excuse and a seemingly subdued animal can turn into a wild, bucking, hissing, spitting, biting, mad, demonic beast in a flash for no apparent reason. The apparent lack of concern for their owners makes them easy to steal. Milking can be dangerous as the technique of milking is by the herdsman standing on one leg and leaning against the animal's body; made hazardous as the animal may then try to move or chew the person doing the milking. Mating often has to be assisted by the herdsmen since the male and female are very clumsy animals and giving birth is also hazardous since the newborn can be injured falling to the ground or being trampled by the mother. The male organs of the bull camel are also ridiculously small making mating very difficult.

Camel meat and milk is delicious and virtually free from cholesterol though normally young camels are bred specially for this purpose as are cows in other parts of the world. Camel meat is usually reserved for wedding feasts. The camel has more than 160 words in Arabic underlining its importance in the regions cultural heritage. The word Jamal can mean either beautiful woman or camel. Dreaming of a camel is a good omen. Bedouin are buried in the skin of their favourite camel to be near it in their afterlife. In mythology the stars are said to be grazing camels that are at eternal peace.

Without it the great Bedouin tribes would never have survived and trade around Arabia would have been almost impossible. The huge caravans of camel laden with all manner of goods would not have traded between the great souks of Cairo, Damascus, Aleppo, Marrakesh, Shiraz, Sanaa and Mecca to name a few. They were the vital transport link between the Silk Road to China, Persia, Istanbul, Africa, Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula covering thousands of desert kilometers in years gone by. It is for this reason that the Camel has the well earned name; "Ship of the Desert".


Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

P.S. So you may have thought , like I did, that 1,000 camels in one single train was pretty huge... Think about this... The camel trains across the Sahara Desert were often 25,000 strong !!

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Old 21st December 2013, 10:21 PM   #56
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Dang, they tried to deliver the package today but I wasn't here to sign for it. Oh well, I'll get it Monday. That should give me some time to absorb some more of this thread.
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Old 22nd December 2013, 02:15 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue lander
Dang, they tried to deliver the package today but I wasn't here to sign for it. Oh well, I'll get it Monday. That should give me some time to absorb some more of this thread.


Salaams blue lander... Absorb this!

I would like to look at Nimcha.

As always I urge reference in the direction of Forum Library first. Comparison Moroccan and Zanzibari is at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=zANZIBAR+SWORD

There is a great picture of a similar hilt on the sword of Tobias Blose a Captain in the Great Bands of London in the famous book by the late Antony North (Islamic Arms and Armour). Interestingly this sword plus a variation in the hilt guard etc. surfaced in Zanzibar...with the design addition of a hilt d ring and other variants appeared in the Red Sea regions...It seems plausible that design influence may have played its part in the construction of the Sri Lankan Kastane.

Spanish involvement in the design flow across the Med seems certain as http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=hilts seems to indicate ...

Since Spain was largely involved in the South America discoveries (what I mean is that a Papal act assured Spain of its rights in that region whilst doing the same for Portugal in the Indian Ocean) there are also styles of sword there with obvious linkages. It seems inevitable that a certain amount of dizziness will become apparent as sword transition from the Med influences far eastern designs across the Pacific from the Americas...
The pictures below;

THE PORTRAIT PICTURE; ...Portrait of Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun, ambassador to England from the King of Barbary (Morocco), unknown artist, England, c. 1600. Oil on panel.

(Detail below suggests the link between the swords appearing on the waist of English officers and nobles in that period see Tobias Blose note.)

From Wikepedia; Quote."Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud, Moorish ambassador of the Barbary States to the Court of Queen Elizabeth I in 1600.
Following the sailing of The Lion of Thomas Wyndham in 1551, and the 1585 establishment of the English Barbary Company, trade developed between England and the Barbary states, and especially Morocco. Diplomatic relations and an alliance were established between Elizabeth and the Barbary states. England entered in a trading relationship with Morocco detrimental to Spain, selling armour, ammunition, timber, metal in exchange for Moroccan sugar, in spite of a Papal ban, prompting the Papal Nuncio in Spain to say of Elizabeth: "there is no evil that is not devised by that woman, who, it is perfectly plain, succoured Mulocco (Abd-el-Malek) with arms, and especially with artillery".

In 1600, Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud, the principal secretary to the Moroccan ruler Mulai Ahmad al-Mansur, visited England as an ambassador to the court of Queen Elizabeth I.Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud spent 6 months at the court of Elizabeth, in order to negotiate an alliance against Spain. The Moroccan ruler wanted the help of an English fleet to invade Spain, Elizabeth refused, but welcomed the embassy as a sign of insurance, and instead accepted to establish commercial agreements. Queen Elizabeth and king Ahmad continued to discuss various plans for combined military operations, with Elizabeth requesting a payment of 100,000 pounds in advance to king Ahmad for the supply of a fleet, and Ahmad asking for a tall ship to be sent to get the money. Elizabeth "agreed to sell munitions supplies to Morocco, and she and Mulai Ahmad al-Mansur talked on and off about mounting a joint operation against the Spanish". Discussions however remained inconclusive, and both rulers died within two years of the embassy." Unquote.


Two triple photos of the same swords from library.

Golden Kastane set with Gems and scabbard.

The Omani Zanzibari Nimcha worn as a badge of office thus for comfort perhaps? no D ring but with dragons head quillons (the more practical fighting version sometimes having quillons that support a d ring)

Buttins famous page included.

The gentleman in sandy yellow robes wearing a Moroccan sword ...

Wearing blue robes~ Portrait of Mohammed ben Ali Abghali by Enoch Seeman
Inscribed: Portrait of his Excellency Admiral Hadge Abdulcader Perez, Ambassador from the Emperor of Morocco to the Court of St. James November 1723 – September 1724 and again July 1737 – July 1741
Circa 1740.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 09:46 AM   #58
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Flyssa !

To my eye the Flyssa looks like it has.. Yatagan ... influence.

Salaams all..From the Atkinson collection; Quote."The flyssa is the typical knife of the Kabyle people, a branch of the Berbers who reside in Algeria and Morocco. The name “Flyssa” is drawn from the “Iflissen Lebhar”, one of the major tribal confederations of the Kabyle. The eastern most group of the Kabyle is the At Zouaou who live in the Djurdua range of Little Atlas mountains in NE Algeria This tribe that has specialized as the armorers and creators of the flyssa. Among young men of the Kabyle, the acquisition of his sword (or dagger in later periods) was a sort of rite of passage. Elaborate symbolism decorates the flyssa, and these symbols (amuletic geometric figures) are a key to the folk religion in these regions".Unquote.

History
The Kabyle are Berbers located primarily in Morocco, Tunisia, western Libya, and the coastal mountain regions of northern Algeria. The Africans call this entire region of North Africa Maghrib. "Berber" comes from an Arabic name for the aboriginal people west and south of Egypt.

The Kabyle live in the rugged, well-watered al-Quabail Mountains. These inaccessible peaks (some as high as 7,000 feet) have long been a refuge for the Berbers, forming a base of resistance against the Romans, Vandals, Byzantine, and Arabs.

The Flyssa exists as a dagger and sword both. There is a child weilding a Flyssa sword at #41 third sword from the right... Also pictured are Yatagan.

Below some more including;

Long and short Flyssa versions.

A '"Khodmi bu Saadi" a sister knife to the Flyssa.. with the reddish scabbard.

Yatagan for comparison on the female model posing for the Orientalist artist.

"The Arms Merchant" by Rudolph Ernst completes my vignette showing the design link with Yatagan.

The short, curious, very curved other variant of Algerian Flyssa.

On a red carpet background two Flyssa.

That rounds off my Flyssa details..

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 02:47 PM   #59
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Old 24th December 2013, 11:22 AM   #60
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Salaams all ~ For an excellent comparison and cross breed see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17081
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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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