Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 19th September 2015, 11:43 PM   #1
Timo Nieminen
Member
 
Timo Nieminen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 393
Default Khyber knives

Here are three Khyber knives (or two and a half, since one is a bare blade).

I bought the top one new, in the late 1980s. Horn grip. Maker unknown; it's the kind of thing made by the likes of Windlass and Deepeeka. 745g, scabbard is 210g. The bare blade is old, with forging flaws, delaminations, cracks in the spine from being stood on by camels or similar. The blade isn't quite straight, but is straight enough to be usable if I put a grip on it. The rim around the tang is a separate piece, soldered(?) on. 670g. The bottom one is recently acquired. Scabbard has strips of iron/steel around it, and tin chape and throat. Horn grip with nails/studs. 515g, scabbard is 252g.

As can be seen from the weights, the modern one is heavy for its size. Not unusably so, but it does carry a lot of that extra weight around the tip. To compare the three, the thicknesses of the spines and blades (halfway between edge and spine) are, at the base of the blade, mid-blade, and near the tip are:

Top spine 10.4mm 10.3mm 9.0mm
Top blade 3.8mm 3.8mm 3.0mm
Middle spine 9.5mm 9.5mm 6.9mm
Middle blade 3.7mm 2.8mm 3.1mm
Bottom spine 8.9mm 8.2mm 5.4mm
Bottom blade 2.8mm 2.9mm 2.7mm
Attached Images
 
Timo Nieminen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st September 2015, 10:22 AM   #2
estcrh
Member
 
estcrh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,497
Send a message via AIM to estcrh
Default

One thing I have noticed is that you rarely see a really nice example of a khyber knife, most of the ones I see look well used and not very fancy, certainly not something that would be called a "parade" weapon for sure.
Here is one next to a torador rifle and pistol, almost a sword instead of a knife.
Attached Images
 
estcrh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st September 2015, 10:56 AM   #3
RobertGuy
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 118
Default Another beat up Khyber knife

Just adding to the pictures of beat up Khybers. This one has bone grips I think. The scabbard was too far gone so I have recovered it.
Attached Images
  
RobertGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2015, 07:51 AM   #4
David R
Member
 
David R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 404
Default

I have posted this one before, but for what it's worth here it is again. The scabbard is a shattered ruin that I hope to restore some day.
Attached Images
 
David R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2015, 02:13 PM   #5
sirupate
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: England
Posts: 373
Default

Lovely blades
sirupate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 03:25 PM   #6
Goodie
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3
Default Afghan weapons

I was glad to find such a recent conversation on the topic of Khyber knives (using the generic term). I recently joined the forum and this is my first post. Iíve been in Afghanistan for about 7 years and over time have accumulated several short swords and knives from the eastern Pashtun tribal areas. I know nothing about them. I have started reading what I can find in older posts in this forum and on the internet. I have attached a couple of photos (assuming I uploaded them correctly) and would appreciate any information you can share.
Attached Images
  
Goodie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 10:27 PM   #7
David R
Member
 
David R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 404
Default

This looks like one of the Military rather than Tribal weapons. There are some threads about that very subject here.
David R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2015, 11:49 PM   #8
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,531
Smile

I'd guess many Khybers with this general hilt pattern were probably either family or private purchase blades re-hilted to fit military standards .
Very nice sword .
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th September 2015, 08:54 AM   #9
Kubur
Member
 
Kubur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,093
Default

Hi
Here is mine.
I have also a Khyber pistol with the same birds...
Kubur
Attached Images
  

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 29th September 2015 at 12:57 AM.
Kubur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th September 2015, 01:26 PM   #10
Goodie
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3
Default Interesting birds

Thanks for the photo of the birds and the comments. interesting that the dove and rose pattern reoccurs so often. I've seen it twice before, in the north where the Tajiks prevail. The sword in my photo was given to me in Nangarhar. The family was Pushtun but a lot of them in Nangarhar come from the north. I'm also thinking the earlier comment suggesting that the sword was a private sword modified with a military style hand guard is correct.

I've also got what looks like and ordinary traditional khyber knife but it has a stamp on the blade that I thought was only on military issue. Lots to learn!
Attached Images
  
Goodie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2015, 12:37 PM   #11
mahratt
Member
 
mahratt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Russia
Posts: 522
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodie
Thanks for the photo of the birds and the comments. interesting that the dove and rose pattern reoccurs so often. I've seen it twice before, in the north where the Tajiks prevail. The sword in my photo was given to me in Nangarhar. The family was Pushtun but a lot of them in Nangarhar come from the north. I'm also thinking the earlier comment suggesting that the sword was a private sword modified with a military style hand guard is correct.

I've also got what looks like and ordinary traditional khyber knife but it has a stamp on the blade that I thought was only on military issue. Lots to learn!


I know a few of the Khyber knife, where ethnic handle was connected to blade the regular Khyber knife. I think it was in the 20th century, when in the Afghan army edged weapons has ceased to play a big significance. And surplus the army edged weapons were at the civilians.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17522
mahratt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2015, 07:29 PM   #12
Miguel
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 557
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodie
I was glad to find such a recent conversation on the topic of Khyber knives (using the generic term). I recently joined the forum and this is my first post. Iíve been in Afghanistan for about 7 years and over time have accumulated several short swords and knives from the eastern Pashtun tribal areas. I know nothing about them. I have started reading what I can find in older posts in this forum and on the internet. I have attached a couple of photos (assuming I uploaded them correctly) and would appreciate any information you can share.

Hi Goodie,
Well come to the forum and for sharing such a nice piece
Miguel
Miguel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2015, 12:53 AM   #13
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,684
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I'd guess many Khybers with this general hilt pattern were probably either family or private purchase blades re-hilted to fit military standards .
Very nice sword .



Well surmised Rick!
It seems that many of the auxiliary levy's of Afghan forces were of course largely of varied tribal groups, so it does seem logical that these heirloom blades might have been installed in these military hilts. As has been well researched by Mahratt, much of this was done in the Mashin Khana arsenal in Kabul.

The use of 'family' or 'trophy' blades was well practiced in Russian military, especially Cossack regiments, which were largely Caucasian men with heirloom shashkas. Often trophy blades from battle from various European sources were mounted in Russian regulation sabres.

This kind of hybridization is to me one of the most exciting sectors of study in these arms.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2015, 12:59 AM   #14
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,684
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi
Here is mine.
I have also a Khyber pistol with the same birds...
Kubur




This is really a fascinating motif with the doves and rosette!
I wonder how widespread it is and if there may be some symbolic significance?

For some reason it seems Persian, perhaps because of similarly inlaid designs such as the 'simorgh' bird.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2015, 04:50 AM   #15
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 3,985
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
This is really a fascinating motif with the doves and rosette!
I wonder how widespread it is and if there may be some symbolic significance?

For some reason it seems Persian, perhaps because of similarly inlaid designs such as the 'simorgh' bird.



Salaams Jim ... There are a number of bird designs associated in Persian history and myth... The Dove for example...from http://periesproject.english.upenn....an-culture.html

Quote "Dove: Doves were highly regarded in Persian culture. For Muslims (as for Christians) they had a religious valence, as they are revered for once helping Muhammad by distracting his enemies during one stage of the Hijrah from Mecca to Medina, enabling him to escape. They were also romantic symbols, as doves were supposed to act as messengers between sailors lost at sea and their sweethearts, bringing them their final words of love, a tradition that may have arisen from the white doves Greek sailors are supposed to have witnessed escaping from sinking Persian ships during a naval expedition of 492 (Waterfield 32)".Unquote

The same reference goes on to describe other birds.
I found it interesting that the same reference illustrates a bibliography with the ancient recipe for Barbequed Persian Peacock !! Below.

In support I show this web site http://www.ancient-symbols.com/persian-symbols.html which describes Griffins, Huma and the Simorgh all famous in Persian Mythology.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Attached Images
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2015, 03:21 PM   #16
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,173
Default

Hi,
This is a standard Khyber knife that has been 'militarised' with the addition of a 'European' style guard presumably in the late 19th early 20thC. Unusually it is also mounted for a left handed user.
Regards,
Norman.
Attached Images
 
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th September 2015, 04:26 PM   #17
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,531
Smile

Shouldn't we be calling these weapons 'Salawar' ?
Khyber Knife being the Western term .
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2015, 02:09 AM   #18
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,684
Default

Ibrahiim, thank you, that information was exactly what I was thinking of!
It is well established that the Persians profoundly influenced these regions just as throughout Central Asia, so interesting to know more on these motifs.

Norman....quintessant example!!!

Rick, well noted, the local term 'siliwah' was colloquially coupled with 'yataghan' (which obviously this has nothing to do with) for the collectors term 'salawar yataghan'.
These terms become confounding in discussion as semantics defy proper terminology once they have dominated published material for ages.

As with 'katar' (correctly jamadhar) it is futile to try to use the right term as it is too confusing.

It seems that the 'paluoar' term for the well known downturned dragon head quillon, cup pommel sword designated Afghan........is actually not locally termed as such.....in fact is actually an Indian form of tulwar.

Auuughh!!!

Banana fana fo fana, ......the naaame game!!!
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2015, 10:41 AM   #19
Goodie
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3
Default

Miguel - thanks for the "welcome.
Thanks to all for the information and comments.

The "Persian" influence never occurred to me but would make sense. The birds show up a lot in carvings and carpets too.

After reading some of the older posts in the forum, I debated about what to call them and opted for the"generic", assuming that even if not entirely correct, everyone would know what I was referring to when using the term "Khyber Knife".

Best Regards
Goodie
Goodie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 06:40 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.