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Old 24th February 2005, 01:00 PM   #1
Conogre
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Default Oman Jambiya For Comments

I've finally obtained what I think is a genuine, Omani style Jambiya for my collection, and thought I'd ask some opinions on it to see if I'm anywhere near on target.
I think that this is basically a "social climber's knife", that is, a knife made to appear to be much more than it really is if viewed in the light of a status symbol for wear with formal attire. The "mark" or symbol on the back of the hilt I find interesting, as all that I've seen in the past were relatively plain and it seems out of place.
As always, any and all comments are appreciated, both pro and con, as I plead guilty to being anal-retentive and obsessive when it comes to minute or trivial details.**grin**
Mike
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Old 24th February 2005, 03:32 PM   #2
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The symbol of Saudi Arabia
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Old 24th February 2005, 03:59 PM   #3
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Mike, Congratulations, this is an excellent jambiya. I love this form with the silver braided between the rings instead of stitched across the leather. I have seen a handful of these and they are usually very expensive. I passed one up in Dubai at $150 and I still regret it. What was I thinking?

Artzi may be able to say without looking it up, but I'll try to peg it to a bani (family) when I can get to my books later.

The blade looks quite old, which is even rarer as they do not legally allow old blades out of Oman (don't know about Saudi).

And another rare feature is the old belt. All in all, a fantastic find.

-d
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Old 24th February 2005, 05:42 PM   #4
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Thank you.....I'm very pleased with it after 1/2 dozen of the obvious tourist pieces, to say the least.
I noticed many areas with a greenish residue, leading me to think that it was silvered brass rather than silver, and likewise, there's what looks and feels like plastic amongst the leatherwork, both of which seemed out of place when compared to the rest of it.
Somehow, Saudi never occurred to me.
Mike
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Old 24th February 2005, 06:23 PM   #5
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The silver alloy is pretty standard. This dagger has had some addons over the years, again not unusual. See pics of one of mine below. The plastic - I don't know, would have to see it, but it doesn't matter. It's very likely that this was being wron by someone up until fairly recently and they were willing to use anything they could get to make repairs. A bedouin wouldn't necessarily refuse plastic just because it's "not authentic".

Don't make too much of origins when trying to pin it to a country either. Those borders have been quite fluid for some time and even today there are large swathes of desert that are not clearly defined as borders between countries like Oman and the UAE. If I can find a reference to a family for the style it will help, but I'll have to look later.

That's a good, genuine and well-used jambiya.

-d


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Old 24th February 2005, 07:36 PM   #6
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Check this out:
http://forums.swordforum.com/showth...ghlight=jambiya

Apparently, the number of rings may have certain significance and a 4-ring one may have a better chance of being "authentic" than the 7-ring one.
Any additional insights?
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Old 24th February 2005, 08:03 PM   #7
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According the Ministry of Information in Oman, and what locals always told me in the UAE, the 7 ring is the more valued form. I guess that means that modern ones are more frequently made in that style, but I can say with certainty that even the new ones are often "authentic" in that they are made just like the old ones -- apart from the blade, of course. Most new ones have cheap blades made from two pieces of cut metal stamped together. But then again, most old ones have replacement blades as well.
-d
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Old 24th February 2005, 09:21 PM   #8
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You just HAD to include a thread to follow, eh Ariel?
Until I read that thread I didn't know that I needed a kattara too!!!**grin**
All kidding aside, it DOES explain a lot and I thank you very much.
Mike
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Old 26th February 2005, 01:37 PM   #9
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Conogre,

Weapons of the Islamic world shows three examples indentical to yours and lists them as "Doojaniyan" style and describes the grip as rhino horn. I noticed that your grip looks fibrous. A closeup?

-d
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Old 26th February 2005, 01:42 PM   #10
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Actually,
I can see it well from the pic w/ the Saudi emblem. Looks like rhino to me. Here's an Ethiopian with a very similar look:
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Old 26th February 2005, 02:02 PM   #11
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Again, thank you for the wealth of information.....I'm pretty certain that it is Rhinocerous horn, with it looking very similar to a pair of Wahabite daggers that I was lucky enough to acquire a while back.
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Old 26th February 2005, 02:04 PM   #12
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Here's a few photos of the smaller Wahabite dagger...this is where my confusion came in as I thought this was the Saudi Arabian style.
Mike
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Old 26th February 2005, 04:00 PM   #13
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Hi Conogre,

I have one identical to this. This exact style is noted as a "dharia, known as rashaq" of the bani (family) Shahr and bani Malik in Saudi. This again, is from Weapons of the Islamic World, published by the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies. There are many variations of these styles in the Arabian peninsula and it's probably better to think in terms of tribal/family associtations rather than countries and regions.

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Old 26th February 2005, 06:36 PM   #14
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Thank you for the information.
The smaller one is 13 1/2", while my larger one is 19", my being fortunate enough to get the pair together.
Do you have any idea where I could obtain a copy of this literature on the Arabic knives?
As is so often the case, so much is lost when something becomes anglicized, going from a treasure to "just a thing".
Mike
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Old 26th February 2005, 08:18 PM   #15
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Well, the book I am referring to was first made known to me by a Jordanian antique dealer in the UAE. It is sold through the Centre for Research in Riyadh. I went there on a business trip (shortly before things started getting crazy there) and with the help of a lebanese colleague I got a large box of them and brought them home in my suitcase. Several forumites bought all the extras, and I was trying to get more at one point. However, all my friends in Riyadh have left and my arabic isn't good enough to get a deal done over the phone. So, if anyone wants to pursue it, I say please do -- and share them!
-d
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Old 26th February 2005, 10:04 PM   #16
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I have this book: a lot of pretty pictures but abysmally low academic level. Reference to "Mogul Kalatchori swords" (p.44) doesn't explain what on Earth they are. several Saudi Arabian jambiyas (pp. 57-63) show blades of alleged Muayyar,Beyd,Nafihi,Shbeyl, Zabidi,Qabwa, and Baydawi styles also without any definitions, an Afghani Pesh Kabz p.98) is defined as Moghul etc.
By the way, one of the sponsors for the book (1991) was Bin Ladin Saudi Group.
Gives one pause....
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Old 27th February 2005, 03:02 AM   #17
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Fyi, Bin Laden Group has companies doing all sorts of things all over the world, but especially ALL over the middle east. Most major construction projects bear the name, and its in print or on signs pretty much everywhere you look.

This book is very light on information, but after all its really just a catalog of a gallery exhibit in Riyadh. What makes it interesting is that it, like Islamic Swords and Swordsmiths, is a book written locally but in english. And how many other books offer 100%, full color photos?
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Old 27th February 2005, 05:39 AM   #18
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Yes, I know it was not Osama himself who funded the publication.
Some time ago we had a heated discussion about Tirri's book (also essentially a catalog of private collection).Compared to the Saudi collection of full page color pictures, Tirri's one was an academic masterpiece!
For me the two books by Astvatsaturyan (on Caucasian and Turkish weapons) are the gold standard. Pity they are not available in English! What about Elgood's books on Arabian and Indian weapons? Van Zonnenweld's on Indonesian weapons? Gutowski's book on Tatar weapons? Chodynski's on Persian weapons?
It IS possible to publish a first rate book combining both academic rigor and good pictures: all is needed is a combination of a reasonably generous publisher and a dedicated academically-oriented researcher. No millions from Bin Ladin and his ilk can compensate for the writer's appaling lack of professionalism.
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Old 27th February 2005, 01:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Yes, I know it was not Osama himself who funded the publication.
Some time ago we had a heated discussion about Tirri's book (also essentially a catalog of private collection).Compared to the Saudi collection of full page color pictures, Tirri's one was an academic masterpiece!
For me the two books by Astvatsaturyan (on Caucasian and Turkish weapons) are the gold standard. Pity they are not available in English! What about Elgood's books on Arabian and Indian weapons? Van Zonnenweld's on Indonesian weapons? Gutowski's book on Tatar weapons? Chodynski's on Persian weapons?
It IS possible to publish a first rate book combining both academic rigor and good pictures: all is needed is a combination of a reasonably generous publisher and a dedicated academically-oriented researcher. No millions from Bin Ladin and his ilk can compensate for the writer's appaling lack of professionalism.


Ariel, feel free to discuss the relative merits of any source here. However, this forum is apolitical and I am charged with maintaining that status.

Comments about Osama Bin Laden are, by definition, political and unwelcome. I will lock this thread unless the discussion returns to the topic at hand immediately.
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Old 25th January 2014, 03:41 PM   #20
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Salaams All ; Note to Library... Just sweeping through the library I noticed this dagger. This is the Habaabi variant~ an odd fellow indeed. What is this dagger which looks very like the Omani style doing in Saudia ? Actually it appears to mimic the Muscat Khanjar not the Royal Omani Khanjar. It may be remembered that Sheherazad one of the wives of Saiid Sultan of Oman who ruled 1804 to 1856 designed a new hilt in about 1850 that incorporated with the "7 ringer" Muscat Scabbard became the Royal Khanjar "Saidiyyah"

The original style of 7 ringer, Muscat Khanjar continued with the TEE shaped hilt. It is the Tee Shaped Hilt Muscat Khanjar that we see reflected in this Saudia design.

The design probably flowed from Oman to the Habaabi region via sea trade as the Habaabi regions coastal belt was in continuous trade with Zanzibar and Oman. At the time the region was part of the Yemen but was absorbed by Saudia in the early 1920s...The weapon stayed put. Khanjars from that region with Saudia crossed swords were made after the area was absorbed. The project item at #1 looks to be about 30 years old.

Thus The Habaabi Khanjar.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 25th January 2014, 04:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
. The project item at #1 looks to be about 30 years old.
.


Not much older than this thread then!

Seriously though that looks a hand filling & sturdy hilt.

Its also Thicker than the Yemini Sanna T hilts Ive seen..

spiral
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Old 26th January 2014, 01:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
Not much older than this thread then!

Seriously though that looks a hand filling & sturdy hilt.

Its also Thicker than the Yemini Sanna T hilts Ive seen..

spiral



Salaams spiral Haha! Quite.

The problem is in trying to pinpoint the place Habbaabi...which I think isn't Habbaabi but Abha the capital of the Asir region in Saudi Arabia misconstrued to become the adopted name of this weapon Habbaabi.(Abhaabi?) Abha was ruled by the Ottoman Empire until World War I. In 1920, the Wahhabis took control of the city lead by their leader, 'Abd al-Aziz ibn Sa'ud thus it is now part of the KSA. The likely influential seaport serving the region is Jazan or Jizan the second biggest of the nations seaports.

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 26th January 2014, 02:51 PM   #23
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