Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Yvain 27th November 2021 05:04 PM

Uzbek pchak
4 Attachment(s)
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to show this Uzbek pchak that I bought yesterday (seller's pictures, I haven't received it yet) !

I knew nothing about those knives before buying this one, but I've been reading a bit about them on the forum and I really like them (learning more about Uzbekistan at the same time, a very interesting country) !

I'm pretty sure mine is very recent, but it seems well made, and considering how cheap it was, I couldn't say no to it ! :D

ariel 27th November 2021 06:03 PM

Yes, it is recent. They started making them in quantities after dissolution of the USSR and Uzbekistan and Tajikistan becoming independent countries. This one reminds me of Chust, a town in Eastern Uzbekistan close to Tajikistan.
The closer you get to the border between the two, the more ethnic Tajiks you will meet.
Generally, from the very beginning, Uzbeks, a Turcik ethnicity who came to that area at the time of Chingiz Khan and later, were, like all occupants, discriminating against native Tajiks, a Persian- related ethnicity. Bukhara, Samarkand, Khokand, Fergana, the great cities of Central Asia were originally Tajik. Tajiks were pushed out of their lands to the mountains. Even in the USSR, many Tajiks recorded their nationality in the passports as Uzbeks to blend it. The knives of Uzbeks vs. Tajiks have only minor differences if at all. In Uzbekistan your knife is a p'chak, but in Tajikistan it is a Kord, clear reflection of Turcik vs. Farsi languages. The same is with their cuisines: Uzbeks , like all formerly nomadic ethnoses use horse meat and a lot of milk whereas original Tajik cuisine has very limited dairy products and never uses horse meat. Uzbeks eat rice, but Tajiks have legumes . And so on and so forth.
In the original USSR you might have been warned to be very careful about addressing people: calling a native Tajik Uzbek might have been a bad error ( well, fatalities were rare to put it mildly, but it would certainly be an offence).
Both Uzbeks and Tajiks constitute significant proportions of the Afghani population ( borders as such were nonexistent), but there was a major inflow of both groups since the Russian conquest of Khanates, and especially since the Russian communist takeover in the 1920s. Currently, there are ~2 mln Uzbeks and about 9-10 mln Tajiks ( just above a quarter of the total population) in Afghanistan. Northern Afghanistan is by and large a Tajik area. One can still find supposedly Afghani swords and daggers with unmistakable Central Asian ( by and large Tajik) features.
The entire history of that area is fascinating. Central Asian Khanates were capitals of Islamic culture.
This is a topic very well worth studying. You found a great hobby!

Yvain 28th November 2021 10:45 AM

Hi Ariel,

Thank you for that detailed answer ! It sure is a fascinating area, and I'll definitely try to learn more about it. I've also discovered traditional Uzbek clothing, which is magnificent in my opinion, I now want a chapan ! :D

gp 28th November 2021 10:56 PM

not only Uzbeks and Tadzjiks but also Uigurs did & do traditionally make and carry these weapons

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