Thread: Khyber knife?
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Old 20th March 2021, 12:30 PM   #8
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Welcome to the forum! Excellent pen name, skean dubh!!!

Your weapon is of course the well known Afghan 'Khyber knife', which is an odd term as these are essentially deadly short swords and often quite large, far beyond the 'knife' description.

In the Afghan regions, these were used by various tribes throughout the Khyber Agency of the British Raj, which while including the Khyber Pass proper, also the surrounding regions. So it is difficult to assign a specific region or tribe to single weapons unless there is specific motif in decoration.

These were used throughout the 19th century and well into modern times, but remain indigenous to Afghanistan, where locally they are termed 'silliwar', hence the colloquial British term 'salawar yataghan'.

Yours is probably end of 19th c.into 20th and used tribally during the many Afghan wars and insurgences from 1879 onward. The use of these is most well known with the Afridi and Waziri tribes, and are mentioned as Khyber knives by Kipling in his well known prose.
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