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Old 16th October 2020, 07:20 AM   #6
Yvain's Avatar
Join Date: May 2017
Location: France
Posts: 114

"Proper knife" and "made for visiting French colonizers" aren't mutually exclusive. Camille Lacoste, in her article "Sabres Kabyles" (, describes the evolution of the flissa after the conquest of Algeria, outlining the development of new forms adapted to this growing market :

-grip attached by the mean of an hidden tang instead of the traditional integral bolster and flat short tang

-no brass cover on the grip and non-traditional shapes (there is also old flissa grips without brass covers, but they are then shaped in the traditional way)

-the appearance of a small iron guard

Moreover, still according to Lacoste, the Iflissen lost their monopoly on blade making after the 1850's, and those modern flissa were also frequently made by the At Fraoussen or the At Yenni.

However, Lacoste, writing in the 1950's, states that this development of new forms started one century earlier. So this could indeed be an 19th century flissa (judging from the apparent good quality of the blade, I don't believe it was made during the second part of the 20th century, but it's hard to tell from those pictures), though, it is not of a traditional design and was most likely made for French visitors.
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