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Old 9th January 2021, 05:54 PM   #6
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,415

These interesting knives have some fascinating history as part of the very complex history of Chile and one of the number of Spanish colonial countries of South America. We had some great discussion on them in Jul. 2015 where Ian added a great deal of comprehensive information.

Apparently these developed from the grape knife, which had a curved tip for cutting grapes from the vines. While the Spanish settled one of the key vineyard regions in Curico c. 1743, there were of course others and these grape knives seem to have become 'weaponized' by the 19th c.

In Peru and Bolivia there seems to have been disdain for these enlarged and larger bladed knives, which they derisively called 'cut throat knives'.
The term 'corvo' refers to the raven like hooked beak tip. It seems that there were brass circles on blades of older ones, the origin or possible meaning of the motif remains unknown.

These became popularly used in the grim 'War of the Pacific' (1879-1884) better known as the Saltpeter War for its casus belli being that and other resource exploitation and was fought between Chile, Peru and Bolivia.

I had not heard of the enlarged tang on the blade root indicating earlier versions. The indented choil at the blade root back, often regarded as a 'Spanish notch' has suggested earlier versions, and the stacked grip style has often suggested some of these being of Canary Islands source. Both the 'Meditteranean notch' and the stacked grips are affinities of the Canary Islands punale.
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