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Old 26th August 2021, 04:43 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,674

Wow! This is outstanding, and welcome. Talk about a great entrance, and I like the way you have skillfully outlined the elements of the study of this fascinating sword form.
I like that you have noted the difficulties and issues with determining the etymology and origins of the 'karabela' term, which typically leads to distracting from the course of study of the form itself.

Also the political aspects of the karabela as far as its profound association with the Polish as a 'national' sword form often present distraction. That it was deeply revered as a sword form involved in parade and ceremony, as well as in battle is well noted, but its presence elsewhere is important to remember in addition to the Polish context.

Nadolski does have an English version of his book, but the others do not as far as I have known.
Another excellent work which is in English is "The Polish Saber: Its Origin and Evolution", Jan Ostrowski, 'Anthology of Arms & Armor, ed. Robert Held, vol.I
1979-80, pp.221-237.
In this he does give interesting overview on the karabela.

We have discussed the karabela many times over the past two decades here, mostly examining examples and discussions of their elements and features. As far as I recall there has been little attention to the more detailed descriptive terms (i.e.szabla czarna etc.) and the term karabela used collectively for the examples discussed.

It is great that you have added the nomenclature. While most here are familiar with the yelman term, I had only heard the 'feather' aspect many years ago from a Polish fencing master in New York.

You note English, nor Polish are not your first languages, but your thorough entry here is excellent. I look forward to seeing more discussion, and hope that those out there with examples of these sabers will post them for benefit of those discussions.

All very best regards
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