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Old 9th November 2010, 09:24 PM   #1
Edster
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Default Sudan Sword (Kaskara) and Knife Paper

The forum file below contains an anthropological paper I wrote in 1984 about the Sword and Knife Market in Kassala, Sudan. The market really resonated with me as a place where people were actively fabricating with hand technology classical weapons that were in comtempory use. It was a blast to translate my experiences to paper.

The manuscript then mostly languished in a drawer for some 25 years until I came across the EAA Forum. Here on the Forum are others better informed than I on the varieties of the Kaskara, and I thought I'd share my work with others of similiar interest.

Lee Jones dressed up my crudely typed version and turned it into a much more presentable piece. Many thanks to Lee!!

http://www.vikingsword.com/ethsword/hunley/kassala.pdf

Best regards,
Edster

Last edited by Lee; 9th November 2010 at 11:34 PM. Reason: repair url
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Old 10th November 2010, 12:57 AM   #2
stephen wood
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"...fire can be produced by a stone taken from the bottom of a river, and a candle can light up a place that has been dark for billions of years."

Thank you so much for sharing your paper - I cannot adequately express how much it will advance the study of the edged weapons of the region.
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Old 10th November 2010, 12:59 AM   #3
Lee
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Thumbs up I've read it and I'm excited

I most strongly recommend Edster's Kassala Sword and Knife Market paper; it is filled with acute observations not just about the types of swords and knives made in the region and the applicable terminology but it also explores the nature of the specialized bladesmith trade in that time (1985) and place. It is very much the sort of work we all hope exists lurking but soon to be discovered for our own personal favorite forms. Enthusiasts for the arms of Sudan just got very lucky indeed!
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Old 10th November 2010, 08:22 AM   #4
Martin Lubojacky
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Thank you very much !!!
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Old 10th November 2010, 03:57 PM   #5
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Hi Ed ,
fantastic insight into the cultural significance of weapons in North Eastern Africa ....thank you very much.

Best
David
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Old 11th November 2010, 12:31 AM   #6
Jim McDougall
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I agree, this paper is superb!!! and perfect insight into the development of the kaskara as it became produced into the 20th century. To collect these weapons is interesting indeed, but to factor in the incredible dimension that can be seen through reading Ed's wonderful perspective and detail takes the understanding of ethnographic weapons to wonderful new levels.

Thank you so much Ed!!!!!!

All the very best,
Jim
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Old 11th November 2010, 01:30 AM   #7
Gavin Nugent
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Exclamation What a great surprise!

What a great surprise to see this wonderful work so freely shared within these pages. Ed your work is outstanding.
These pieces old or new are timeless. There really are only one of a hand full of edged weapons still being used in modern times by their cultural 'owners' and it is fantastic to get an insight into facets of the industry and culture that are rarely bought to light in any context.

thanks

Gav
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Old 11th November 2010, 08:41 PM   #8
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Thank you all very much. Its rewarding and validating to have the paper well received by such a knowledgable group as the EAA Forum.

Best regards,
Ed
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Old 2nd June 2012, 05:46 PM   #9
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edster
The forum file below contains an anthropological paper I wrote in 1984 about the Sword and Knife Market in Kassala, Sudan. The market really resonated with me as a place where people were actively fabricating with hand technology classical weapons that were in comtempory use. It was a blast to translate my experiences to paper.

The manuscript then mostly languished in a drawer for some 25 years until I came across the EAA Forum. Here on the Forum are others better informed than I on the varieties of the Kaskara, and I thought I'd share my work with others of similiar interest.

Lee Jones dressed up my crudely typed version and turned it into a much more presentable piece. Many thanks to Lee!!

http://www.vikingsword.com/ethsword/hunley/kassala.pdf

Best regards,
Edster

Salaams Edster, I liked this so much I had to comment. I hope you get the chance to return for further research... Brilliant work. Thanks.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 2nd June 2012, 08:27 PM   #10
Edster
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Ibrahiim,

Thanks for bumping this old post. It stimulated my thinking and an assessment of what other similar field work I may have done. Actually, nothing. For now I must remain a One Trick Pony. Its not that I haven't been motivated, but like most of us when I've had the money, I didn't have the time and when I had the time, I didn't have the money. Willie Nelson was very insightful in this regard.

Had I chosen academics, I could have fed from such as the National Science Foundation or Wenner Gren to fund treks into those ethnographic rich environments. But alas, I chose a different road to raise a family and now to fund my old age. I'm afraid it from arm chair to rocking chair for me.

The point of the ramble is it is practically very difficult for those of us outside academia to gather the means to do field work in ethnographic arms and armour. Traditional funding sources are generally only available to those with an affiliation to an academic institution. Sure, academics know how to put together a research program and what relevant questions to ask informants. But why shouldn't the rest of us, otherwise motivated and qualified, be able to get a sabbatical from the financial worries of life to pursue a passion for learning about EAA? Some of us may (with or without sacrifice) have both the time and money, but for some reason or another lack the motivation or commitment to head to the field. Some among us have gone.

I have often thought that should I win some megabucks lottery I would establish a research foundation to fund field work for me and others to research topics of interest to me. Certainly EAA would be on the top of the list.

Any lottery winners out there?
Regards,
Ed
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Old 3rd June 2012, 07:49 AM   #11
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edster
Ibrahiim,

Thanks for bumping this old post. It stimulated my thinking and an assessment of what other similar field work I may have done. Actually, nothing. For now I must remain a One Trick Pony. Its not that I haven't been motivated, but like most of us when I've had the money, I didn't have the time and when I had the time, I didn't have the money. Willie Nelson was very insightful in this regard.

Had I chosen academics, I could have fed from such as the National Science Foundation or Wenner Gren to fund treks into those ethnographic rich environments. But alas, I chose a different road to raise a family and now to fund my old age. I'm afraid it from arm chair to rocking chair for me.

The point of the ramble is it is practically very difficult for those of us outside academia to gather the means to do field work in ethnographic arms and armour. Traditional funding sources are generally only available to those with an affiliation to an academic institution. Sure, academics know how to put together a research program and what relevant questions to ask informants. But why shouldn't the rest of us, otherwise motivated and qualified, be able to get a sabbatical from the financial worries of life to pursue a passion for learning about EAA? Some of us may (with or without sacrifice) have both the time and money, but for some reason or another lack the motivation or commitment to head to the field. Some among us have gone.

I have often thought that should I win some megabucks lottery I would establish a research foundation to fund field work for me and others to research topics of interest to me. Certainly EAA would be on the top of the list.

Any lottery winners out there?
Regards,
Ed

Salaams Ed ~ Your last paragraph is so well put. In fact the entire post is very well placed... The concept of a research foundation is very well understood.. Meanwhile I hope you get an opportunity to get back to the Sudan ... I also think steering some of our new people with African arms as their chosen field would be worthwhile and perhaps by advising a decent reading list on the subject it can help. Thanks again .
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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