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Old 19th November 2021, 06:40 PM   #1
RSWORD
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Default Translation Assistance with African Kaskara Sword

Seeking translation assistance for this nice African Kaskara sword. A couple of interesting features. The first is that it has snake motif on one side of the blade done in gold koftgari. The inscription on the opposite side is also done in gold koftgari. I believe I see a date of 1202 which would translate roughly to 1788. Also interesting are the symbols in the fullers on both side. Stick figure, almost rock painting style of a human, what looks to be shields and spears and some other interesting symbols. Quality blade is most likely European. Would love to hear thoughts about the markings as well as am hoping there is enough of the inscription remaining to make that out.
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Old 19th November 2021, 06:41 PM   #2
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Here is the inscription. Thanks for having a look and trying to translate.
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Old 19th November 2021, 08:09 PM   #3
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Very interesting kaskara. The symbolism of the fuller engravings is unique in my limited experience. Could be pre-Muslim. The exception is the cross & orb (Christion) symbol. It is like the Funj sultan's owner's mark. If the 1788 date is legit it could support a Funj provenance. Also, the shield could be Shilluk as some say they were the founder tribe of the Funj. Their capital was at Sennar on the Blue Nile and lasted from 1504 until defeated by Egypts in 1821. Can't help with the translations, but could support the Funj connection or not.

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Old 21st November 2021, 02:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Edster View Post
Very interesting kaskara. The symbolism of the fuller engravings is unique in my limited experience. Could be pre-Muslim. The exception is the cross & orb (Christion) symbol. It is like the Funj sultan's owner's mark. If the 1788 date is legit it could support a Funj provenance. Also, the shield could be Shilluk as some say they were the founder tribe of the Funj. Their capital was at Sennar on the Blue Nile and lasted from 1504 until defeated by Egypts in 1821. Can't help with the translations, but could support the Funj connection or not.

Best,
Ed
Thanks for the information Ed. Hopefully someone will be able to translate the script to see if it supports a Funj connection and to verify my reading of the date.
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Old 28th November 2021, 10:19 PM   #5
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Bumping in the hopes someone can assist with the translation.
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Old 29th November 2021, 10:45 AM   #6
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Along the bottom is Qur'an 48:1 followed by something else that is too worn to read. Better photos might yield results. At the beginning is what looks like 2021, which as you say might be the date 1202 written in reverse. Somehow I doubt that this is that old, but I may be wrong.

Along the top is in fact a Persian inscription. I have seen these copied on to kaskaras before but I cannot remember where. These were presumably copied to give the piece some kind of aura of prestige, not as historical inscriptions.

It begins

... در زمان دولت سلطان شاه

'In the time of the reign of Sultan Shah ...'

Again, the rest is too worn to read, though better photos might help. As I said, this should not be taken as an historical inscription
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Old 3rd December 2021, 04:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kwiatek View Post
Along the bottom is Qur'an 48:1 followed by something else that is too worn to read. Better photos might yield results. At the beginning is what looks like 2021, which as you say might be the date 1202 written in reverse. Somehow I doubt that this is that old, but I may be wrong.

Along the top is in fact a Persian inscription. I have seen these copied on to kaskaras before but I cannot remember where. These were presumably copied to give the piece some kind of aura of prestige, not as historical inscriptions.

It begins

... در زمان دولت سلطان شاه

'In the time of the reign of Sultan Shah ...'

Again, the rest is too worn to read, though better photos might help. As I said, this should not be taken as an historical inscription
Thank you very much Kwiatek. Very much appreciated. I'll see if I can make better pictures.
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