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Old 4th December 2012, 03:14 PM   #9
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
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Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Here are three more examples. Though none are actually marked, they are likely from old european/british cutlery. The bottom item is made from a file.
Those used as a Khanjar back knife I believe to be called SHAFRA, and those which have their own scabbard and worn tucked into a belt or bandolier are called KHUSA.
I have shown the back knife scabbard as an information source.

Salaams khanjar1. See by Archer for the optimum information on this discussion.

The smaller ones are indeed English and German butter knives whilst the bigger ones are the bigger place setting knives, though, the spoons and forks simply didn't make it ! They are from the Victorian period. The best ones are stamped often with their Solingen (they are likely to have come up from Africa) or Sheffield makers names and the usual tribute as at my post to Queen Victoria. One of the oft' seen companies is Joseph Rodgers and the patriarch of this family recalls 60 years ago handling box loads of these knives fresh from India imported here via Ajman and Muscat. Once here they were given the expert silver treatment and superbly decorated etc

The steel blades were perfect for their work as the auxiliary knife for menial tasks such as cutting leather or string or killing chickens or small game. The crown on the pommel is a throwback to the Taj crown of Victorian India. This knife comes in two sizes and generally the bigger one has a wooden scabbard generally lightly carved and is worn separately at the side under a belt on its own whilst the smaller knife (the cake or butter knife) can be seen tucked into a flat leather scabbard behind the Khanjar on either side where it protrudes like a gear stick ! They are referred to in Oman as Sikkeen (knife) whereas Shafra is of the Saudia / Yemen description.

The exception is with the Mussandam where they have a knife more similar to the Shafra but called after the dominant Mussandam tribe The Shehu.. The knife is called "Shehe". There is another work knife from Mussandam oddly with ears like the Yat. (Yatagan) but this appears to be linked to the Baluch (who are only across the water from there) knife though again they slap the generic name Shehe on that as well. See

Unmarked knives appear though generally they are either made locally by Mussandam craftsmen in market towns Lima and evidence points to the wandering Zutoot who pre 1970 were essentially gypsies in Oman now integrated into society who made blades from anything to hand like old Bedford army truck springs or files etc. or imported blades from Japan.

The best respected, imported blades are undoubtedly Sheffield.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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