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Old 18th June 2013, 02:09 PM   #1
Dmitry
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Default Omani Kattara/Sayf help with proper dating.

The blade is 84 cm long, 4.5 cm wide. Sword is 98 cm long overall. The scabbard is wood, covered with three sections of tooled leather, and two sections of very fine calf-skin, or similar finely-worked leather, something I haven't seen before. Hilt is completely wrapped in leather and oil-cloth. Blade is somewhat flexible, but not easily bent, and has a nice temper, with no markings of any kind. By the looks of it, I would say it dates to some time in the 1800s.
Looking forward to your opinions, Ibrahim and other Omani swords connoisseurs.
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Old 18th June 2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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Hi Dmitry,
Not Omani IMHO but likely Manding.
Stu
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Old 19th June 2013, 12:23 AM   #3
Jim McDougall
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I agree Leather work and style seems Manding..the blade is the masri style triple central fuller, though no dukari moons.
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Old 19th June 2013, 01:08 AM   #4
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Wow, I was way off. Just checked, and it's definitely not what I thought it was. Proves you can't really know a little bit about everything.
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Old 19th June 2013, 05:05 AM   #5
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Actually the geographical provenance is understandably complicated as the trade routes account for the vast diffusion here. The Omani Sultanate at Zanzibar was not only a maritime trade center, but a powerful entrepot where trade entered various routes into the interior among others. When the compelling similarity between Omani kattara and Manding sabres is considered, it seems quite understandable that these forms reflect the plausible connections between these distant locations.

The kaskara style blade likely traversed into regions to the west along with other commerce , and with Manding being the merchant tribes in virtual control of routes into thier regions ended up in these mounts, at least that is what appears the scenario.

The only thing way off is the distance, not the observation
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Old 19th June 2013, 07:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Actually the geographical provenance is understandably complicated as the trade routes account for the vast diffusion here. The Omani Sultanate at Zanzibar was not only a maritime trade center, but a powerful entrepot where trade entered various routes into the interior among others. When the compelling similarity between Omani kattara and Manding sabres is considered, it seems quite understandable that these forms reflect the plausible connections between these distant locations.

The kaskara style blade likely traversed into regions to the west along with other commerce , and with Manding being the merchant tribes in virtual control of routes into thier regions ended up in these mounts, at least that is what appears the scenario.

The only thing way off is the distance, not the observation

Salaams Jim..It is interesting to observe the possible transition of the curved bladed Omani Kattara long hilt... which appears to have rebounded possibly via the slave trade through Zanzibar and was taken up as the chosen hilt onto the straight Omani Sayf around the current Dynasty coming to power in about 1744. Here we can see possible parallels with the Manding etc... though I am uncertain which way the hilt moved between Manding and Omani Kattara and since a lot of influence tended to move in the direction of the religion in favour at the time perhaps that can be looked at.

I would certainly look at the Slave Traders as instrumental in blending the curved Omani Kattara with a long African Hilt and being instrumental in advising the hilt as a good fit for the Omani Straight Sayf.. The Pageant and dancing sword.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 19th June 2013, 04:08 PM   #7
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Forgive my ignorance, and not being familiar with the Omani slave trade. If I am not mistaken the majority of slaves in the Americas were from Western Africa. while Zanzibar is obviously on the Indian Ocean coast, so I don't think the West African slaves would make it all the way across the continent, while there were supplies of local slaves available. Or the slave traders procured slaves from the Western Africa and marched them for 1500 miles to the Eastern Coast?

Edit- just read this concise view of the Omani Sultanate.
http://histclo.com/country/me/oman/hist/oh-slave.html
Now I know more about the slavery on the East Coast of Africa, and the dominance of the Omani Sultanate along the Coast.
Still, to see the Omani and Manding weapons that are so similar [even though they are quite different], is something I didn't expect. Judging by the shape of the hilt without any kind of hand protection, long enough to easily grasp with both hands, and the long meaty blade, makes me think that it would serve best for a type of a beheading implement.

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Old 19th June 2013, 08:24 PM   #8
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The slave trade on the west coast of Africa and into Americas was a quite independant branch of that also unfortunate business from that which went on with Africas east coast and Zanzibar.
That trade also extended into Darfur via routes inland and trans Sahara into Mali as I understand, regrettably this activity continues in these regions of Darfur even today.
The west coast of Africa into the Americas and Caribbean had virtually nothing to to with that of the east coast in any significant degree that I am aware of.

It is important to remember that the cylindrical hilt swords typically worn as discussed here, were most often status oriented accoutrements worn by Omani merchants. In my opinion this fashion may well have been adopted by the Manding merchants in Saharan regions. While there is little doubt that most of these swords with thier trade blades would have been suitable for combat, much as the case with court and civilian swords , it is unlikely that in most cases they were used much.

The Omani ceremonial kattaras for the Funoon events are an altogether independant group as well discussed by Ibrahiim on other threads.
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Old 20th June 2013, 05:51 AM   #9
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Thank you, Jim.
So these swords were like the "kinjals on steroids", so to speak, worn mostly for ceremonial purposes and as part of Omani dress. I wonder if the Manding people also adopted certain aspects of that dress, along with the swords, like the Cossacks did with the kinjals and the cherkeska coats that they took on from the various Caucasus peoples. That would kind of hint on what sword came first, the Manding or the Sayf...
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Old 20th June 2013, 07:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitry
Forgive my ignorance, and not being familiar with the Omani slave trade. If I am not mistaken the majority of slaves in the Americas were from Western Africa. while Zanzibar is obviously on the Indian Ocean coast, so I don't think the West African slaves would make it all the way across the continent, while there were supplies of local slaves available. Or the slave traders procured slaves from the Western Africa and marched them for 1500 miles to the Eastern Coast?

Zanzibari slave traders extended their reach well into equatorial Africa. The notorious slaver Hamed bin Muhammad, a.k.a., Tippu Tib, was appointed governor of the Stanley Falls district of the Congo Free State (by King Leopold II) in the late 19th century, which positioned him on the navigable Congo River. While the territory from which he captured slaves ranged primarily south of the Congo (well into Central Africa, around the 8th parallel south), merchant trade from downriver was the bloodline of all upriver communities. It was up the mouth of the Congo by which Stanley transversed Africa in his 'rescue' of Emin Pasha in 1887. Tippu Tib accompanied him on this particular voyage, which in fact originated in Zanzibar.

Tippu Tib:


In the map attached below, the inner circle is the approximate location of Stanley Falls, while the ellipse (roughly) represents the area over which Tippu Tib poached ivory and captured slaves.
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Old 20th June 2013, 07:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laEspadaAncha
Zanzibari slave traders extended their reach well into equatorial Africa. The notorious slaver Hamed bin Muhammad, a.k.a., Tippu Tib, was appointed governor of the Stanley Falls district of the Congo Free State (by King Leopold II) in the late 19th century, which positioned him on the navigable Congo River. While the territory from which he captured slaves ranged primarily south of the Congo (well into Central Africa, around the 8th parallel south), merchant trade from downriver was the bloodline of all upriver communities. It was up the mouth of the Congo by which Stanley transversed Africa in his 'rescue' of Emin Pasha in 1887. Tippu Tib accompanied him on this particular voyage, which in fact originated in Zanzibar.

Tippu Tib:


In the map attached below, the inner circle is the approximate location of Stanley Falls, while the ellipse (roughly) represents the area over which Tippu Tib poached ivory and captured slaves.

Salaams laEspadaAncha; Tippu Tip controlled over 2 million square miles of territory.. He was, however, a latecomer to the scene regarding the curved weapon; The Omani Kattara he is seen wearing.. I put the transission of that hilt onto straight Omani Danciing Swords earlier more likely with his grand father or great grandfather (or in their time)... and in about 1744 at the the start of the new dynasty. As for the actual play in developing the hilt I am not at all sure if it was influenced by... other African variants... but the Manding hilt makes sense.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Notes; see also
1. Kattara for comments http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ttara+comments

2. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...=Omani+Kattara

3. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16795

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi; 20th June 2013 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 21st June 2013, 02:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams laEspadaAncha; Tippu Tip controlled over 2 million square miles of territory.. He was, however, a latecomer to the scene regarding the curved weapon; The Omani Kattara he is seen wearing.. I put the transission of that hilt onto straight Omani Danciing Swords earlier more likely with his grand father or great grandfather (or in their time)... and in about 1744 at the the start of the new dynasty. As for the actual play in developing the hilt I am not at all sure if it was influenced by... other African variants... but the Manding hilt makes sense.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Notes; see also
1. Kattara for comments http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ttara+comments

2. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...=Omani+Kattara

3. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16795
Simple observation of the sword Tipu is wearing in the photo does not show an Omani type hilt, but rather a Manding style with visible "balls".
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Old 21st June 2013, 07:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Simple observation of the sword Tipu is wearing in the photo does not show an Omani type hilt, but rather a Manding style with visible "balls".

Salaams Khanjar I ..No its an Omani Kattara; Curved blade on a long hilt. The photo is quite late and I think 1890 something... By then the Royal Khanjar hilts had appeared sometime around 1850... which he is also wearing.

We are looking for the possible transmission of Manding to Omani Kattara swords pre 1744 before the Omani Kattara long hilt was accepted as the design for the honorific pageant and dancing sword... The Omani straight Sayf...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st June 2013, 08:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Khanjar I ..No its an Omani Kattara; Curved blade on a long hilt. The photo is quite late and I think 1890 something... By then the Royal Khanjar hilts had appeared sometime around 1850... which he is also wearing.

We are looking for the possible transmission of Manding to Omani Kattara swords pre 1744 before the Omani Kattara long hilt was accepted as the design for the honorific pageant and dancing sword... The Omani straight Sayf...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 21st June 2013, 10:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Simple observation of the sword Tipu is wearing in the photo does not show an Omani type hilt, but rather a Manding style with visible "balls".
Very good observation, I had not noticed before. The scabbard, however, is Omani in style, with silver(?) chape and metal rings.

Teodor
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Old 22nd June 2013, 08:04 AM   #16
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Salaams all .. No the configuration is Omani Kattara with an odd / different pommel arrangement. Just looking around my collection of a few dozen such weapons (straight and curved) none of the pommels are standard..some in a knuckle bolt end style others tubular ended and some without a pommel. Others with a pommel hole but some without.

Tippu Tib is quite likely to have had the design added from his African travels and this perhaps shows the potential influence onto Omani Kattara particularly from Manding designs.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi

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Old 22nd June 2013, 09:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams all .. No the configuration is Omani Kattara with an odd / different pommel arrangement.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Sorry I forgot that everything is of Omani origin....................
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