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Johnny Green




Location: Colorado
Joined: 07 Oct 2012

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PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 4:05 pm    Post subject: Old "Yemeni" / Arabian Swords ID         Reply with quote

My father recently acquired four "old swords" from a woman who says that they brought them to the US from Yemen in the 1960's. Can anyone help identify them? The blades are roughly 30" long with blunt tips. Sorry, I do not have photos of the tips currently.

Photos at this site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/88195491@N05/

Thank You

Respectfully
Johnny Green
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,494

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like a traditional sword from Oman, the "kattara" (or "katara"). Also often called a saif ("saif"="sword").

The Omani ones usually have a tapered hilt. I don't know if this is a Yemeni relative, or a local Omani variation. I haven't seen hilts exactly like these before, but there is variation among kattara hilts. "Kattara sword" is a good google and google images search term, or "kattara Oman".

The blades are often very flexible. These are still made, and are used for dancing and for social occasions when a sword is required (this has been the main use for them since the mid/late 1900s if not earlier). Often sharp, or even very sharp, despite not being intended for cutting anything.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Johnny Green




Location: Colorado
Joined: 07 Oct 2012

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Timo for your quick response. This gives me somewhere to start. The blades are flexible and sharp.

Johnny
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Rob Phillips




Location: Orlando Florida
Joined: 06 Nov 2012
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 08 Nov, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Omani Katara         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
Looks like a traditional sword from Oman, the "kattara" (or "katara"). Also often called a saif ("saif"="sword").

The Omani ones usually have a tapered hilt. I don't know if this is a Yemeni relative, or a local Omani variation. I haven't seen hilts exactly like these before, but there is variation among kattara hilts. "Kattara sword" is a good google and google images search term, or "kattara Oman".

The blades are often very flexible. These are still made, and are used for dancing and for social occasions when a sword is required (this has been the main use for them since the mid/late 1900s if not earlier). Often sharp, or even very sharp, despite not being intended for cutting anything.


Yes, I agree. These are Katara.
I have a number of these. Some similar. Some much longer (for camel back!).
They often have arabic script imprinted on the blade. Sometimes they will have the year of manufacture imprinted across the blade at the hilt. These will be four arabic numbers. I can translate them if you find any. Please find the makers mark on the blade. I would like to see if ours match. It may be either an artistic seal or a simple dot pattern.

In search of the truth
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