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A. Gaber




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 6:37 pm    Post subject: why there isn't any Mamluk Bahri sword examples around?         Reply with quote

Greetings to you all here.this is my first post in here.seeking the help of of any one that shares interest in the mamlukes era arm and armours.
i am currently searching the mamaluke bahri armour.esp their swords.
from searching online and reading materials online all i could find is the adapted swords by US. marines,British and french cavalry. the only one i could find is the sword from Nijm el din the Ayubi sultan residing in turkey where most of swords are of this era.even Nijm Eldeen's sword is curved really curved. the swords i see in all shows(arabic ones)is kinda straight with very graceful curve with a false back edge.i know that shows is not a good source. but i think the show BAYBERS.(i could provide the link if needed it is in arabic thou..i think Egyptian production i am may be wrong)kinda comes close.
i think the kaftans in this show is just about what they would wear. most the outfits i see out there is more Turkish in style.
any way if any has any picture of mamluke bahri swords please provide.
any info is more than welcome and you input is really appreciated.thank you

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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are quite a few surviving Mamluk swords from the Bahri period. Most are from the 14th century and are mostly straight double edged blades.


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13th-14th Century Mamluk Sword.jpg
13th/14th century sword

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14th century Bahri Mamluk sword [ Download ]

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Another 14th Century Sword [ Download ]

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More Mamluk Swords [ Download ]

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This sword is from the preceding Ayyubid period but the hilting strongly resembles the later Mamluk swords [ Download ]


Last edited by Ahmad Tabari on Tue 28 Jan, 2014 8:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 8:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And here is an example of a curved sword from the early Bahri period


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Late 13th Century Mamluk Sabre.jpg

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A. Gaber




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahmed thank you so much for the pics and the quick answer.sorry my mistake, the curved sword i was talking about is the one that you post picture for Hussam eldeen's sword.every time you type Mameluke in Google you find al ot military related sword and brief history about how the Mameluke has these curved swords that everyone though i was exotic ,so they fell in love with it.i cant seem to find any that is NOT a straight Mameluke bahiri sword(only the one that you post the pic for).where all these curved swords they talk about?when i was in Egypt i didn't pay attention to swords in the museums i visited.i bet there is bunch in boxes hidden and stashed away in all the Egyptian museum's basements. hopefully they don't melt them for ammo in the lights of the new straggle that they have in Egypt.
the hilts on the straight ones relate more to the most of the miniature art in the Furusiyya book, than the traditional pistol hilts. i think the straight ones is more related to the sultana el ayyubiya.

for all the castles in Egypt esp. old city of Cairo and Alexandria couple of castles no curved sword came up?not even the everyday normal solider's sword??which i am more interested in than the great heroes(which their sword is more decorative than functional i believe).

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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jan, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi A.Gaber!

I think you'll have a lot more success if you spell it as "Mamluk", rather than Mameluke. At least that is my experience... I am an obsessed Mamluk fan myself, actually.

Those curved swords with the false edge that you are talking about are Turkish Kilij (Kilic) sabers. Most people assume that these swords generally came about as a result of the contacts made with the Mongol Hordes, so it may be very difficult to find curved sabers used by Bahri Mamluks or Ayyubid (and earlier) Ghulams (an earlier term for slave-soldiers) at least until after the time of the Battle at Ain Jalut ( عين جالوت ).

That curved sword from the book Islamic Swords and Smiths (ISAS, a great book, I really recommend it) that Ahmad showed you earlier is known to be one of the very earliest examples of a Bahri Mamluk saber that has ever been found.

I don't think Baybars the show is a good point of reference actually... The show engages in an obvious form of hero-worship... Where Sultan Baybars (still the greatest Mamluk Sultan of all time) can seem to do no wrong, like a red-bearded Islamic super-hero. I happen to know, in direct contrast, that there is a largely unproven accusation that Baybars was in fact an heavy drinker (of alcohol, yes), and that this may have even contributed to his demise. He is also accused of assassinating Sultan Qutuz, and one legend says it was in part over a woman, a Mongol prisoner-of-war. A lot of the costumes are quite mix-and-matched on the show, and show a leaning towards Egyptian fashion, when it is well known that Bahri Mamluks dressed in the Turkish, predominantly Kipchak, style.

Please share with us what you find, mate. I love to learn anything new about these awesome, and sadly largely forgotten, warriors. The most highly trained soldiers of the medieval period...

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jan, 2014 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it's safe to say that the curved Mameluke Sword that the US Marines use, and that British Army brass carried, is a much later development, and not Bahri, but Burji instead, and possibly even post-Ottoman conquest of the Mamluks.

The contact with the British would've almost certainly been through Napoleon's adopted Mameluke Cavalry, and it's well known that the US Marine Mameluke Sword was adopted after a sword of this type was presented to Marine First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon by the Ottoman Empire Viceroy, Prince Hamet, on December 8, 1805, as a gesture of respect and praise for the Jarheads' actions at the Battle of Derne (First Barbary War).

There are other swords made (or at the very least rehilted) by the Mamluks, most of which are also straight-bladed, and those would of course be the famous "Swords of the Prophet and Companions". Although if I remember correctly, these were Burji period as well.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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A. Gaber




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jan, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Bennison N.thankx a lot for the information that you provided.however,i think the costumes of any mamluk will be inspired from where he came from say that may be Turk,Kipchak or else.but also i think about he is still a mamluk where he doesn't have the money or the freedom to go-say-shopping,let alone actually decide what he want to wear.so the mamluk where limited to what his SAYED-master or owner wants him to look like.mind you that the master also want to represent him self good through his mamaleek. much like army general and his soldiers.you don't get to decide what you wear in the military.

as of any show say Egyptian like (al forsaaan) translated to the knights, or Baybers which i believe is Syrian.i don't think any one will count on the historical accuracy.much the stories is missing for the show material.or just plan boring to be a show and must be spiced up(Egyption term). the costume in Babybers tend to be quite flashy which serve as inspiration to me.

so much artist try to differentiate the Turkish inspired clothing this era from Egyptian. that quite hard and plan impossible.who ever been to Egypt or Turkey or any Arabic middle eastern country for that matter, knows that so many cultures and trading from all over the world got mixed up within the country tradition it self.i will speak for my self when i say even Egyptian language is so mixed you will find Turkish for sure Farisy italian and i believe many more.
if you visit Egypt and i am not saying the tourist stuff (which is all over), you will find much of the essence of the old clothing styles still worn by farmers,merchants in the markets and the shaiks in the mosque.
Bennison i am not trying to dismiss what are you saying.you know much more than my self about the subject.i am just trying to say what i notice from living there and the common sense.i just have a great love to this era that some pepole from far away came to a famed land at the time made their home and in the process they have diversify the region.so please keep sharing your thoughts.correct me if i am wrong.it is the only way to learn Happy

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William M




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 12:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh wow, that Mamluk swords from the Bahri period looks interesting. Just lengthen the fuller and you have a strange viking looking sword.
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William M wrote:
Oh wow, that Mamluk swords from the Bahri period looks interesting. Just lengthen the fuller and you have a strange viking looking sword.


Interesting that you say that, because I have been reenacting a late-15th, early-16th century Mamluk Tabardariyya to fight in HMB. The Tabardariyya were the Sultan's "Axe men", specialists who acted as bodyguards, shock troops and who policed the other Mamluks... And it looks like they made no attempt at all to disguise the fact that this type of soldier was directly inspired by the Byzantine Varangian Guard. So there's a definite connection to Vikings in that way.

It's also why there's an axe in the lower plane of my Mamluk rank symbol (my avatar).

Actually, they continued to use straight swords, alongside the curved ones, right up to fighting the Ottomans (1516-1517). I haven't been able to find an existing example after this time, though.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi again, Mr. A. Gaber!

Baybars was a Turk, a mix of Cuman and Kipchak, from modern-day Kazakhstan, who even today consider him a national hero, along with Egypt, Syria, the better parts of the Levant, and Islam in general. He was captured by Mongols on the Kipchak Steppe while young, and was taken as a slave in the general direction of Bulgaria, but ended up in Syria. His first master, Mamluk Aydekin al Bondouqdar, sent him to Egypt to be a bodyguard for the Ayyubid Sultan. I keep thinking it was Sultan As-Salih, but don't quote me on that.

I get what you're saying about the clothing, mate. I have been to Egypt, actually. It was 10 years ago, but I'm sure the style of dress hasn't changed, although a lot of other things definitely have. My mother is actually Lebanese, of Ayyub ancestry, Salah al-Din's line in fact, hence the obsession with Baybars, who was so loyal a servant to the Ayyubs that he continued to use the Ayyub standard for the rest of his life, and it became a symbol of the entire Mamluk Dynasty.

My real point before was that the Mamluks, and in particular the Bahri Mamluks, separated themselves from the rest of the people by keeping the Turkish (or Circassian for Burji) style of dress, which in Baybars' case was of the Ayyubid Yellow, and continued to speak Turkish language, almost exclusively, to each other. There appears to have been no real attempt at all to adopt the Egyptian indigenous style of dress or to culturally assimilate, other than, of course, religion. At this time, the differences between the various fashions and cultures were much more pronounced and far easier to spot than today.

The Bahri period ended in 1382, remember.



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Note these Mamluk costumes...

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Kipchak.jpg
And a Kipchak...

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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A. Gaber




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William M interesting point...

Mr.Bennison N.most of what they told us in Egypt and Guides kinda contardicts with what you say.i could see the costume in the first pic is kinda different than the Egyption.that is the Egyption wear is parted in the middle and extends half way to the stomach and then either has slit from the back or two on the side.can you share some pics from your reenacting the Mamluk Tabardariyya?never heard of the tabardariyya would like to know more as they resemble the turkish janissary (right?)you been so helpful thus far will you be able to provide some reading material for the period after the bahari?

one more thing you see these kinda of swords they use in the first pic?these are the kinda sword that i cant find an example for,esp that weird looking hilt on curved blade.i have seen the staright one with kinda same construction hilt not curved ones.
i guss there wasnt military issue swords at these times.you expected to buy your own gear Laughing Out Loud

i wish i could find a group here in NYC to talk to.i want to start(i know it will take time but wanna do the research before i even go any where with my old interest)to do something as close to my origin as possible.we came from the south of Egypt 3 generation back to Alexandria.i am not Turkish so even think that we are mixed in that essence.so the close thing is Mamluke. love that era.by talking to you i gathered a lot of info more and different that what i have find online

thank you for your support to me as i get a little exited.you have helped the most.

Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.

Fear not the man who fears God.
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Bennison N




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something like these?

Actually, as far as I know, Mamluks didn't use any curved swords until after facing the Mongols, like a lot of the whole world of the time. I DO know that the Mamluks considered the Mongols the top military force of the time, other than themselves, and they copied and adopted a lot of their tactics and equipment. They even beat the Mongols at their own game at Ayn Jalut, tricking them into chasing a feigned retreat.

I almost have to assume that the transition from everybody using straight swords to almost everybody using curved ones took a reasonable amount of time to action. So it may have even been long after Baybars' or Qalawun's times that there would have been enough sabres for some to have survived until now.

I will most definitely show you some photos. I have some on my pinterest boards. Look me up there. Happy



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Kilij2.jpg
Unable to find a date for this one, but the overall type fits the period.

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Kilij.jpg
VERY early Kilij. The yelman is barely discernible.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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A. Gaber




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

yes the second one is the one i think i like the most.the most i like about the NOT so raised Yelmen .the little notch and then the yelmen slop down to the point.love it.thank you is that pic from Islamic swords and swordsmith book?

pinterest are there with the same account name? you don't need to post here man.i will look it up there if you give me the link or the account name.thank you friend.very helpful person you are.god bless.
Ahmed Gaber

Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.

Fear not the man who fears God.
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A. Gaber




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

these pics they hold strong resemblance to the German messer pic below and the falchion sword. wouldn't you say so?the mongols were and still is the greatest empire.in the military at least.do know if they provide any thing else beside the military field in terms of education philosophy,politics,city hall and judicial system parks and the different aspect of civilization.i think that is where the mamaleek was better.sorry i act like a kid and get excited talking about history.so hard not to get excited talking about swords.


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Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.

Fear not the man who fears God.
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A. Gaber




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 6:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hey i just find you...N for nathan.right?i am following your board..nice stuff..you gotta love the craftmanship in these axes..love that little bird standing on tip of the axe Happy


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[ Download ]

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