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Eric S




Location: new orleans
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jul, 2013 4:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bennison N wrote:


The Sudan was essentially part of the Mamluk Empire at it's peak, wasn't it?
During the 1800's the Sudan was also under the influence of Ottoman / European rulers via the Khedives of Egypt. Much of the armor used during the 1800s Sudanese revolt came from scavenged and re-purposed Indo-Persian and European armors, some of the sword blades as well. Here is a rare full suit of Sudanese armor and a sword from that time period. The helmet with twisted link mail was originally made for the Khedive of Egypt's bodyguards, Indo-Persian riveted and punched mail shirt, kashara with European blade.

Here is a link to some interesting images from the "Khedives of Egypt" time period.
http://pinterest.com/samuraiantiques/the-khedives-of-egypt/


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Iain Norman





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jul, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric S wrote:
Bennison N wrote:


The Sudan was essentially part of the Mamluk Empire at it's peak, wasn't it?
During the 1800's the Sudan was also under the influence of Ottoman / European rulers via the Khedives of Egypt. Much of the armor used during the 1800s Sudanese revolt came from scavenged and re-purposed Indo-Persian and European armors, some of the sword blades as well. Here is a rare full suit of Sudanese armor and a sword from that time period. The helmet with twisted link mail was originally made for the Khedive of Egypt's bodyguards, Indo-Persian riveted and punched mail shirt, kashara with European blade.

Here is a link to some interesting images from the "Khedives of Egypt" time period.
http://pinterest.com/samuraiantiques/the-khedives-of-egypt/


Quite correct, however I add that the Mamluks even after their conquest by the Ottomans remained in power as the ruling class in Egypt. In fact in 1768 a Mamluk general attempted a rebellion against the Ottomans. So while Egypt was under Ottoman rule, some of the maille and other materials that entered via Egypt can be considered Mamluk.

While there was certainly an increase during the Madhist period, due to items sized from Egyptian troops, the import of maille was noted for a long period before. Particularly at Sinnar.

"Nigerian Panoply" by Bivar contains valuable analysis of several shirts from this general region including the connection to Mamluk Egypt, well worth a read!

Attached an interesting image of a man in helmet and maille supposedly captured from Tuaregs (the caption regarding crusaders is of course nonsense). Image is from "Niger to the Nile" by Alexander.



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Eric S




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Jul, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Iain Norman wrote:
I add that the Mamluks even after their conquest by the Ottomans remained in power as the ruling class in Egypt.
Only until the very early 1800's when they were almost completely wiped out by an Albanian officer of the Ottoman army (Muhammad Ali Pasha) who promptly proclaimed himself as the "Khedive of Egypt". The Mamluks ceased to exist at that point. The Sudanese armor and weapons from that period on were assembled from old left overs and modern imports. To me the weapons used by the Sudanese that are not clearly Indo-Persian or European are of African origin.

Quote:
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha - (Mehmet Ali Pasha in Albanian; Kavalalı Mehmet Ali Paşa in Turkish) - (4 March 1769 – 2 August 1849) was an Ottoman Turk, of Albanian origin, who became an Ottoman Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan.Though not a modern nationalist, he is regarded as the founder of modern Egypt because of the dramatic reforms in the military, economic and cultural spheres that he instituted.He also ruled Levantine territories outside Egypt.The dynasty that he established would rule Egypt and Sudan until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.

Muhammad Ali was born in Kavala, in the Ottoman province of Macedonia (now a part of modern Greece) to Albanian parents.According to the many French, English and other western journalists who interviewed him, and according to people who knew him, the only language he knew fluently was Albanian. He was also competent in Turkish.The son of a tobacco and shipping merchant named Ibrahim Agha, his mother Zainab Agha was his uncle Husain Agha's daughter. Muhammad Ali was the nephew of the "Ayan of Kavalla" (Çorbaci) Husain Agha.When his father died at a young age, Muhammad was taken and raised by his uncle with his cousins.As a reward for Muhammad Ali's hard work, his uncle Çorbaci gave him the rank of "Bolukbashi" for the collection of taxes in the town of Kavala.After his promising success in collecting taxes, he gained Second Commander rank under his cousin Sarechesme Halil Agha in the Kavala Volunteer Contingent that was sent to re-occupy Egypt following Napoleon's withdrawal.

He married Ali Agha's daughter, Emine Nosratli, a wealthy widow of Ali Bey.In 1801, his unit was sent, as part of a larger Ottoman force, to re-occupy Egypt following a brief French occupation. The expedition landed at Aboukir in the spring of 1801.The French withdrawal left a power vacuum in the Ottoman province. Mamluk power had been weakened, but not destroyed, and Ottoman forces clashed with the Mamluks for power.During this period of anarchy Muhammad Ali used his loyal Albanian troops to play both sides, gaining power and prestige for himself.As the conflict drew on, the local populace grew weary of the power struggle.Led by the ulema, a group of prominent Egyptians demanded that the Wāli (governor), Ahmad Khurshid Pasha, step down and Muhammad Ali be installed as the new Wāli in 1805.

The Ottoman Sultan, Selim III, was not in a position to oppose Muhammad Ali’s ascension, thereby allowing Muhammad Ali to set about consolidating his position. During the infighting between the Ottomans and Mamluks between 1801 and 1805, Muhammad Ali had carefully acted to gain the support of the general public.By appearing as the champion of the people Muhammad Ali was able to forestall popular opposition until he had consolidated power.The Mamluks still posed the greatest threat to Muhammad Ali.They had controlled Egypt for more than 600 years, and over that time they had extended their rule extensively throughout Egypt.Muhammad Ali’s approach was to eliminate the Mamluk leadership, then move against the rank and file.In 1811, Muhammad Ali invited the Mamluk leaders to a celebration held at the Cairo Citadel in honor of his son, Tusun, who was being appointed to lead a military expedition into Arabia. When the Mamluks arrived, they were trapped and killed.After the leaders were killed, Muhammad Ali dispatched his army throughout Egypt to rout the remainder of the Mamluk forces.Muhammad Ali transformed Egypt into a regional power which he saw as the natural successor to the decaying Ottoman Empire. He summed up his vision for Egypt as follows:
"I am well aware that the (Ottoman) Empire is heading by the day toward destruction...On her ruins I will build a vast kingdom... up to the Euphrates and the Tigris."
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Iain Norman





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PostPosted: Tue 30 Jul, 2013 1:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric S wrote:
Iain Norman wrote:
I add that the Mamluks even after their conquest by the Ottomans remained in power as the ruling class in Egypt.
Only until the very early 1800's when they were almost completely wiped out by an Albanian officer of the Ottoman army (Muhammad Ali Pasha) who promptly proclaimed himself as the "Khedive of Egypt". The Mamluks ceased to exist at that point. The Sudanese armor and weapons from that period on were assembled from old left overs and modern imports. To me the weapons used by the Sudanese that are not clearly Indo-Persian or European are of African origin.


My point was mainly regarding events prior to the early 1800's. I wouldn't use the term old leftovers myself, maille, blades and other equipment was often handed down generation to generation. Imports of course, both prior to and after the complete overthrow of the Mamluks, accounted for most items in the arsenals of Darfur, Sennar and Wadai, so in that sense little changed.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: Sudanese cruciform swords?         Reply with quote

Based on my observation, the takouba could have been used as a weapon in the past before its blade was blunted to avoid injury.
Here's an original with a pointed blade. Its handle, however, differs a lot from the modern version. Takoubas with pointed blades are so rare, I must say.

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Iain Norman





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PostPosted: Thu 19 Sep, 2013 1:06 am    Post subject: Re: Sudanese cruciform swords?         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:
Based on my observation, the takouba could have been used as a weapon in the past before its blade was blunted to avoid injury.
Here's an original with a pointed blade. Its handle, however, differs a lot from the modern version. Takoubas with pointed blades are so rare, I must say.


That image is from my website and is a Toma sword - not a takouba. The hilt is not particularly related.

The other takouba I've shown in this thread are old, fighting examples and not modern. With substantial pommels and hilts. Quite different than the modern style still made by the Tuareg. The blades are rounded because the fighting style employed does not utilize the thrust. It has nothing to do with avoiding injury. Most takouba in fact are extremely sharp across the arc of the tip.

However, some takouba do exhibit pointed blades, these are either likely from areas where the takouba and kaskara styles crossover, or when the examples in question were not as aggressively sharpened as many takouba.
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Iain Norman





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PostPosted: Sun 15 Dec, 2013 5:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to throw another type into the mix. This is from North Cameroon with rather unique fullers. 84.6cm (33 inches) overall. Heavy cylindrical pommel and simple leather over iron guard.


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Ruel A. Macaraeg





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PostPosted: Sun 15 Dec, 2013 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tuareg.
http://www.forensicfashion.com/1899TuaregWarrior.html

http://ForensicFashion.com/CostumeStudies.html
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David Cooper




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2015 9:01 am    Post subject: Another Kaskara question         Reply with quote

I recently obtained this Kaskara and thought I should share it here. I have also posted details on Sword Forum International.
Catalogue description:
19th Century Armoury marked Sudanese Kashkha(sic) Sword. 35 1/4 inch double edged wide blade. Short triple fullers.Crescent moon face Armoury stamps to both sides of the blade. Steel chamfered crossguard. Leather covered grip with disc pommel. Contained in its tooled leather scabbard with steel belt buckle. Tip of scabbard absent.

My Stats:
Weight, sword: 2lb 6oz (1.09kg)
Length overall: 40'' (102cm) Blade:35.5''(90cm)
POB: 9.5'' (24
cm)
Profile taper: 1.72'' (43.9mm) at ricasso, 1.46'' (37.1mm) mid blade, 1.32'' (33.5mm) 2 inches from tip.
Distal taper 0.21'' (5.4mm) at ricasso, 0.16'' (4mm) mid blade. 0.1'' (2.6mm) 2inches from tip.

I don't believe that the pairs of moon face stamps both sides of the blade are armoury stamps, I have read that they denote a locally made blade that is copying marks found on some trade blades. Anybody know any more? The scabbard is probably beyond saving but has the remains of nice tooling on the leather. I am applying copious amounts of Pecards and neatsfoot oil.

My question is this: Is there a reliable way of dating these swords? Or does one just look at the general state of the dirt (patina) and say ' Late 19th century', with fingers crossed behind back! Wink



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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2015 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, the marks on the blade are sort-of "maker's marks". As you write, they often imitate European maker's marks seen on trade blades. Of course, when they appear on a trade blade, they're genuine maker's marks.

Looks like a nice one.

I don't know of any good guide to dating these. You should post it at the Ethnographic Arms & Armour Forum at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/ and if you haven't seen it yet, the articles on kaskaras and takoubas at http://www.vikingsword.com/ethsword/index.html

"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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David Cooper




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2015 11:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo
Thank you for the links.

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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug, 2015 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just read this entire thread, it's really fascinating. I knew very little about african swords it seems.

Anyway, thanks so much for posting detailed distal and profile taper stats, that's what I have been looking for. Could you maybe let us know how the sword handles? Things like pivot points and vibrational nodes would be most helpful, too. I'm trying to get a feel for how these swords behave and perform.

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David Cooper




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug, 2015 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lukas
I really like the sword but to be honest it handles a bit like a crowbar! Definitely a hitter rather than a fencer. Not a great deal of profile or distal taper although the last foot or so of the blade is fairly flexible. I'm afraid I'm not good enough a swordsman to make sensible comments about pivot points and the like.

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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Aug, 2015 12:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the description! These were used from horseback in combination with a shield, right? In that context, the handling could make sense.
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Adam Rose





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PostPosted: Sat 15 Aug, 2015 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Iain Norman wrote:
In terms of handling, with all kaskara the lack of a substantial pommel means they tend to be somewhat blade heavy. Still, this is a light sword and the blade is agile.


Mine is like that too - it's a big sword (35.5 inch blade) but quite light (2.4 lbs or so) and the balance point is about 7" from the crossguard

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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Mon 17 Aug, 2015 10:47 am    Post subject: Sudanese cruciform swords?         Reply with quote


Beja sword dancers from Sudan

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Mon 17 Aug, 2015 1:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Sudanese cruciform swords?         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:

Beja sword dancers from Sudan

Interesting stance on the guy on the left, using a what resembles a arming sword and buckler, but taking a stance comletely differently to medieval sword and buckler play.
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Andrew Gill





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PostPosted: Tue 18 Aug, 2015 3:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have not practised I33 extensively, but to my naive and untrained eye it looks quite a bit like a "lazy" version of the second guard of common fencers from I33: the low stance (apparently exaggerated here relative to the stylized manuscript) and the sword over the right shoulder and the buckler out in front (if a bit low - but then I take it this is a ritualized dance rather than free-sparring intended to simulate combat). Also, note that the "opponent" on the right is left-handed, which will also make a difference to how the swordsman on the left approaches things (assuming what they are doing somewhat resembles actual fencing). So the priest's claim seems to be true ("It is to be noted, how in general all fencers, or all men holding a sword in hand, even if ignorant in the art of fencing, use these seven wards") and given the affore-mentioned similarities to the second guard, I assume that a skilled I33 fencer would at least know how to deal with a swordsman attacking from this position, even if it is slightly unlike what a "common fencer" of medieval Europe would do in the finer points. Thoughts?
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