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Luke_Sorensen

Kindjal??

11 posts in this topic

Hello all. I have been thinking on making a russian Kindjal. I am thinking of something close to this Kindjal. I was wondering if this is a pretty standard length and shape. I have seen a number of double edged and single edge. Also what was the usual grip material? Thanks in advance.

 

Best Regards

Luke

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first the link doesn't seem to be working, so i can't comment on the blade shape.

 

as far as i know, kindjal can be single or double edged.

the handle material ive seen is mostly horn, or bone. but there are also very nice examples with metal hilts.

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first the link doesn't seem to be working, so i can't comment on the blade shape.

 

as far as i know, kindjal can be single or double edged.

the handle material ive seen is mostly horn, or bone. but there are also very nice examples with metal hilts.

 

A lot of them are also wood-gripped. A very common feature on the double-edged ones are the asymetrical fullers, each one being slightly offset from the centreline of the blade.

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Oriental-Arms is my go to website for historical pieces like this. There are numerous pictures of Kindjal on the website, both for sale and already sold but, still archived. Only thing is... You will have to go through page, after page, after page.

 

Horn is most common for the grip. The photos I've seen could be either water buffalo or rhinoceros horn, hard to say. Handles fabricated from silver are the second most common. Ivory is next. I've run across exactly one Kindjal with a bone handle and one with a wooden handle.

 

Kindjal cover a huge geographical area, ranging from Greece all the way north to Russia and, everything in between. There are several different similar swords that are called Kindjal, as well as other names which all tend to get used interchangeably.

 

The Russian ones tend to be straight, double edged, with asymmetrical bevels and a single fuller on each side. Another name for these is Kama or Qama. There are Persian Qama but, they tend to have symmetrical bevels and fullers, and often multiple fullers. To make it more interesting, sometimes the Russians would imitate the Persian style but, conversely, I've never seen a Persian one with asymmetrical bevels and offset fullers. There are some curved, double edged, Russian ones but, they are sometimes called Bebut instead of Kindjal. The curved ones were mass produced and issued to the Russian Imperial Army around the WWI time frame and this style is frequently reproduced. Example. These, mass produced, ones were made with wooden handles and were pretty utilitarian compared to other kindjal.

 

The one in the link that you provided is what I've seen called a Quadara and these are considered more Persian in origin. They are characterized by a short, sharpened, clip at the tip of the sword. The one thing that is the same about all of these is the shape of the handle, the raised, decorative, rivets (on the handle) and the lack of guard (except for the Greek ones which are identified by the presence of a small, quillion style, guard.) The length of these tends to run the gamut from short daggers to large swords. Something in the large dagger, short sword, range of things is most common.

 

~Bruce~

Edited by B. Norris

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As usual,i really enjoyed reading Bruce's informed,wide-ranging,concise description.Thank you,Bruce!I envy your talent/skill at this,as my own posts all too often end up being confusing and scattered...But,for what it's worth,maybe Luke will find this helpfull:

 

Associating "russian" with "kinjal" may result in much confusion,though historically the concepts are intertwined.

Kinjal,kama,bebut,and other kinjal-nomenclature are,of course,all Turcic,Persian,and other,very non-Russian terms.

(In current usage in Russian,kinjal is used to denote basically a dagger,anything symmetrical and double-edged).

Russians have met with Kinjal in the many years of their wars in the regions where their lands border upon the Caucasus.Their strife with the(mostly Muslim)tribesmen there,unto the Chechen war today,was so consistently ongoing over the couple-(three?)hundred years,that the weapons of the enemy have become adopted as the regulation arms...

So it's the Caucasus that most Kinjal trails will eventually lead one into...

The Caucasus range,that huge mountainous region between the Black and the Caspian seas,is one of the metallurgically most enigmatic regions.

I'm not that up on Norse mythology,but someone important there(Sigurd?)have been trained in the Caucasus by the underground-dwelling Dwarves,bringing back with him some wild&crazy metalworking tricks and practices.

The region is so dynamic throughout history,being concoured and re-concoured by everybody and their brother,from ancient greeks onward,that it's about impossible to untangle.

The archaeologic record there,especially as far as ferrous metallurgy goes,is staggeringly complex.

Not too long ago i chanced on an account on one of the russian sites of a man finding some crucible steel ingots,in the ruins of an abandoned smithy in Abhazia,i believe.Such occurences are not rare,the smelting of bulat was always a part of the legend at least,of the Caucasian metalworking myth.

Kinjal is probably the most common icon of all associated with the(VERY different)tribesmen in the Caucasus.It's a de rigeur part of the national costume for many there.

Warn front and center,behind the sash,it's meant to introduce it's wearer to others on many levels,social,economic,ethic,et c.There're a tremendous intricacies in it's outward appearance(it also gives kinjal it's sgian-du-ish assymetry side to side,the rivets are flush on the inner side,the decorations differ,et c.

For a long time Caucasian masters have been using a cartouche with an inscription in Arabic,Farsi,and other languages on the font-facing blade face,it serves as a means of dating kinjals,and many other complexities as well.

Et c.,et c.,there's a great deal of all sorts of minutiae there...(And none of it is in any way Russian!:)

 

I've seen a detailed,step-by-step tutorial on making a kinjal by one of the (few)modern craftsmen,unfortunately,i couldn't find it again,since this thread appeared,i'll keep an eye out for it.

I only remember reading about what a lengthy,tedious,and stinky process it is to boil the buffalo horn for straightening and flattening sections of it for the grips...

Bruce is very correct in focusing on the grip material,it was(like every detail)important.

There's also some funky banding deal going on sometimes,almost making the grip box-like in construction...

But i think that at this point i'm all out of info,so better shut up!

 

Best of luck in research and the forging/finishing of one,i also always really liked the things-they're mighty cool!:)

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they often had pattern welding, with a twisted core of bars under the fullers, so that carving the fullers brings out the pattern best.

Some have fake patterns etched onto the fullers to make them look like more complex and valuable pieces (these are 20th century tourist trap types).

 

great style, seems like it comes from the gladius. But dressed up. A lot of them have thin sheet metal (often silver) encasing the hilt, and some beautiful carving and jewels. I second the Oriental Arms site. Lots of good stuff.

 

The Bebut Kindjal was issued to machine gunners as a sidearm during WWI. Others had longer swords, I think. Not sure why the guys who worked the machine gun crews got Bebut kinjals, but they did.

 

great blade type/shape. Doesn't get enough attention, probably due to the complexities of the hilt. That is what has scared me away. I like them.

 

kc

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Thanks for the responses guys. Some great info

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Luke,in case that you're still studying up on this,i just happened to've found this link again:It's basically a step-by-step process description,by one of the last hereditary masters,Marat Ahmedov.

This master lives and works in the Caucasus(naturally),and in this particular tutorial(i think that there're other ones on his site too)he uses Y8,the russian equivalent to 1080-ish type alloy;something that he believes to be fairly close to the material of many originals.

 

 

 

https://sites.google.com/site/kavkazskoeoruzie/home/kinzaly/izgotovlenie-tradicionnogo-kavkazskogo-kinzala-cast

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Wow that is very cool. Thanks

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Peace to your home dear friends.

Became interested in your topic, I would like pointeresovatsya Luke as his success in the manufacture of a dagger.

I would like to also note that the dagger with the first link not quite Caucasian, he called Kudara the Caucasus are of course also do but it is a tradition in this Caucasus chasnosti Persian.

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