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A Kindjal from Turkey

Article about: I bought this knife from a guy near Sarikamis, Turkey in 1976. It looked like an interesting knife, and I thought it may have been intended for a child because the handle is so small. The to

  1. #1

    Default A Kindjal from Turkey

    I bought this knife from a guy near Sarikamis, Turkey in 1976. It looked like an interesting knife, and I thought it may have been intended for a child because the handle is so small. The total length is 14 inches, and the blade length is 9.5 inches.

    I have recently done some research and discovered that this style of knife is usually called a kindjal. Kindjals are very popular in the Caucasus Mountains and vicinity. There are many old 19th and 20th century pictures of adult Caucasus tribesmen with kindjals that appear to have handles too small for their hands. I have read two theories about why the handles are little. One is that the knives were worn as ornaments, and the small handles looked better. The other is that they were held similar to a fencing foil but with the base of the handle against the palm of the hand, to give a more powerful thrust through thick clothing or light armor. If anybody knows which, if either of these theories is correct, I would be interested in knowing.

    Kindjals were made and used by many different ethnic groups in the Caucasus Mountain region. The area where I bought the knife was home to Turks and Kurds in 1976, and was formerly home to Armenians. Of course, I don't know if the knife was made locally in the Sarikamis area. The decoration on the blade looks like a crescent and star pattern, so it may have been made by a Muslim ethnicity, but that is only a guess. If anybody can provide information about by whom it was made, it will be appreciated.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture A Kindjal from Turkey   A Kindjal from Turkey  


  2. #2
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    Looks like kama knife of that area, kindjal is used by longer blades, when i remember correctly.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the information, Andy. After reading your post, I did a search for "kama knife" and only found Japanese knives. Then I searched for "caucasian kama knife" and found a lot of information about the knife. I learned something new. Thanks again.

  4. #4

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    Interesting knife. The design really is ancient, you can find similar knives and swords (but bronze) from Asia Minor in museums dating back 3 thousand years. Though clearly the crescent moon and star indicate Islamic era.

  5. #5

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    Thanks Anderson.

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