» Back to Overview
This Persian dagger, with its double-edged curved blade and “I”-shaped grip has the characteristics of the traditional Jambiya. However, it does not contain the narrow central rib along the blade intended for reinforcement that is found in most. The term Jambiya is the western distortion of the Arabic word Jannabiya indicative of an item ‘mounted on the hip’. Daggers were an integral part of Islamic culture, used for hunting, fighting and tribal ceremonial dances. The Jambiya was designed for thrusting, and due to its weight and curvature could not be thrown like other daggers. It can be found throughout the Islamic world, but is usually subject to regional variations both in style and dimensions. The hilt and scabbard of the featured dagger are decorated with intertwined etched lines. Most Jambiyas produced contain such carvings or acid marks, with the more elaborate ones having heavily decorated hilts, and scabbards inlaid with semi-precious stones. The hilt of the present dagger is also adorned with an eight-pointed star motif, a universal symbol often used in decoration. Invariably, it has symbolised good fortune to the many cultures it pertains to, and can also signify the eight directions of the compass.