Tuesday, June 27, 2006

CULTURE: Kindjal daggers

A secret guardian of freedom, the punishing kindjal,

Last arbiter in matters of disgrace and insult…
A.S. Pushkin. Kindjal

The kindjal is an ancient Chechen weapon. This is confirmed by the numerous archeological finds on the republic's territory. Kindjals were subdivided into two kinds: blued blade and a high-polish blade.
Chechen kindjals were often remarkable for their big size until the 19th century. The blade was ribbed and not unlike that of the gladius, the sword of Roman legionaries and gladiators but its point was longer. They could be up to four fingers broad (7–9 cm) and up to 60 cm in length which corresponds to the dimensions of the gladius. The flutes were either absent or present only on one side of the early kindjals…

There were some changes made to kindjals between the mid-19th century and the end of the Caucasian War. The big specimens were being replaced by lighter and elegant ones most of which had between one and three flutes. This was, perhaps, due to the cessation of active military operations and changing fashions. At the same time, the quality of blades remained as high as ever as a rule. Kindjals with very slim and long points were intended for piercing coats of mail and they were widely used in fighting. Some of them are still around.

Der ganze Text: Kindjal daggers ( I.Askhabov's book)

No comments: