Indian Khanjar Dagger
Dated: Mid-19th century
The iron hilt with rolled bolsters and slender grip developing into a fully-modeled parrot’s head, inlaid overall with silver in floral and vegetation motifs. The graceful blade forged of silver-gray wootz Damascus steel, of gently-waved form throughout, with an inlaid silver panel at each side of the forte.
Although the khanjar was originally created as a weapon to attack and defend, it is utilized solely for ceremonial and practical purposes today. The latter situation would occur in the desert, where it is used as a tool for hunting and skinning animals, as well as for slicing ropes. Because of this development, it is now considered a “social taboo” in Oman to pull out one’s khanjar from its scabbard, since the only time men would do this would be to seek vengeance or to defend oneself.