Scimitars like this CAS Hanwei version made the mounted cavalry of Arabia some of the most feared warriors of their day. Patterned after the Turkish scimitar known as the kilij, this detailed and accurate reproduction only reaches performance quality.
This 38-inch sword includes 31 inches of curved steel cutting edge, shaped but not sharpened to allow safer use in dance. The forward-weighted blade shows a short blood groove and a dagger style upswept point. This light sword was swung from horseback in a slashing attack. The hardwood grip surrounds a strong rattail tang and sits solidly between a cast brass cross-guard and a traditionally styled cast brass hawksbill pommel. With high quality materials and historically correct details, the CAS Hanwei scimitar also makes an excellent sword for the collector of ancient weapons.
The kilij was just one of many different types of scimitars used in the Middle East. A false edge or yelman on the upper edge of the flared point increased its cutting ability, and the moderate curve of the blade made thrusts possible but more awkward than with a straighter blade. Other types of Arabian scimitars were formed with even more curve than the kilij. Late in the 18th century, the kilij evolved into a stiffer form with even less curve and a reinforced spine. Turkish styles of scimitars called mameluks became popular in Europe as well as the Middle East. One mameluke — awarded to Marine First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon in recognition of his heroism during the Battle of Tripoli Harbor — inspired the sword which is still part of the Marine dress uniform.
For a combat quality scimitar, see the Cold Steel Shamshir Ottoman Sword.
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