Yemeni Dagger er, oops, Made in China

KhanjarThese are traditional Omani knives offered for sale at the souk at Muttrah, near Muscat, Oman.

The knife, called a khanjar, is worn on a kind of belt over a man's dishdasha. The Omani Ministry of Information explains, "The shape of the khanjar is always the same and is
characterised by the curve of the blade and by the
near right- angle bend of the sheath. Sheaths may
vary from simple covers to ornate silver or
gold-decorated pieces of great beauty and
delicacy.

"Khanjars are worn on formal occasions and at
feasts and holidays, and almost all Omani men
boast one.

"Once worn in self-defence, the khanjar is today
both a fashion accessory and a prestige item much
in demand."

The Yemeni equivalent is called the jambiya. Yemen Post quotes a famous sheik as saying, "To this day a number of people would rather die than be seen in public without their Jambiyas."

But now Global Post has a nice photo essay and a dismaying story revealing that nowadays at the old souk in Sanaa, a large number of those jambiyas are
actually "Chinese-made imitations — plastic approximations of the
elegant, hand-carved originals — and they're selling like hotcakes."

See more Oman photos in the Oman Gallery at EarthPhotos.com. Photo from EarthPhotos.com.

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