Qama MOP Chert Decorated


Code:  EA3

This is my second Qama (“Khama”) short sword, the national weapon of Georgia. The overall length of this Qama is 20" with a 12 1/2" long blade. Weight is 1 pound, 1.1 ounce. The blade is quite sharp, with three fullers.

This Qama is extensively decorated with a hilt and scabbard covered with intricate filigree silver in a floral pattern.  The hilt and scabbard decoration also includes inlaid mother-of-pearl and black chert, typical of the Qama. 

The Khevsur clansmen were owners of Qamas.  The swords are seen clearly in the photo below.

One interesting and curious custom of the Khevsur regarding the Qama is its mostly symbolic use in pre-marital relationships, known as sc’orproba. A young couple could lie together during the night with a sword placed between them. Sexual intercourse between the pair was strictly forbidden. Any man who breached this rule was condemned to death.

For more information about Qamas and Georgia, see the entry for my other Qama.

This is a tentative identification. The virtually identically shaped “kindjal” from the Dagestan side of the Caucasus mountains, is hardly ever decorated with mother-of-pearl, nor are they generally as richly decorated.. I purchased this sword from an elderly gentleman who said that he personally obtained it from a Cairo Bazaar in the early 1960s.  He understood that the sword came originally from Libya, dating perhaps to the 1950s or earlier.  But he wasn’t sure ...

Read more about the Qama / Kindjal.