Qama Brushed Silver Niello

Code:  EA5

This is a Qama (“Khama”, “Kama”) short sword, the national weapon of Georgia.  The blade is 11 1/4" in length, with 3 fullers.  It is double edged and very sharp.  The overall length is 17 1/2". Unlike the plainer version, called the Kindjal in Russian, the Qama is decorated, often with hilts and scabbards covered with embossed silver.  This Qama is one such, with a beautiful brushed silver scabbard.  The ornamentation includes Georgian traditional decorations done in silver wire designs and niello (a black metallic alloy of sulphur, copper, silver, and usually lead, used as an inlay on engraved metal). The fine filigree and ornate decorations remain in exceptional condition.  The well preserved nature of this Qama and its decoration indicate it may have been used in the ceremonies, celebrations and other traditions of the proud people of the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia.

Cоломон II georgian with qama

The Qama is the proud possession of a Georgian warrior, symbolizing heroism and dignity.  It is thus an insult to Georgians that their hereditary enemies, the Cossacks, were “allowed” to carry the Georgian national sword (in Russian, called a Kindjal).  Their grievance remains open to this day.

The Qama and Kindjal probably both evolved from the Roman short sword (gladius) and possibly the Persian quaddara which it resembles.

Read more about the Qama / Kindjal.