Mexican Presentation Saddle Sword


Code AM8

When I obtained this Mexican saddle sword as part of a lot it was extremely dirty and the blade entirely encrusted in dirt and rust. Total length 22", blade length 16 3/4". Not thinking it was interesting at all, I used the blade to test various cleaning methods. I was surprised to see the blade decorations which include the following:


On one side, it says:

F-Florez Hdez.

B. Juarez -34

Ocotlán Oax

Ocotlán is a small city in Oaxaca.

"Hdez", with the obvious period, is probably an abbreviation for "Hernandez"

And on the other side we find:

El respeto el derecho

Es la paz recuerdo de Oaxaca

Translation: Respect the law. Peace is the memory of Oaxaca.


220px-Benito Juarez Presidente

It is my impression that this weapon is either commemorative post Mexican Revolution, or less likely contemporary to it. Actually I believe the B. Juarez to signify Benito Juarez, President of Mexico prior to his once ally, Porfirio Diaz. The words inscribed seem paraphrased from a quote attributed to Juarez; 

"...el respecto al derecho ajeno es la paz" (respect for the rights of others is peace). 

The addition of Oaxaca is of course to Juarez, who was of Zapotec heritage from Oaxaca. The numeric 34 is of larger question, and the only seemingly plausible reference may be to that being the year he became a lawyer.  The alternative translation of the inscription "Respect the law" seems to support this theory.

The placement in connection to the complexities of the Mexican Revolution in my view is that perhaps the machete is aligned with followers of Venustiano Carranza, who idolized Benito Juarez and had served with him in the struggles for reform. He was assassinated in 1920.

Interestingly Carranza's forces had successfully defended Oaxaca from attack in 1916 from forces led by a Gen. M. Hernandez, but that connection is obviously tenuous without further research. 

It appears that the bolster on the weapon is of aluminum, which I dont think was substantially used on sword components until after 1915, and in Mexico likely some time later. The acid etching does not seem commonly used on blades in Mexico until this period as well, though many blades imported from Germany in 19th century were so etched. 

The stylized eagle head aligns of course with the Anuhuac eagle of Aztec legend which became part of the symbol for the Federal Republic of Mexico in 1823, and subsequent governments of Mexico. 

Apparantly there are commercial firms producing Oaxaca weapons in recent decades with references to the Aragon makers. It would be interesting to learn more on this referenced hereditary family of sword makers in Oaxaca.

Category: Machete