Original 1880 North African Mahdi Broadsword Kaskara or Takooba with Scabbard
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Original Item: One-of-a-kind. In the 1880’s the SUDAN the vast land just south of Egypt was ruled by the Khedive from Cairo. Sudan was basically occupied by native Africans in the south and Arab traders in the north. The coming of the Muslim religious leader known as the "Mahdi" unified the population into an uprising against Egypt.
This Berber sword, known as a Takooba, is typical in style with the Mahdi's Dervish supporters in the Sudan which many of the Tuareg tribesmen followed as the "foretold one". Muhammad Ahmad led the Islamic uprising against the Ottoman Empire and the British General Charles Gordon in Khartoum who was slaughtered with his entire command just two days before the long promised relief column arrived in January 1885. Our sword comes complete with it's original decorated leather scabbard but is absent the bottom 4" of the scabbard. The hilt of crusader cross design is entirely covered this worked brass decoration some of which carries over to the scabbard. We also offer the correct matching Taureg Shield [Item code ON8610] which makes a great pairing.
Britain assisted and allowed General Charles Gordon to become the Governor of Sudan on behalf of the Egyptian Khedive. The result was that after a long siege the entire Khartoum garrison, including General Charles Gordon, was butchered leading to much embarrassment for the British Government. It took 14 years, until 1898 for General Gordon to be avenged with the complete destruction of the Muslim Army at the Battle of Omdurman.
The Mahdi army, numbering over 100,000, was made up of many tribes of various origins and used primitive broad swords fashioned on those the European Crusaders had carried back in the 13th and 14th centuries. These were known as Kaskaras and were carried along with a large shield.
This Broadsword, known as a KASKARA, is a great example of the principal weapon carried
by the Mahdi's warriors. These were desert people and had modeled the broadsword on those
carried by the European Crusaders in the 14th century.
The Blade is a massive 36" long and almost 2" wide at the cross guard. The hilt and scabbard
are leather covered and there is even the remains of the waist belt hanging straps attached to
the scabbard. The blade bears the traditional Double Crescent Moon stampings to either side.
The leather of the scabbard has somewhat shrunk preventing the blade to be fully inserted
into the last couple of inches.
The Sudanese Wars are famously remembered in the movies too: Charlton Heston in "KHARTOUM" and in at least two productions of "THE FOUR FEATHERS. The close of the Victorian era was the height of the Great British Empire. A British soldier's bring back souvenir from his times on the front line.
The Kaskara was a type of sword characteristic of Sudan, Chad, and Eritrea. The blade of the kaskara was usually about a yard long, double edged and with a spatulate tip. While most surviving examples are from the 19th century the type is believed to have originated around the early 14th century, and may represent a localized survival of the straight, double-edged medieval Arab sword. The kaskara was worn horizontally across the back or between the upper arm and thorax. According to British Museum curator Christopher Spring, "in the central and eastern Sudan, from Chad through Darfur and across to the Red Sea province, the straight, double-edged swords known as kaskara were an essential possession of most men."
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