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Item:
ON9943

Original Victorian Era Abyssinian Ethiopian Shotel Sword with Scabbard

Regular price $695.00

Item Description

Original item: Only One Available. These sickle-shaped swords are very rare and seldom seen. They come from Abyssinia, which we know today as Ethiopia. This was and basically still is a very impoverished country on the Horn of East Africa.

In the 1868 Great Britain was forced to send an army to quell the Abyssinian Emperor of the time, a man named TEWDROS the Second. He was more widely known by his Anglicized name of EMPEROR THEODORE II. Theodore had sided with the Russian Tsar in the Crimean War of the mid 1850s and had victimized some British Missionaries. There had been some attempt to bring him into the fold of British influence including the presentation of a Revolver from Queen Victoria.

Once the situation had deteriorated so far, Sir John Napier led an expeditionary force to settle the matters. The British Defeated the Abyssinian troops at every turn, forcing Emperor Theodore to retreat to his Castle Stronghold of MAGDALA, where the British attacked. On seeing his defeat Emperor Theodore took his own life using the very revolver gifted to him by Queen Victoria.

This unique styled Sword comes only from Abyssinia, and they were designed to reach behind an opponent's shield with the greatly curved double sided blade. Usually very crude in form it is really remarkable to find this example coming complete with its original brass mounted leather very curved scabbard. Plainly this was a War Trophy taken home by a British Soldier. This example measures about 30 inches long, not taking the curve into account. Measured along the outside edge, the blade itself is 32 inches long.

For years this sword has been on display next to it's scabbard rather than in it resulting in it being best left that way due to the leather shrinking. A very interesting unique design of blade from the Eastern Horn of Africa.

In very good condition, dating to the 1860's and ready to display

More Information on the SHOTEL Sword:

A shotel is a curved sword originating in Abyssinia (ancient Ethiopia). The Ethiopian swordsmen who were trained in using this weapon were known as shotelai. The curve on the shotel's blade varies from the Persian shamshir, adopting an almost semicircular shape. The blade is flat and double-edged with a diamond cross-section. The blade is about 40 inches (1,000 mm) in total length and the hilt is a simple wooden piece with no guard. The shotel was carried in a close fitting leather scabbard.

Evidence for the shotel dates from the earliest Damotians (Damites) and Axumites, used by both mounted and dismounted warriors. After the Solomonic restoration of Atse Yikuno Amlak I, the resurgent Emperors began to re-establish the Axumite armies. This culminated in the reign of Amda Seyon I. Ethiopian forces were armed with short and long swords such as the Seif and Gorade. The Shotel swordsmen known as Shotelai and organized in the Axurarat Shotelai comprised one of the elite forces of Amda Seyon's Imperial host. Along with the Hareb Gonda and Korem cavalry, Keste Nihb archers and Axuarat Axuarai lancers were said to be the forces that "..flew through the air like the eagle and spun on the ground like the avalanche", by a contemporaneous historian. Shotel techniques among others included hooking attacks both against mounted and dismounted opponents that had devastating effect especially against mounted cavalry. The shotel could be used to hook and rip the warrior off the horse. Classically the Shotel was employed in a dismounted state to hook the opponent by reaching around a shield or any other defensive implement or weapon.

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