Original Victorian Era Sudanese Mahdi Broadsword Kaskara with Crocodile Skin Scabbard
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Original Item: One-of-a-kind. In the 1870-1880 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.
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 excellent 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 35" long and almost 2" wide at the cross guard. The blade bears snake engravings and traditional North African Islamic Symbols on either side.
The scabbard is genuine crocodile skin that is stitched on the reverse. Due to age and use the tip of the scabbard is worn away and missing.
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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