Hand Crafted Knives
A knife is a sharp-edged hand âheld instrument that consists of a handle attached to a blade. It can be used for cutting as well as a weapon. The origin of the knife dates back to two-and-a-half million years ago, as evidenced by the Oldowan tools.
Originally, knives were shaped by knapping or percussive flaking of harder rocks such as obsidian and flint. During the Paleolithic Era, Homo habilis made tools similar to the knife out of wood, bone, and other perishable materials that havenât survived. Approximately five thousand years ago, as advancement in metallurgy progressed, wood, stone, and bone blades were gradually succeeded by bronze, iron, copper, and steel. The first metal knives were copper knives which were symmetrical double edged daggers that copied the preceding flint daggers. During the middle of the Bronze Age in Europe, the first single-edged knives appeared. These knives replaced daggers, which had actually evolved into swords. Today, modern knives are made from many different materials including such alloys as tool steels, carbon fiber, ceramics, and titanium. There is an active community of modern custom knife makers and collectors such as pocket knife collectors, Indian knife collectors, and inlaid knife collectors, whom often pioneer the use of new materials in knives. Here in the United States, The American Bladesmith Society promotes forged blades whereas the Knifemakers Guild promotes all custom knives.
The term dagger which comes from the Vulgar Latin âdacaâ?, or a Dacian knife, is typically a double-edged blade used for stabbing or thrusting. During close combat, they often fulfill the role of a secondary defense weapon. A tang extends into the handle along the centre line of the blade. Daggers are differentiated from knives on the basis that daggers are intended primarily for stabbing whereas knives are usually single-edged and intended for cutting. Although, most knives and daggers are capable of stabbing or cutting something.
Daggers have evolved out of prehistoric tools. In the beginning, they were initially made of flint, ivory, or even bone and were used as weapons since the earliest periods of human civilization. The first metal daggers appeared during the Bronze Age, in the 3rd millennium BC, which predates the sword, and eventually developed from oversized daggers. Due to its limited reach, the standard dagger would not be very effective against axes, spears, or even maces; therefore, it was an important step towards the development of a more useful close-combat weapon, which later became the sword.
From the very beginning of Egyptian history, daggers were adorned as ceremonial objects with golden hilts and later on were made more ornate and with varied construction. Military and naval officers wore dress daggers as symbols of power, and more modern soldiers are still equipped with combat knives and knife bayonets.
Knives and daggers have always been considered secondary or even tertiary weapons. Many cultures mainly fought with pole weapons, swords, and axes at arm's length, if not already utilizing bows, spears, slings, or other long-range weapons.
Symbolically ambiguous, the dagger is associated with cowardice and treachery due to the ease of concealment and the surprise that someone could inflict with one on an unsuspecting victim. There are many documented assassinations that were reportedly carried out using one. The victims of such assassinations included Julius Caesar, who suffered 23 stab wounds from the irate members of the Roman Senate. Although some individuals believe the dagger symbolizes the determination of an individual to get courageously close to the enemy.
In the 20th Century, daggers achieved public notoriety as ornamental uniform regalia by the fascist dictatorships of Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany, and dress daggers were used by other countries as well, including Japan. As far as its use as combat equipment, the dagger was carried by many infantry and commando forces during the Second World War. British commandos had carried a slender dagger, the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, developed from the knife or dagger used in Shanghai. In the Pacific, the United States Marine Corps Raiders in the Pacific carried a similar fighting dagger, and many others were fashioned for American forces and their allies from cut-down World War I Patton sabers.
Knife sheaths protect the knife, protect the handler from accidents, and keep it convenient. In some states, a knife can only be carried in a knife sheath in order to comply with concealed weapons laws.
Today, knife sheaths are made from a variety of materials and can be worn almost anywhere. Leather knife sheaths still remain popular. A leather knife sheath is durable and wears well; however, it can stretch with age, and it doesnât fair very well in certain conditions, like exposure to the cold or water. The leather knife sheath is very comfortable to wear, and itâs an excellent material for a Bowie knife or hunting knife as well as a beautiful home accessory to be displayed as home decor.
We feature authentic beaded knife sheaths by Janice Osalita and Judy Shaner. The knife sheaths are handmade from brain-tanned deer hide and include fringe and a variety of different beads in intricate traditional Indian or Native American designs.