JEDDAH: Oman highlighted its heritage with a display of its most important ancient crafts to visitors to Souq Okaz market.
Omani artisans and folklore groups displayed the special silverware and daggers. Daggers at the market vary in price between SR1,000 and SR10,000.
The Omani dagger is a national symbol of Oman featured on its flag, alongside two swords. Daggers were carried by Omanis for centuries as a manly symbol.
Hamyar bin Hamad Al-Omari of the Oman Craft Industry Association, listed the various types of Omani dagger such as the Suri, the Saidi, the Batani, the Sahili and the Nazwani.
“Saidi” daggers are the preserve of the Omani Royal Family, and are noted for their fine traditional engraving.
The “Suri” dagger symbolizes Sur in the eastern region. It is a small, lightweight dagger with a gold-plated handle. The lower section is made of leather and decorated with wire and silver threads and gold embroidery.
The “Nizwani” dagger, related to the province of Nizwa is carefully decorated on the silver plate that covers the bottom of the scabbard of the dagger and it is made of wood. The handle is similar to the “Saidi” dagger. It was traditionally made of ivory and covered by silver. The finest dagger makers and goldsmiths fashion these daggers, which are regarded as masterpieces.
In addition, there are “Batini” and “Sahili” daggers.
The dagger’s main parts are: The handle, the ferrule at the base, the spine, the blade and the tip. The dagger accessories are: Belt, stud, the belt buckles, rings and belt holder.
The dagger usually consists of 10 to 13 pieces that vary according to the type of dagger and the state that symbolizes it. Accessories for the Omani dagger are: The burnt, pincher and knife.
Souq Okaz is a unique tourism destination in Taif, and is considered one of the most important in the Kingdom.
This year’s edition, which will end on July 13, was opened under the patronage of King Salman, with Egypt the honorary guest.
Many tourists from around the world visit the souq, which has provided a unique historical and artistic forum gathering intellectuals and people interested in literature and culture.
The souq represents an important chapter in the history of the Arabs before Islam. It was more than a trade fair, serving as a cultural, social, economic and political gathering of Arabs.