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Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880

( ID: ms1234 )

A fine example of an Ethiopian shotel sword. This example has a three piece grip of very fine construction and  gorgeous multi fullered blade of sickle shaped form.

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.

Overall length 34" from blade tip to pommel but not accounting for the deep hemispherical curve.

Photo #1 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #2 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #3 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #4 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #5 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #6 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #7 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #8 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #9 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #10 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #11 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #12 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #13 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880
Photo #14 of Fine Ethiopian Abyssinian Shotel Sword, circa 1880