Saturday, June 03, 2006

Sardinian Knives

The knife is nothing but the extensions of the hand. This explains the perfection of the peculiarities of “Sardinian knife” known as "Leppa" or "Arrosoja".

The forging of knives, result of an ancient skill, requires particular care both in the sharpening of the blade and in the preparation of the handle carved from horn (of moufflons, buffaloes and goats). The most sought after horn is completely black with no veining. The handles are either smooth or accurately carved with brass (or copper) decorations and festoons.

The “leppa” is not the only typical Sardinian knife. History tells about World War One (1915-1918) when the soldiers of “Brigata Sassari” , famous for numerous deeds, launched many attacks with a knife, named “Guspinesa”. A knife with a cut-blade, not offensive but of sure efficacy, infact the soldiers cried “Forza Paris!” (come on, together!), trew the uncomfortable bayonets and fought hand to hand so the enemy troops fell back, demoralized and frightened by the emphasis and ability in the use of knife.

The ancient “leppa” wasn’t like that we know at present time but, it was a kind of sword 50/60 cm long!!

The "Arburesa" knife was born in Arb
us. The form of its blade is as a “wide leaf”, definited as “pot-bellied”.

The "Pattadese" knife was born in Pattada.
It is is a jack-knife and represents a typical Sardinian knife with the handle in ram or mouflon horn (a wild sheep native to the island).

The "Guspinesa" (from Guspini) has a position of respect in the history of Sardinian Knives.
It was born in the mining area of Sulcis (South-West of Sardinia) and it has a typical cut-blade because, Prime Minister Giolitti, in 1908, forbade the use of knives with point. Called also “miner knife”, it was used to cut and smear but it could not be an arm during the frequent quarrels among miners.


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