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Yengisar Knife- An Disappearing handicraft

Are you wild about collecting various exquisite knives? Then a small city with a history of producing knives over 400 years, nearby Kashgar on the western tip of China, Yengisar would be a must-go place. Here, the Yengisar knife is one of the three famous swords of Chinese ethnic minorities together with the Bao’an knife of Bao’an ethnic group and the Husa knife of Achang ethnic group in Yunnan.

 

 

What is Yengisar Knife?

Yengisar have been hand crafted here for hundreds of years, the secrets and perfected the skill of knife-making passed down from father to son, from generation to generation of blade masters. It was common practice for Uyghur men to carry around their personal knife wherever they went, in part for its practical uses but also out of family pride. For various many people, the Yengisar knife is a timeless symbol of Uyghur culture in Xinjiang.

 

 

Materials

The expensive and ornate boast silver blades and handles crisscrossed with intricate inlays of iridescent shell, stone, bone and other materials, often in geometric patterns with diamond, circle or even heart motifs. Because each piece is handcrafted, no two real Uyghur knives are the same.

Shapes and Sizes

  1. Bending style

  1. Straight style

 

  1. Sword style

 

Meanings

On the fertile edge of the Taklimakan Desert, people have long believed that placing a knife on their bedside keeps away bad dreams. On a baby’s seventh day of life, it’s tradition for parents to briefly slip a blade under the sleeping infant’s head to guarantee a long and healthy life.

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Also, it is considered an indespensible part of any Uighur man’s possesions. Any time you say “Yengisar knife” in any language here, a Uighur man overhears you, he’ll imediately pull up his shirt and reveal his own, hanging from a belt in a sheath, and grin with pride.

 

It’s really great to see these traditions alive and well. Fortunately, with the Chinese government making an active, systematic, and very throughout attempt to preserve the native culture, I believe that this exquisite and finely-tuned skill knife will be familiar to more and more people.

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