Edges of the World
You know it’s American when you see it. That’s the easy part. Isn’t it amazing how something “foreign” is also instantly recognizable? And it doesn’t matter which country you live in, a Chevy is as American as a Ford, and a Maserati as Italian as a Ferrari. One doesn’t look at a Dodge pickup truck, and say, “Wow, those Japanese imports are sure stylish.” The Dodge is easily identified as an American truck. And likewise, even the most novice of car enthusiasts can tell that a Hyundai isn’t a product of Detroit, Mich.
So should knives and swords be any different? When you shrink your product down from a vehicle that a person rides inside to a knife he or she carries, one might think that identifying it by country of origin would be more difficult. But that’s not the case. Many knife enthusiasts recognize Persian upswept blades when they see them, Scottish basket-hilt swords, Japanese tantos or wakizashis, French poniards, Napalese kukris and American bowie knives. Those are the easy ones. But can you identify a Hungarian foko or a Spanish belduque? It doesn’t take much practice.
Perhaps we’re more worldly than we give ourselves credit for. Sure, the average American can’t likely name the countries of South Africa, but we know Chinese food when we taste it, a Cuban cigar when we smoke it and a Mexican fiesta when we attend one. Regional recognition isn’t limited to geography, but also includes cultures, people, clothing, food, arms and armor. That means knives, and these exotic beauties will take you to the edges of the world and back. Or is the world round?
Knives 2016, 36th Edition
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