It is believed that the name of the knife goes back to the Latin "novacula", which means "razor". Indeed, its shape is in many ways reminiscent of the “dangerous razor” that barbers used. On the other hand, they pay attention to the fact that in Spanish the word “navaja” means not only a knife, but also a canine (sometimes with a refinement “boar's canine”), namely, animal canines were originally used to make a knife handle. One way or another, the formation of navah as a military weapon is mainly referred to the XIII-XVI centuries.
Types of Navaha: top - Navajo; medium - classic navaha; lower - bandolero
Since the XVI century, the knife has gained great popularity throughout Spain: in Albacete, Bonilla, Valencia, Seville, Toledo and other regions. At the same time, in each region it was made in its own way (in fact, so far Navaha is mostly a hand-made product), and in each of them, as a rule, there was some special name: for example, “moosa” (thorn ), "Corte" (blade) or "abaniko" (fan).
At the same time, it is customary to single out the main three types of these weapons. Classical Navajo was a long curved handle tapering to the end with a narrow leaf-shaped blade. The Albacete Navaha, named after the city in which it was first started to be crafted, on the contrary, has a broad blade. But the third main type of Navaja - bandolero - had a relatively narrow blade, but with a large butt bevel, more like another sharpened blade.
In length, the Navaja averaged from 30 to 45 cm in the opened state. And the female version of Navaha, who, not yielding to men at all, could always stand up for their honor, was 15 cm less: the ladies' “salvavirgo” - “guardian of honor” - ranged in length from 15 to 20 cm (such a small woman I could easily hide it on my chest or in a garter on my leg under the skirt). At the same time, another kind of knife Navajo, on the contrary, could reach a meter in length. Such a knife could not only dismiss the enemy, stabbing him, they could well parry the blows inflicted, for example, with a sword and, in fact, fencing.
Duel with knives with raincoats
Typically, the combat technique with the use of navahi also included grabs and strikes with the long end of the handle. At the same time, in the other hand, as a rule, they were holding a thick raincoat or hat, which protected themselves from the attacks of the enemy. By the way, the cloak later replaced the dagger dagger, which was usually used in tandem with a sword or rapier for fencing.
At the same time in different parts of Spain, the technique of possession of Nawah could vary. For example, the “village” was called the conduct of the battle simple sweeping movements of the knife. But the so-called style of "Sevilliano", apparently appeared in Seville, combined elements of both "village" combat and Gypsy ("hitano"), which was distinguished by a large number of various fraudulent movements.
As for the mechanism of the first Spanish folding knives, it is as if not very different from the modern ones, to which the ancestors of the Spanish Navaha can undoubtedly be counted. Her blade held in the open position due to the spring attached to the handle. When the knife was opened, the tail of the blade was inserted into the hole in the spring, and thus was fixed so that the knife did not fold back. But to remove the weapon, it was necessary to pull a special ring, then the blade could be folded. At the same time, some knives with, for example, serrated shanks, when closing, produced a characteristic sound, a kind of gnash, therefore, they were called “Navaha karrak”. The ring later replaced a more convenient mechanism, invented by the Basques (it was called the Basque castle) and made in the form of a special lever.
Thus, in almost every corner of Spain, a contribution was made to the formation of Navaja not just as a knife, but as a real national weapon. Not without reason, the explorer and collector of weapons, Rafael Marquis del Parel, said that Navaja in the weapon history of Spain means as much as flamenco in the history of folklore, and paella - national cuisine.