In this post: Janbiya is the the traditional dagger that is worn at special occasions by Arab men in the Arabian Peninsula. We share a tutorial for a Janbiya kids craft.
Janbiya, Jambiya, khanjar, Khanjara… there are many variations of the name and spellings but it is found in almost all traditions in Arabian Peninsula (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Yemen). It is a curved dagger with a medial ridge. Some cultures in India, Persia, Iraq, Iran carry this type of dagger too. It has no religious significance but is only a cultural thing.
‘Janb’ means ‘on the side’. This dagger is called Janbiya as it is worn on a side on the waist.
In the past, daggers like the Jambiya were carried for the purpose of protection from enemies and for personal safety in case of a dispute but now, they are just worn as adornment and pride. These are worn by the men. In Saudi Arabia, a Jambiya forms part of the traditional dress of the people. You can see these worn around a belt at weddings and formal occasions. They are not usually taken out except during traditional Saudi dances because there are rules and etiquettes to wearing them.
The Jambiya is a curved dagger. It is made of iron but the handles are decorated with gemstones, gold, silver or paint. In the past these were made of ivory or horns of rhinoceros too.
As part of the North Africa and Middle East Heritage Blog Hop by the Multicultural Kid Blogs, we are sharing this ‘Decorate a Jambiya’ craft for kids to learn about Saudi Arabian tradition.
My children enjoyed making this very easy craft. My 3 and 5 year old girls made these daggers for our craft time. You can help your child ‘wear’ it with the help of a belt too or you can hang it up as it is.
Decorate a Jambiya Craft for kids
- Thick card (You can use cereal box carton or other recyclable material too)
- Aluminum or tin foil
- Acrylic paint
- Assortment of decorations like beads or bling, colorful yarn, buttons, sequin, glitter glue, stickers, etc
How to make:
- Cut out the shape of the dagger on a cardboard. The Janbiya dagger, although, is a straight knife but the sheath is curved so that it fits around the belt with which it is worn. We traced an outline of the shape of the Jambiya dagger first and then cut it out of cereal box. See picture above.
- Using the foil or yarn cover the ‘blade’ side of the dagger. Make sure it is well rounded like a ‘J’. My girls weren’t too keen on using the foil so we used the yarn. The foil can help give it that metallic look. If you have an older child, you can help them emboss it too.
- Decorate the handle of the Jambiya using paint, stickers, buttons, yarn or whatever you fancy etc.
You can help your child wear the Jambiya on a belt.
This post is part of the MKB Middle East and North African Heritage Month 2017. Scroll below to see more kids crafts and educational articles shared this month.
Welcome to the third annual Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month series from Multicultural Kid Blogs! Follow along all month long for great resources on teaching children about the heritage of this region, and link up your own posts below. Don’t miss our series from last year and from 2015!
You can also find even more resources on our North Africa and the Middle East Pinterest board:
Sand In My Toes on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fun Facts About the United Arab Emirates
A Crafty Arab: Jordan Craft Stick Flag Tutorial
Sand In My Toes: Wind Tower Craft (UAE)
All Done Monkey: MENA Countries Worksheets
Tiny Tapping Toes: Make Your Own Egyptian Sistrum
Biracial Bookworms on Multicultural Kid Blogs
Crafty Moms Share
Creative World of Varya
Link Up Your Posts!