Want to get to know the culture of any people? Examine the national knives, which he has in turn. Seriously, this gives an idea of life, customs and peculiarities no worse than folklore or ethnographic research. Since the knife is not only the main working tool, but also an important cultural component. And today we will talk with you about one such national knife that came to us from Uzbekistan. Called it pchek.
The very word “pchek“Goes back to” Pechak “or” chick “, which in Uzbek means” knife. ” Nothing original, yes. In the same way as in the main purposes of this knife – cutting vegetables, cutting meat and fish. Yes, it is an economic tool, not a combat one. Even the presence of valleys, which have become almost a constant attribute of the bees, is simply an attempt to give it a more impressive appearance. The fact is that in the Uyghur cultural tradition, carrying cold weapons is the duty of every real man. But it is absolutely not necessary to wear only military weapons. therefore pchek, equipped with decorative elements, is an ideal option.
According to archaeological research, until the 14th century, Uzbeks used the classic version of the “universal knife”, which copes well with almost all possible tasks. However, later the design of the knife began to change, thus bringing the shape of modern pchak. So how do they differ from universal knives?
The handle is quite thin, its upper edge continues the butt line, and the lower one protrudes beyond the center line. The blade itself has a wedge-shaped section and is provided with a one-sided sharpening. The thickness from the handle to the tip also gradually decreases. The length of the blade is from 16 to 22 cm. The length of the knife is from 27 cm and beyond. The tip is most often on the same line with the butt, but other options are also possible. Profile pchaka closer to the classic blade with a straight butt.
As for the handle, it is made of horn, bone or wood. Often used decorative rings of various materials, specially built into the dies. Also, almost always there are metal rings in those places where the shank passes into the neck and thin. These rings have not only a decorative purpose, but also a functional one – they prevent moisture from getting inside the handle. It always has (or at least indicated) a notch under the little finger. The handle itself is hooked, relatively thin, extending towards the end, where the pillars are fastened, designed to facilitate the retention of the blade. In addition, due to the design features, the handle is quite light. The sheath is ordinary, leather, without additional fixation, so the knife was inserted almost to the end – only the tops and a part of the handle stick out from the outside.
The material for the manufacture of the blade – carbon steel of different quality. Rich Uzbeks could even afford Damascus steel with damask steel, while everyone else had to be content with something simpler. Therefore, cheap blades had to constantly rule, which significantly reduced their thickness. The same applies to trim inlays – cheap hacks they didn’t get off at all, and the expensive ones were blued, inlaid and looked like works of art rather than tools of daily use.
There are the following varieties pchak:
- Kaiko – his tip is slightly raised above the butt line
- Tolbargs – the tip is displaced downward, relative to the line of the butt, which begins to descend somewhere 1/5 part to the end. Most often used by butchers.
- Kazakhcha – on the butt, approximately in the middle, there is a neat notch, which was sharpened and used to clean fish from scales.
- Kushkamalak – the blade is equipped with a double dol
Presently hacks they have not lost their practical significance, although more and more craftsmen are inclined to manufacture only souvenirs. However, the culture of their use is still there, especially away from major cities. As for the use pchak for self-defense or other purposes, they are not particularly suitable for this. Even the presence of dol does not turn this tool into a combat knife. Although some specimens are still considered cold weapons, so be careful when choosing and buying this national knife.