Navaja, traditional Spanish folding knife, origin, types of navas, design features, distribution.

Navaja, most likely, from the Latin “novakul” – a razor, a traditional Spanish folding knife. According to its purpose, the navaj is a universal folding knife, suitable both for use in household purposes and for self-defense. 

Navaja, traditional Spanish folding knife, origin, types of navas, design features, distribution.

Navaja, apparently, came from medieval folding knives. There were a large number of types of navas, differing in shape and size. In Spain, in the 18-19 centuries, samples of such folding knives were widespread with both a wide and a narrow and thin blade..

The original variety of Navaja was a folding knife, the blade of which, when folded, partially protruded from the handle. Thus, when folded, such a navaja was a small knife, and when unfolded, its length increased one and a half times.

Navaja, traditional Spanish folding knife, origin, types of navas, design features, distribution.

Navajas were also distinguished by the design of the spring lock fixing the blade in the handle. Navaji acquired their modern form around the 18th century. One of the most popular types of navajas was albacetta, which got its name from the name of the city in which it was made. The characteristic features of albacetta were a wide blade and a curved handle, tapering to the end.

Navaja became widespread in connection with a number of decrees issued in Spain since the Middle Ages. These decrees forbade representatives of the lower classes to carry long-blade weapons. As a result of these orders, the short-bladed weapons, including navajas, gained widest popularity among the ordinary population of Spain.

In an effort to circumvent the laws and increase the combat capabilities of their weapons, the length of the Navaji often significantly increased. There were some specimens of navas, in expanded form, not inferior in length to the sword, their length reached 1 meter.

The proliferation of knife fighting schools with shortblade weapons.

Thanks to laws prohibiting long-blade weapons among commoners and the widespread proliferation of short-blade weapons in Spain, numerous knife-fighting schools have appeared. They were based on the traditional Spanish school of fencing with a sword.

Several major schools are known, created mainly on a regional basis. Knife fights among the lower classes were widespread in Spain from the 17th to 19th centuries.

Based on the book Small Encyclopedia of Cold Steel.
Pavel Yugrinov.

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