Omani Matchlock accessories (gunpowder-pan, trigger, fuse, tubes, cock, protecting animal skins) and the process the fire a matchlock
Omani Matchlock Fuse and Tube
The fuse / taper is made of a cord of palm fibre which has been finely plated and then wound round with cotton thread. The cotton thread keeps the taper smouldering for a long time.
On the photos in the slide-show we see:
- The fuse is wound around the gun stock and fuse tubes and the end fixed with a brass clam (that is fixed to the tubes)
- The two connected fuse-tubes a) A tube with holes to keep the fuse smouldering b) One closed to put out the fire
- The fuse is lighted with a fire-striker.
- The tiny powder-pan is connected to the barrel (see the first photo in th slide-show) and is filled with powder using the small powder box (talahiq).
- The filled powder-pan is subsequently sealed with a copper sliding cover also connected to the barrel.
- On the top of the gun we see the "forked" cock (or hammer) in which the fuse is placed when preparing to fire.
- When you press the trigger (has abstract shape of a lion) on the bottom right the burning fuse is moved towards the small powder-pan and when ignited fire moves through a tiny hole (touch-hole) to the center of the barrel (with the powder and the bullet) and the gun is fired!
|Arab names of different gun parts and tools:
- Fatiyalah (taper / fuse)
- Minkahr (forked cock or hammer positioned close to the end of the barrel)
- Zinad / mharque (trigger)
- Hough (gun powder-pan attached to the barrel)
- Powder-pan cover to keep pan dry and prevent the touch-hole in the barrel from getting clogged)
- M´taf (brass fuse tube to put the taper / fuse in)
- Malbaque (brass tube with air holes to keep fuse smoldering)
- Hashum (animal skin to protect the wooden stock from getting burnt when firing)
- Qoush (thick piece of animal skin at the end of the stock to protect the shoulder from the shock wave when the gun is fired)
Period: People stopped using these guns around the 1880´s.
- Voyage a la cote orientale d´Afrique execute pendant les annees 1846, 1847, 1848. Sous le commandement de M. Guillain capitage de fregate. Publie par ordre du gouvernement.
- Robert Elgood. The Arms and armour of Arabia page 37-45 (story of the barrel stamps page 44 bottom right). Page 40 fig 4.5 shows also the tubes with the match wound around it.
- Elgood Firearms of the Islamic world page 85-89. Geary the editor of the Times of India visited Muscat in 1878 and mentions " Many had long old-fashioned guns, highly ornamented" Soon after this period the Martini Henry and other modern guns replaced the matchlock in the 1880´s.
- A tribute to Oman 18th National day "Gun lore: The story of the Abu Fatiylah" Robert Richmond. Apex Ruwi page 89-93
- Max von Oppenheim in his book vom Mittelmeer zum Perzischen Golf band II page