The Jambiya

The jambiya is an important part of Yemeni culture and tradition.  It is a dagger with a curved blade, held in a sheath attached to an embroidered belt.  The dagger is worn by men and shows their status in society through the design and the materials used to make it.  The most expensive jambiyas have handles made from rhino horns, although the use of this material is now banned in Yemen.  The design can also show which tribe and region men are from.  The making of the dagger and belt are highly skilled and valued crafts in Yemen.  The giving of a jambiya to a boy represents them entering adulthood and it is worn from the age of 14. The jambiya is worn at traditional festivals and is used when dancing.