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17 George St, Dunedin, New Zealand 9016
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Modern sgian dubh with black

Modern printed sgian dubh with black top

There is little that students of highland dress agree on about the sgian dubh, even its spelling. It is seen as skein dubh, sgian dhub, skene du, skean dhu and skhian dubh, and doubtless others. Phonetically, it is pronounced skein or skeen doo. The meaning, however, is clear: sgian means knife or dagger, dubh means black. There is some discussion about the meaning of black in this connotation. Some feel that black comes from the usual colour of the handle of the little knife, but the great majority feel that it means secret, or hidden, as in the word blackmail. This is rooted in one of the prominent theories about the knife's origin.


Modern sgian dubh with black NZ$154.50 add to cart
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