Muscat: Al Khanjar, the essential element of Omani culture and part of the state emblem, was given UNESCO heritage status on Thursday. The decision came during the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, being hosted by Morocco from November 28 to December 3.
Al-Khanjar is a part of the traditional dress worn by men in Oman during national and religious events and special occasions such as weddings. An essential element of Omani culture, its making requires significant knowledge and skills that are transmitted from one generation to the next.
The Omani khanjar is attached to the waist and includes a belt, handle, blade, scabbard and cover, all made from a variety of materials, including wood, leather, cloth and silver. The materials, which are engraved with unique designs, are viewed as a reflection of the connection to the land.
The khanjar is a part of the state emblem and plays a key role in many Omani customs and traditions. Historical sources and archaeological discoveries indicate that Omanis have worn the khanjar for centuries. Formal workshops and trainings also contribute to the transmission of skills in its making.