Carracks black sword

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Carracks black sword.jpg

The Carracks black sword, sometimes called a crab sword, is a type of sword invented in Portugal, during the 15th century, designed to be used by soldiers and sailors in ships and caravels in the Age of Discovery.[1]

It is characterized by having a guard with two protective rings, with the guard terminals in the form of two flat drops, the referred guard terminals facing toward the tip of the blade, and forming round large plates, sharpened to the point where they can be used as extra blades, because they can be convenient in close combat.

The protective rings, in addition to the protective function of the fingers, can also serve to trap an opponent's blade.

These swords were painted black to not reflect light and announce their presence on ships, and to resist rusting caused by salt water.

It was also known by Portuguese soldiers as colhona (which in rude Portuguese means approximately “big balls”) due to the round shape of the terminal plates, reminiscent of a representation of the testicles in a phallic symbol in the form of sword.

This type of sword would have appeared between 1460 and 1480 and saw much of its use in Portuguese trading cities in Africa, coming to be used as a symbol of honor by the local chiefs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Daehnhardt, Rainer (1997). Homens Espadas e Tomates. Rua Maria, 48-3º - 1170 Lisbon: Publicações Quipu. p. 255. ISBN 972-8408-01-3. Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-09-08.