The Jinetas swords or ginetas are the direct, clear and rich inheritance but of the panoply hispanoarabe. The jineta sword is most well-known like hispanoarabe, used by the Muslims in the peninsula from century XIII, later the jineta sword was made and used by the Christians from the XV. During these two centuries, the jineta sword par excellence got to be the Muslim weapon, made mainly in Granada to be used against the Christians.
Century XI was full of events that put in danger the War Muslim Santa in our peninsula. The Muslim power of Mohamed I of Granada in Hispania was being in danger, and the arrival of aids of North Africa had to be reinforced with men new and new strategies single-breasted uniform jackets.
The new men would be "zenetes" of the berberisca tribe of the Benimerín, that soon would have to be called riders, and the new strategy it would be the complete change of the concept to fight, that would come to introduce great variations in the horse harnesses and horseman. This new and important strategy was the form to fight "to jineta". The Zenetes brought the sword jineta, a weapon of smaller weight and length and seemed in width to the Christian sword of the time.
This new form battle, came to change the weight that the horse would have to support during the fight, reducing the weight of the swords and the clothes of defenses, as well as the length of the stirrups, since on these it was developed to the new technique battle when supporting on them all the movements.
With the jinetas swords took control the taking of Granada.
The concept of the war changed in years, just as it changed the military clothes. It was necessary to obtain to fast movements and clear agility in the fight. Zenetes had introduced the short stirrup and had lightened of weight their defenses doing at the same time the shortest and manageable sword. The technique of fight of the African accepted by the Hispanic-Muslims, finished being also accepted by the Christians after the battle of Elvira Mountain range in 1431.
Two types of swords jinetas existed: those to fight, almost free of decoration, and those of luxury embellished with all class of adornments like the damascene work, the nielloed one, the gilded one, the enamel, the filigree, etc. Due to their quality and peculiarity (they do not arrive altogether at the ten) the swords jinetas universally are considered and admired. In Spain they are the three museums that lodge them; the one of the troops, that two units have, the one of San Telmo of San Sebastian and the Archaeological of the National.
The manufacture of the jineta sword began in Granada in century XIII, nevertheless exist data that leave the sufficiently clear thing that the swords jinetas also were done in Toledo. In the battle of Elvira Mountain range in 1431 (we return to remember that Granada is not reconquered until 1492, while Toledo it had been in 1085), highly was recognized by the Christians the effectiveness of this Arab sword and its fast way to use it.
Since then and until end of the same century that was organized the copy of the jineta sword in Toledo, the Christian craftsmen of the swords had tried the change of model of swords for the war, approaching the model of the Arab sword copying their characteristics; a straight leaf of double edge, enough narrows and light, and complex tripartite grip. But it seems that most of the conserved sword blades they are not the original ones but later, even added with the mark of the trigger, it marks typical of the swords of Toledo.
Jineta sword of diferent models.
Nevertheless, but characteristic of the swords jinetas, that gives individuality them, is their grips, of magnifies decoration. This has taken to consider that most of these swords jinetas, is cutting weapons. The grips of the swords jinetas have a guard with quillon very curved that embraces the starting of the leaf, whereas their sides decorate with openwork's or animal heads. The fist consists of three parts, hopeless with pommel spherical and, that as well, this ending with an extended button.
The case of the sword is of covered leather wood with a trimming composed of mouth, two clips for a traditional suspension by means of shoulder belt hung of the shoulder (according to they show paintings of the Alhambra) and tip. The mouth of the case and quillon match so that the case sword increases the effect decorative disguising the union. In the decoration of grip and case they abound the golden bronze, the gold silver, filigrees, the ivory incrustations and the enamels. And often they appear inscriptions with mottos as "single God is winning".
Who had a jineta sword belonged to social status very high then was considered symbol of being able between sultans and Arab Emirs. A single Christian could carry the jineta sword if he received like gift of some Emir or Muslim king or another very important personage.
But already in century XV, and while Granada is still in being able Muslim, they begin to appear between the Christian swords jinetas, that if booties were not military, were swords of done in Toledo after initiate the copy of the model of jineta sword of Granada