Donnerstag, 15. September 2011

Nomenclature of the German "Jagdnicker"

I figured there are many works on knives from all countries. The German hunting knife, the "Jagdnicker", however, albeit widely used, known and loved, is very poorly documented. Now I think I have a very healthy relation to the culture of my own country, and therefore I simply love those things I love.*g. This type of knife has always been with me since I was a child, and it is a widely and commonly used tool that has much to do with the German "Gemütlichkeit" in my book. Once used as a tool to deal shot and / or severely injured wildstock the deathblow, it now serves as a crucial tool in the German "Brotzeit", which is but poorly translated by the English term "snack". It always involves coming together, often outside in a beer garden, talking, joking, drinking quality beer (weissbier), and eating slowly and consciously. Often served on a wooden plate or board, it always includes several kinds of smoked sausage, ham, bacon, cheese, often pickled cucumber, sometimes onions and several kinds of bread, and radish. Often, no table cutlery is provided, so you have to use your own knife, and it is a Bavarian celebrated art and custom to cut your Radi into an accordeon liking. It is therefore a cultural device and a method of slow food. It is threatened by a culture of fast food and cultural ignorance, if you can stretch as far as this term.

If you dare, one might also ask the question how old this custom actually is and if it was culturally relevant in ancient times. Since Celtic graves in Hallein and at the Dürrnberg, (which is regionally close to the current centre of this custom) often incorporate finds of an iron knife, pig or oxen stilts, and plates and bymeal, it is to be postulated that this might have been the case. 

In any way, I strongly suspect, the German "Jagdnicker" knife upholds a tradition that is strongly rooted in a cultural context. Even in the current offensive weapon law madness that is going on everywhere, the German "Jagdnicker" had its protectors amongst politicians, even amongst those that are strangers to the subject. 

I want to postulate that this type of knife is a strong bearer of tradition and culture in Germany. Dismissing or banning it would strongly compliment the local cultural aspects of everyday life. Upholding the "Brotzeit" tradition with all its aspects is a way to promote sensible consumation of food. This would help to promote consciousness towards eating in itself, which could counterweight the trend towards fastfood, ecologically questionable production methods and even cut down on CO2 output, even if I strongly suspect this to be doubtful.;-)

As you might have noticed, I use a somewhat juristically coloured language, and I do it on purpose. For I have the suspicion that the protection of this style of knife might as well be a matter for a UNESCO cultural commssion.:-)
Just thinking...might this apply to other knives (Puuko, Leuku, the Sheffield Bowie knife, the Khukuri) as well?*g

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