Egypt culture, club fencing (Tahtib) and Kaak El-eid

Facts about Tahtib and Kaak El Eid

Club fencing and Kaak El-Eid are very interesting Egypt culture facts. We are going to know more information about them.

Club fencing (Tahtib)

Egyptian culture, 2 men play fencing (Tahtib)
Club fencing or “Tahtib” in the Arabic language is one of the facts about ancient Egypt culture.

Scenes covering the walls of some noble tombs in Qurna show a type of fencing using clubs or “Tahteb” as a game for showing off and demonstration of strength and power.

Interesting facts about Egyptian culture
Facts about Tahtib in ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians used to cover the extremes of these clubs with pieces of cloth in order to protect the contestants.

At the beginning of the game, they used to raise their hands to salute the king and the dignitaries and bow in front of them.

The game continued and extended through the Islamic ages as depicted in a Mamluk manuscript dated back to the 9th Hijra century 15th century A.D. now on display in the Museum of the Islamic Arts.

Meanwhile, the rules of this game provided that the contestants should be of the same age, strength, and height. Scores were achieved by touching the rival with the club at the torso, and arms.

The game was over if the contestant would succeed in touching the head of the opponent.

From the above, we conclude that this game was undoubtedly inherited from the remote past, and deeply rooted in the Egyptian culture.

And still, does not differ in our present day except in that some practiced it while on horse backs with fencing gears.

However, this is not to be considered a considerable change in the game. On the other hand, the game is more popular in Upper Egypt’s countryside than in metropolitan areas.

Which simply means that the Egyptian in their remote villages was more infatuated by the past and culture of their predecessors than those inhabitants of the cities, who were to a great extent influenced by the foreigners and their customs.

Facts about fencing
Tahtib players in combat, culture of Egypt

You can notice the characteristics of Egyptian culture through this custom.

Ancient Egypt culture: Kaak El-Eid

Kaak El-Eid in Egypt
Kaak El-Eid, facts about ancient Egyptian culture

On the walls of a side room in Ramses III’s tomb, a scene of “the royal bakery” was found. The scene revealed a wide variety of cakes prepared in different shapes and forms.

Some of the cakes were fried, while the others were baked in ovens. It was remarkable to find a cow-shaped cake. The ancient Egyptians made cakes shaped as animals.

Kaak El-Eid in the Fatimid Dynasty

In the Fatimid Dynasty of Islamic Egypt, during the celebration of the small and grand Bairam, sweets were formed on two big molds of candies where man and animal shapes were formed.

Meanwhile, a comparison between the ancient Egyptians and Fatimids in Egypt in this respect would reveal that the Fatimids formed their cakes in human and animal figures.

Nowadays, the Egyptians inherited this custom, especially in the villages.

The Fatimid Caliph, Al-Mueiz had founded a house called “Al-Fitra” where sweets, cookies dates, and nuts were prepared, during the period from the beginning of Rajab to the middle of Ramadan, and had them distributed among all people regardless of their social classes.

In the Mamluk period, people used to exchange congratulations and plates of home-made cakes in occasions such as feasts.

Cakes were prepared at home, although some people preferred the readymade cakes, the matter which made Ibn Al-Haj criticize them claiming that they bought cakes made by the Jews in the Muslims Bairam.

Facts about Egyptian culture
Kaak El-Eid in the Egyptian culture

The ancient Egyptians had a tendency to shape their cakes as cows and other animals or human beings, driven by their desire to carve statues.

Since the latter had represented a symbol of different aspects of life for them, besides it was a fine art; sculpture.

The Fatimids on the other hand shaped the sweets and not the cakes as human and animal figures, probably they considered the sweets and cakes as one thing.

The Arabs during the early Islamic period had come to know the cakes from the Persians.

When Al-Hajaj Ibn Youssef wanted to make a feast celebrating the circumcision of his son, he summoned some Dahakeen to ask them about the Persian feasts.

Meanwhile, the custom of making sweets shaped as statues was copied from the Fatimid era while shaping them as cakes were inherited from the ancient Egyptians.

Making statues in this way was a primitive approach to the art of sculpture. Nevertheless, a link exists between shaping the cakes as statues nowadays, and in the remote past.

The history of culture in Egypt includes a lot of traditions and these habits are considered among of the most important of them.