Oxter Knife
Ullapool Museum

The sgian dubh, or oxter knife, is a small single-edged knife, worn as part of traditional Scottish dress with a kilt.   

It was traditionally used for food, cutting materials, and also for protection. Over time it has become more decorative than practical, and so is worn within sight.  

Nowadays, the law around the carrying of dangerous weapons would prohibit such a knife. However, the sgian dubh can be worn as part of the national dress of Scotland.  

The word dubh can mean ‘hidden’, possibly alluding to the element of concealment associated with this weapon’s origins. It was customary for weapons to be left at the entrance to a home by arriving guests.   

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Date: 1600-1800
Materials : Wood 
Size : 21cm x 3cm 

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