Jezzine, is a city located in the South of Lebanon, famous for its beautiful residences, its old churches, its waterfall over 40 m high and its crafts. Its entrance is overlooked by a large statue of the virgin at the edge of a cliff named Saydit el Maabour , (Notre-Dame du Passage).
Once in Jezzine, it is advisable to visit one of the artisan cutlery shops. The tradition of this craft dates back to the 18th century, more precisely to the 1770s, with the Haddad family. Initially, swords and gun shafts were made from bones or horns. It was not until the 20th century, from the 1930s, that artisans started to work in cutlery and table services.
The peculiarity of Jezzine cutlery is not only due to the quality of its blade, which is certainly not in dispute, but also to the handle of these utensils. In the shape of the head of a phoenix, the legendary bird of Phoenician mythology, the handles are fashioned in ivory or in the horn of a sheep, buffalo, or goat. This craft had prospered so well in Jezzine, that several families began to produce the eponymous cutlery from their hometown, which ended up becoming a precious gift offered by the Lebanese authorities to luminaries and heads of state.
However, this art is regressing … It is no longer made according to tradition, in ivory or horn, but based on a mixture of resin or bone powder. This would no longer differentiate this traditional craft, originally carved from raw materials, from any industrial set of any origin. Hoping for better days for the proper Lebanese craftsmanship, we leave you with this example of Jezzine knives.