Scabbard

From Academic Kids

A scabbard is a sheath for holding a sword. Scabbards have been made of many materials over the millennia, including leather and wood. Most commonly, scabbards were either worn on a belt at the hip, or on an over the shoulder strap that held it diagonally across the back.

Wooden scabbards were usually covered in fabric or leather, and leather ones might be covered by metal for part of their length.

The part of the scabbard where the sword enters and leaves may be protected with a piece of metal called a throat. The tip of the scabbard may be protected with a fitted piece of metal called a chape.

Entirely metal scabbards became popular in Europe in the 19th century. These had the grave disadvantage of blunting the blade but nevertheless remained popular until the end of the century, when wood covered in leather or metal replaced them. Naval and police swords invariably used leather scabbards.

The Japanese term for scabbard (used for katana) is saya (鞘 pron. さや).ja:鞘

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