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A facon is a dagger worn at the back and tucked into the belt of the gaucho in order to be quickly drawn with the right hand. Used in the South American pampas, they are often seen with a decorated metal hilt and sheath. The facon could measure some fifty centimeters in length, and there are even examples of knives up to seventy five centimeters long.

The facon was an important tool of the gaucho and the main article of combat for the duelo criollo. When used in this context, one hand held the knife, and the poncho was wrapped about the opposite arm to absorb cuts and stabs, as seen in the photograph to the right.

As Charles Darwin said of the distinctive men who wore and used the facon, "Many quarrels arose, which from the general manner of fighting with the knife often proved fatal."

See also

List of daggers


Darwin's Journal

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Facon

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