Manual of the Baratero

Or The Art of Handling the Navaja, the Knife, and the Scissors of the Gypsies

translated by James Loriega; foreword by Ramón Martinez


174 pages, 5.5" x 8.5"

  • Description
  • Chapter List
First published anonymously in 1849 in Madrid, Manual del Baratero has the distinction of being the oldest manual on Spanish knife fighting ever published and is the only known historical text on the subject. The often-cited, rare Spanish manual has long been surrounded by an aura of mystery and intrigue among aficionados of the knife-fighting arts. Now presented in both English and Spanish for the first time, this annotated translation provides a window to the methods of knife fighting practiced by the working class, the criminal class and the Gypsies in 19th century Spain. With original drawings supplemented by illustrations of the period by noted artists José Luís Pellicer and Gustave Doré, it offers a revealing glimpse into the ways in which armas blancas cortas, or small edged weapons, were used on the dark and grimy cobblestone streets of the Spanish underworld.
1) Instruction of the Navaja
2) Various Tactics Performed When Fighting with the Navaja
3) The Proper Way to Handle the Cuchillo
4) The Way the Gypsies Handle the Scissors
5) The Baratero
6) Afterword
7) Manual del Baratero en Espanol
8) Language of the Baratero
9) The Baratero-Based Syllabus