At least when Leigh Fermor first travelled to Mani in the Peloponnese, its inhabitants had a fearsome reputation among Greeks, which may account for their yataghan-wielding chieftains.  A yataghan is a double edged curved sword devoid of a guard, originally from Muslim regions.

‘Yataghan-wielding chieftains of the Deep Mani …’

Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, introduction by Michael Gorra, New York: New York Review of Books, 2006 (1958), p. 65

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