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Author Topic:   The MOST INCREDIBLE PIHA ever.....
derek
Senior Member
posted 01-26-2004 10:40     Click Here to See the Profile for derek   Click Here to Email derek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This one can't claim the title of world's biggest piha kaetta, that goes to Artzi's recent find. But it may be the most beautiful piha.

The owner of this piha, who will forever stir envy within me, sent these pics to share on my site. These pics are worth the wait.
Enjoy:









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Rick
EEWRS Staff
posted 01-26-2004 11:00     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
WOW !!!
The best example I've ever seen .
Stunning .
The Ultimate Piha !

(ps.) Derek, could you please post that close up of the mark we discussed on your Khyber knife .
I'd like to hear member comments on it .
TIA .. Rick

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Oriental-Arms
Senior Member
posted 01-26-2004 15:38     Click Here to See the Profile for Oriental-Arms   Click Here to Email Oriental-Arms     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am afraid size lost to beauty (What else is new?).
Outstanding piece

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ariel
Senior Member
posted 01-26-2004 15:40     Click Here to See the Profile for ariel   Click Here to Email ariel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As far as I know, Pihas are mainly utility knives.
Who on Earth will dare to use this beauty for anything else but "show and brag"?
Conversely, why would anybody create a utility knife that ornamental? Ornamental blades(swords and knives) were usually exhibited ceremonially (Royal reception, religious ceremony etc). But utility knives are not worn to such events!
Which means to me that this Piha was created not for the lowly role of potato peeler but for show purposes.
Is there any info about "ceremonial"Pihas?

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tom hyle
Senior Member
posted 01-26-2004 16:35     Click Here to See the Profile for tom hyle   Click Here to Email tom hyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few quick points; I don't recall seeing any piha kaetta that wasn't at least somewhat fancy. In many cultures it is "normal" if you will, for a free member of the tribe to carry certain items, such as a knife. This sometimes assumes bizarre forms with rich people who have no need for a traditional tool, but must carry it, or poor people, who cannot afford it, as with the bone and wooden "mirrors" carried by ancient proto-tartars, or bamboo swords carried by samurai who had sold their steel swords. And C/ I seem to recall seeing something somewhere about the piha kaetta being used in some common ritual, but can't recall anyuthing clearer. Leader or priest types might have extra fancy ones for communal versions of such household rituals (think of giant scissors and checks in N American culture, even), but I'm getting pretty speculative there.
Amazing metal-work; beautiful! What's the bird? I see a resemblance to both Moro cockatoos and Persian mythic bird figures.

[This message has been edited by tom hyle (edited 01-26-2004).]

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Oriental-Arms
Senior Member
posted 01-26-2004 17:15     Click Here to See the Profile for Oriental-Arms   Click Here to Email Oriental-Arms     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bird heads on Piha Kahetta are not common but we do see it from time to time. See these two beauties, carved in ivory:


And a close ups on the handles:


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derek
Senior Member
posted 01-26-2004 17:19     Click Here to See the Profile for derek   Click Here to Email derek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Ariel,
I asked a Sri Lankan antique dealer about this and he said pihas were never intended to be "used" but worn. One exception is the stylus found with some pihas, and this was used for writing only.
The piha may have started out as a practical knife that evolved into the ornament we typically see now, but I have found nothing in writing to support this, and I am told by two Sri Lankan collectors that the term piha kaetta is wrong because in Sinhalese it basically equates to an oxymoron. A "pihiya" is the dress knife that we see and collect. "Da Kaetta" is a sickle-type of work knife. Two completely different things, but Stone's calls it a piha kaetta.
So maybe someone has noted that the "kaetta" is a work knife, but has failed to understand the distinction in the native language. If you find a reference to it as a utility knife please let me know. There is so little in english to be found.
Anyway, here is a pic of a chief in Kandy wearing a piha:


Tom, I have read somewhere the significance of this mythical bird in Buddhist cultures, but I'll have to dig to find the info again. There are not too many pihas with this form though. I have only one and it looks really plain next to this example.

-derek

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nechesh
Senior Member
posted 01-26-2004 17:46     Click Here to See the Profile for nechesh   Click Here to Email nechesh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, i'll add a WOW!!! as well. I have always admired these knives, but i'm afraid that if i were to ever get one i would become as obsessed with them as i am with the keris.
You see Artzi, it's true what they say. Size isn't everything.

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tom hyle
Senior Member
posted 01-26-2004 20:43     Click Here to See the Profile for tom hyle   Click Here to Email tom hyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Too, too cool; love that sculpted iron bolster. The bird body is more visible on hte Oriental Arms pieces; it looks like a raptor, not, say, a fighting cock. Derek's commentary on the type being carried but not used is consistant with a ritual object, but also with a pure weapon. I've noted the resemblence of these to some mainland SE Asian knives which are usually attributed as Thai.

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Andrew
EEWRS Staff
posted 01-26-2004 22:34     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tom hyle:
I've noted the resemblence of these to some mainland SE Asian knives which are usually attributed as Thai.

That's too funny, Tom. Before I read your post, I was thinking the same thing.

Here's a photo from Oriental-Arms of a knife I recently aquired from Artzi:

quote:
From Oriental-Arms:
Up for sale is this heavy machete like knife. 10 inches heavy blade, 7 inches black wood handle. Steel/brass bolster and silver decoration at the pommel. Wood scabbard bound with braided rattan bands ( few missing). The shape of the blade and the style of the handle suggest a Thai origin. Very good condition...

[This message has been edited by Andrew (edited 01-26-2004).]

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Andrew
EEWRS Staff
posted 01-26-2004 22:44     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is also one currently up on eBay which is even more similar. If memory serves, it includes an anthropomorphic carved ivory handle. Now I've got to try and find that auction...

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Battara
Senior Member
posted 01-27-2004 00:51     Click Here to See the Profile for Battara   Click Here to Email Battara     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love the gold encrustation and silver work - beautiful! I also like the ivory work on Artzi's pieces. Ok, OK, now I might get interested in pihas myself....Just great - another piece to put on my wish list.

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BluErf
Senior Member
posted 01-27-2004 08:36     Click Here to See the Profile for BluErf   Click Here to Email BluErf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whoa, I bet the owner must wear a glove when handling this piha The gold on the handle looks too nice to smear with sweat.

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Rick
EEWRS Staff
posted 01-27-2004 09:17     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Might these bird figures represent a Phoenix ?

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derek
Senior Member
posted 01-28-2004 10:22     Click Here to See the Profile for derek   Click Here to Email derek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Phoenix? Don't know, can anyone comment on mythical birds in Buddhism?

Here is another example. It's the only bird style piha I have.



[This message has been edited by derek (edited 01-28-2004).]

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Rick
EEWRS Staff
posted 01-28-2004 15:57     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I recall correctly the phoenix is part of Chinese culture .

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