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-   -   Jamdhar katari - a theory (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15397)

Jens Nordlunde 31st July 2016 01:14 PM

I agree with you that neither the grip nor the protection was very good, but they did make some changes later.
Mitra seems to have been convinced that it was an early katar, and as an Indian historian and author, who had seen a lot of temple statues and decorations, and one who had quite a reputation for accuracy, I must say that I believe in what he has written.
You can also, later, find katars with side guards, but with only one cross bar.

Miguel 2nd August 2016 06:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
I agree with you that neither the grip nor the protection was very good, but they did make some changes later.
Mitra seems to have been convinced that it was an early katar, and as an Indian historian and author, who had seen a lot of temple statues and decorations, and one who had quite a reputation for accuracy, I must say that I believe in what he has written.
You can also, later, find katars with side guards, but with only one cross bar.


Hi Jens, I think Ariel has a good point with the section shape of the grip and that perhaps the sketch is not entirely correct in showing to be round. I don't think that the arm extensions were missed off but I cant help but wonder whether the weapon shown in the sketch and frieze, although having a resemblance to the Katar as we know it, actually existed. Have any of these actually been found? :shrug:
Regards
Miguel

mariusgmioc 2nd August 2016 07:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Hi Jens, I think Ariel has a good point with the section shape of the grip and that perhaps the sketch is not entirely correct in showing to be round. I don't think that the arm extensions were missed off but I cant help but wonder whether the weapon shown in the sketch and frieze, although having a resemblance to the Katar as we know it, actually existed. Have any of these actually been found? :shrug:
Regards
Miguel


I totally agree!

The fact that a reputed author illustrated a Katar like that, doesn't mean that it actually existed! Most likely it didn't, since not a single example like this seems to have been found.

Maybe the author saw a Katar sometime, somewhere, then draw the sketch a couple of years later, based on a faded memory.

However, the illustration is a single perspective of the katar and from this single perspective it is impossible to discern whether the hand-piece is round or flat in cross-section.

But we must remember that even the most reputed authors are humans and subject to mistake, so we must analyze critically and logically every single piece of information.

Dubito, ergo cogito! ;)

ariel 2nd August 2016 09:45 PM

I have very little doubt that similar examples existed early on: the statue is a perfect iconographic evidence.


I do not think that sidebars are very crucial determinants of a firm and secure grip; they are more like rudimentary bazu-bands, providing protection to the forearms. My only suggestion is about the handbar: perfectly round, it would twist in the hand, but some change in geometry ( flattening, checkering, more complex profile etc) would largely fix the problem. Regretfully, the statue does not show us the true (?) profile, and the lithograph was likely copied from the statue and " simplified" the handbar.

Just Google "pushdagger": none of the modern ones have sidebars, but their handbars are all flattened or "distorted" to assure good grip.

Jens Nordlunde 3rd August 2016 09:23 AM

Kubur, In India the dead ones were burned - with or without their weapons, I dont know. In other countries the dead ones were burried with their weapons, and so we have weapons, and know how old they are.
In India, when weapons were worn, or went out of fashion, they were melted down and new weapons were made of the iron/steel. This is why really old weapons are more than rare, and I doubt that weapons from the 10th century would be impossible to find.
In Khorasan they have found parts of a sword from the 9 th century, but it was burried together with the former owner - so it was found in a grave.

Ariel, I agree with you about the grip/hilt of this katar, but I cant explain why it was made so. One can always start guessing, but it haardly brings us closer to the truth.

ariel 3rd August 2016 10:42 AM

Jens,
The same was true about Caucasian weapons, with no known examples of kindjals and shashkas older than 18 century, and in Turkey, with no known examples before (roughly) the reign of Mehmet II.

The higher the intensity of warfare in a society, the lower the chance for the older examples to survive.

Also, on a second thought, I might have been wrong insisting on a more functional grip: the earliest examples of katar might have been ( and likely were) uncomfortable and engineeringly silly. But they had the "grain of truth" in them, and that preserved the idea for a while, providing time for successive generations to introduce improvements. Karl Benz's first production automobile would not have been a Car of the Year in 2016:-)

Jens Nordlunde 3rd August 2016 11:52 AM

Ariel, it is quite funny. When I yesterday thought about the subject, it was exactly Karl Benz's first car I was thinking of, and how the cars look to day.

ariel 3rd August 2016 11:54 AM

Some minds think alike .
Not necessarily great, but not shabby either:-)

Miguel 3rd August 2016 06:51 PM

I still have my doubts as to whether a Katar of the form shown actually existed until more conclusive evidence comes to light, at the moment the resons given for not finding at least part of one don't stack up to me.
Miguel

ariel 3rd August 2016 07:48 PM

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

:-)))))

Jens Nordlunde 3rd August 2016 08:25 PM

Ariel, I love you quote :-).

Miguel, it is fine with me - all members of this forum can believe in what they want.
Should I make a suggestion, it would be, that you try to investigate the katar thread further than I have done - it may take you a year or so, and then 'maybe' be can agree on something.

Jim McDougall 4th August 2016 01:04 AM

Ariel, always loved that quote from Shakespeare!!!

Jens,
You have only tenaciously studied the katar almost obsessively for 15 years that I know of!!!! :) and you had already been at it for years. Your collecting and researching on them has in my opinion surpassed the Victoria & Albert and others, and has had the attention of the Met in N.Y. and others.
I have seen you research some examples virtually to the very precise location in India where it was made! and the article on the Bundi katars is superb.
Then I remember years ago as you were studying friezes, temple iconography, miniatures, rare Indian articles and obscure books (this was even before Robert Elgood wrote Hindu Arms and Ritual in 2004). We pursued the bizarre gauntlet dagger/sword in Stone which was referred to as a boarding weapon termed a 'manople' and his source in Calvert (1903) which was not apparently related in this case.

When it comes to katars (and tulwars) there is nobody I know, or have known who has the knowledge on these weapons you do.

I am saying this simply because Jens' will not and will probably bend my ear for doing so. I would just like to profoundly note just who he is in the study of Indian arms. Though I have studied arms most of my life, most of what I have learned on Indian weapons has been from him and subjects we studied together.

Jens Nordlunde 4th August 2016 03:19 PM

Jim :-),
Thank you very much for your kind words, but you are overdoing it a lot :-).
It is true that I have researched for quite a number of years, and it is also true that I dont like to accept a sword on the wall, as I would like to know which history it is hiding - if any can be found. This, of course, includes reading a number of books other than weapon and history books, but it gives you a very good additionally knowledge.

Jim McDougall 4th August 2016 05:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Jim :-),
Thank you very much for your kind words, but you are overdoing it a lot :-).
It is true that I have researched for quite a number of years, and it is also true that I dont like to accept a sword on the wall, as I would like to know which history it is hiding - if any can be found. This, of course, includes reading a number of books other than weapon and history books, but it gives you a very good additionally knowledge.



I knew you would say that Jens:) but a you know, that is not unusual for me. I believe strongly in what I say, as it is never done lightly, and from considerable support. Your modesty is exemplary, but profoundly overshadowed by that knowledge.

It really is great to see the volume of interest and discussion on Indian arms and armour here of late, and you have always pioneered that course on these pages. I can only say thank you!!! and lets keep going!

Miguel 4th August 2016 05:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

:-)))))


Nicely put.

Miguel 4th August 2016 06:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Ariel, I love you quote :-).

Miguel, it is fine with me - all members of this forum can believe in what they want.
Should I make a suggestion, it would be, that you try to investigate the katar thread further than I have done - it may take you a year or so, and then 'maybe' be can agree on something.


Hi Jens,
My opinion seems to have caused offence and I sincerely apologise if it has offended you as this was never my intention far from it I was just stating what I think. I will not take you up on your suggestion as I do not have it in me to carry out such research even if I had the time and resources, I have driven myself batty trying to establish the origin of the Coorgs without any success. My opinion was not intended in any way to belittle your research and I trust you will believe that.
Regards
Miguel

Miguel 4th August 2016 06:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Ariel, always loved that quote from Shakespeare!!!

Jens,
You have only tenaciously studied the katar almost obsessively for 15 years that I know of!!!! :) and you had already been at it for years. Your collecting and researching on them has in my opinion surpassed the Victoria & Albert and others, and has had the attention of the Met in N.Y. and others.
I have seen you research some examples virtually to the very precise location in India where it was made! and the article on the Bundi katars is superb.
Then I remember years ago as you were studying friezes, temple iconography, miniatures, rare Indian articles and obscure books (this was even before Robert Elgood wrote Hindu Arms and Ritual in 2004). We pursued the bizarre gauntlet dagger/sword in Stone which was referred to as a boarding weapon termed a 'manople' and his source in Calvert (1903) which was not apparently related in this case.

When it comes to katars (and tulwars) there is nobody I know, or have known who has the knowledge on these weapons you do.

I am saying this simply because Jens' will not and will probably bend my ear for doing so. I would just like to profoundly note just who he is in the study of Indian arms. Though I have studied arms most of my life, most of what I have learned on Indian weapons has been from him and subjects we studied together.


Hi Jim,

I cannot help but be surprised and saddened by your reply which I take was occasioned by my opinion re the Katar shown in the sketch and carving, I was just stating my honest opinion as simple as that. I have the utmost respect for the knowledge and research undertaken and still being undertaken by Jens and other forum members in their particular fields
and would never knowingly state anything to offend them but that surely does not prevent me from expressing an honest opinion.?
Regards
Miguel

Jens Nordlunde 4th August 2016 08:41 PM

Miguel, please rest asured that I have taken no offence at all, and I think that every member should give their version of how he/she sees it, or there would be no debate.
Now, for the Coorg question. There will, within some time, be an article published about part of the question. No, I dont yet know where or when.
I will however suggest that you concentrate on South Indian temples, and decorations of hero stones. Consentrade on South India and Deccan.
The curved knives 'moved' north to Nepal and a few other places, but was completely forgotten in the south - why??
I think this is the question, amongst others, you have to ask youtself. When you are at it - when was that??

Jim McDougall 5th August 2016 07:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Hi Jim,

I cannot help but be surprised and saddened by your reply which I take was occasioned by my opinion re the Katar shown in the sketch and carving, I was just stating my honest opinion as simple as that. I have the utmost respect for the knowledge and research undertaken and still being undertaken by Jens and other forum members in their particular fields
and would never knowingly state anything to offend them but that surely does not prevent me from expressing an honest opinion.?
Regards
Miguel


Miguel,
There is absolutely no problem with your stating honest opinions!! in fact most of us here welcome inquisitive approaches to these seemingly never ending quests. Which was mostly what I was trying to say as a most respectful nod to my good friend Jens, in recognition of the many years of research he has put to the katar. My apologies if it sounded as if directed at you.....actually Jens has always been most receptive to any ideas or information which might be factored into his considerable corpus of research.
Your posts are well placed, thought out and above all courteous.
All best regards
Jim

Jens Nordlunde 5th August 2016 03:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The attached picture shows a sword with a handle like on the very early katar handle. If the man shown would be 170 cm tall, the weapon would be about 65 cm.
It is from South India, but I am sorry to say, that I done know from where it is, nor do I know the age of the frieze - but it lookss quite old to me.

Miguel 5th August 2016 05:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Miguel, please rest asured that I have taken no offence at all, and I think that every member should give their version of how he/she sees it, or there would be no debate.
Now, for the Coorg question. There will, within some time, be an article published about part of the question. No, I dont yet know where or when.
I will however suggest that you concentrate on South Indian temples, and decorations of hero stones. Consentrade on South India and Deccan.
The curved knives 'moved' north to Nepal and a few other places, but was completely forgotten in the south - why??
I think this is the question, amongst others, you have to ask youtself. When you are at it - when was that??


Hi Jens, thank you it makes me feel a lot better and thanks for your tip re the Coorgs. To be honest I have not pursued my investigations for a few months due to being frustrated at seemingly every turn. I thought that I may have established a link with the Caucasians but could not properly substantiate it. I also purchased a number of books on ancient Indian peoples but have not found anything yet. Now you have given me a clue as to where I may look I will try again but in short doses this time to try and hopefully avoid to much frustration.
Regards
Miguel

Miguel 5th August 2016 06:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Miguel,
There is absolutely no problem with your stating honest opinions!! in fact most of us here welcome inquisitive approaches to these seemingly never ending quests. Which was mostly what I was trying to say as a most respectful nod to my good friend Jens, in recognition of the many years of research he has put to the katar. My apologies if it sounded as if directed at you.....actually Jens has always been most receptive to any ideas or information which might be factored into his considerable corpus of research.
Your posts are well placed, thought out and above all courteous.
All best regards
Jim


Hi Jim, thanks for your reply and apologies for getting hold of the wrong end of the stick, I should have known better :o
Regards
Miguel

Miguel 5th August 2016 06:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
The attached picture shows a sword with a handle like on the very early katar handle. If the man shown would be 170 cm tall, the weapon would be about 65 cm.
It is from South India, but I am sorry to say, that I done know from where it is, nor do I know the age of the frieze - but it lookss quite old to me.


Hi Jens, I missed this one. This changes my opinion somewhat as the figure appears to be a man wielding the Katar looking weapon and not a six armed deity with one dangling from his fingers, thanks for posting.
Regards
Miguel

Jens Nordlunde 5th August 2016 06:13 PM

You are welcome.

Maybe this book would be of interest to you.
Mitra, Rajendralala: The Antiquities of Orissa, vol. I. Government of India 1875, reprint IndianStudies 1961.






Jim McDougall 5th August 2016 06:33 PM

Hi Miguel,
It is most heartening as I read on your clearly impassioned approaches toward properly understanding the extremely complex field of the arms and armour of India and Central Asia. Again, I do deeply apologize for not better directing my comments to Jens, which I had not realized would become such a faux pas.
As I explained, I have had the opportunity to work alongside him in many cases in the study of these very weapons over many years.

What I should have emphasized is how delighted myself, and I am sure Jens and others who have most seriously studied these weapons, are to have others join in this quest. Having new eyes and new ideas as well as more perspective in recalling what have become well travelled roads of years ago is outstanding.

The image Jens posted in his last post for example, brought to mind the term 'maustika'. While I recall the frieze, and the term, I could not immediately recall more on the word nor the image, but of course remember where it was from.

Searching the term 'maustika' on Google, it was amazing to see a discussion on this very subject between Jens, myself and B.I. who is a brilliant scholar on these weapons who used to write here. It was from these pages Apr 28, 2006, and we had all been years into the search already.

Apparantly I had found reference to this 'maustika' listed as a 'fist sword/dagger' in Richard Burton ("Book of the Sword" 1885, p214-215). Burton had in turn referenced this from Professor Gustav Oppert ("Weapons of the Ancient Hindus", 1880). Again, in turn, Oppert cited his reference from the 'Nitiprakashika' Book III.

This entry was resultant of a the study Jens had been doing on the origins of the katar, in particular of a small triangular blade with a transverse bar for a grip, as if the entire weapon was cast in one piece. This was from a line drawing and the actual weapon if I recall was from the Moser Collection (Bern, and the image from Holstein, 1931).
Returning to the frieze Jens just posted, I believe (again if memory serves) this represented the Goddess Mahisasuramardini, Durga, slaying the buffalo demon (Orissa temple frieze?, 13th c.).
This clear example of a transversely held dagger seems compellingly to be a katar, and the weapon from Holstein, an even earlier and simpler 'proto katar' (?).
In that particular discussion from 2006, the shield with blade or spike was also mentioned as I noted earlier here.

I wanted to share these notes from those earlier studies and discussions only to present them as perhaps benchmarks or ideas to further pursue various avenues toward the more conclusive resolutions we all clearly hope to achieve.

Best regards
Jim

Jim McDougall 5th August 2016 06:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Hi Jim, thanks for your reply and apologies for getting hold of the wrong end of the stick, I should have known better :o
Regards
Miguel


Miguel, we crossed posts !!! Thank you! It is good to get back to this mystery, and with reinforcements :)

Jens Nordlunde 5th August 2016 08:34 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Well, it all started when I saw the drawing in Holsteins book, and realised it was from Mitra's book. I bought the book, and then I was on the track.
Jim it had nothing to do with the Moser Collection, so you may have mixed the notes, it had only to do with the Holstein catalogue and the Mitra book.
According to Mitra there seems to be more statues in Orissa with daggers like this one.
Attached is one of the plates showing weapons used in Orissa at the time, 7th to 13th century.
I find no 186 very interesting, but dont want to discuss it now. No 205 is the katar.

Jim McDougall 6th August 2016 02:22 AM

Thank you Jens, it has been a long time, and I don't have my notes and Indian details with me this trip. Clearly I misremembered about the Moser collection, but do recall this intriguing, simple but compelling item (#205) in the Holstein reference.
I don't recall anything about the Mitra reference, which of course I can blame on memory slippage as an age problem. :)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 6th August 2016 08:17 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel
Hello Jens, I seem to remember a fairly recent thread where Katars with one bar were shown, possibly the same image together with old carvings, were discussed and I still do not understand how you can effectively hold a Katar with no side arms and only one round grip bar to stab someone, surely it could not be gripped firmly enough for this. I suppose it could be used as a club by striking with the flat of the blade but this is obviously not its purpose so how was a strong enough grip realised? I would love to know.
Regards
Miguel


Salaams Miguel, As an observer in this debate I seem to note that no one can say where this weapon started life...I see references to Southern India and wonder where it entered the equation...but that it appears to have bounced around changing shape and developing like so many Indian weapons but leaving only traces of historical detective clues... The weapon appears in Sri Lanka see below and to my knowledge in what looks like its basic form in Martial Arts records from the same region. It occurred to me that it probably originated in Southern India because that is so close to Sri Lanka to where it may well have migrated early on.

Note that BM 179 below is a British Museum reference from https://books.google.com.om/books?i...nograms&f=false

The Martial Art reference is here on Library at

ariel 6th August 2016 12:01 PM

Miguel,

Perhaps Sainti might have been one of the side descendants of proto-katars ?


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