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Old 21st March 2013, 06:38 PM   #12
Iain's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Morava - Olomoucký kraj - Czech Republic
Posts: 1,499

Thanks for posting the photos and your Ingessana examples Luc. For the benefit of other readers a description of the animal motifs on both is perhaps in order as the designs incorporate more than just the snake and scorpion, notably the spider as well on the sai. Taken from the excellent work by Jedrej on these knives.

The designs on the blade are fixed and different for both the varieties.
The muder features a scorpion (deit) on the left side and an insect called fil
on the other. Fil is a water insect and often stings people who are bathing
but the pain is slight relative to that inflicted by a scorpion. The sai also
carries two creatures from nature, the snake (der) and the spider (maras) 2.
Both are represented on each side of the blade and spider four times in all,
twice on each side. The shank and hilt of each variety are engraved with either
pairs of small incisions (representing the footprints of a small deer, mofor)
or parallel zig-zag lines called 'the millepede' (dongole) and sometimes combi-
nations of both. The design here reflects the preference of the client or smith.
First of all we may note the emergence of a simple paradigm. There is
a clear opposition between the blade of the weapon and the handle. This is
particularly marked in Ingessana terms as the top or head and the bottom
or loins. On the head are designs that are fixed, on the loins are designs that
are optional, the former are derived from harmful creatures and the latter
from the harmless. Now these designs are derived from nature and are in
turn opposed to a design derivative in the first instance from culture, the kwir.
This element is appropriately on the neck of the knife between the top and
the bottom.

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