Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Detlef: That Sino-Vietnamese polearm is socketed whereas Dave's sword has a tang. As far as I have seen, polearms from Vietnam are all socketed in a similar fashion to this one. Similarly for polearms from Burma, Thailand, and Laos. While the blade shape and edge seem to have the same orientation as Dave's sword, the attachment to the handle is completely different.
Dave: As I noted earlier, and I think Alan agreed, the Kabui attribution seems a bit shaky based on Rawson's description and picture, and what you have shown here. The blade of the Kabui dao has a significantly different shape from yours, having a diamond shape and being especially wide midway down its length. Also, the hilt of the Kabui dao has a ferrule and its sharpened edge appears to be on the same side as the hooked tip; both of these features are different from your dao.
Thanks for the close ups of the hilt and adjacent blade. That hilt looks as though it has been on the sword for a while. I'm also seeing a crack in the wood that runs through its end, and Alan's earlier comment about the lack of a ferrule leading to splitting in that area may be pertinent.
I agree that Assam and neighboring parts are an interesting mix of styles, with ample opportunity for blending and migration of styles at the local level. The Kuki dao, for example, is another hooked tip sword but has a solid brass hilt of various forms.