EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Excellent Rick, and a perfect illustration of the nebulous boundaries between weapon and tool. As noted previously, the piha kaetta was used extensively in cutting stylus' for writing on leaves, the writing medium in lieu of paper, papyrus or other material. While these were typically court or well to do figures' knives and intended as suitably embellished accoutrements, much as court swords and the like, and they could certainly be used as weapons and with effect.
They seem to have been utility oriented as some are with accompanying kit items.
As well shown here, even a simple cutlery or kitchen item can become a weapon of opportunity, and present deadly results. On the frontiers, a knife was not only for dressing game and utility, but for self defense (or attack as the case might be). While the espada ancha, the hanger type sword worn by horsemen in northern Mexico and American Southwest are considered to be weapons, they were used more as machetes in chopping through heavy desert vegetation and chapparal. I really cannot think of any instance in period narratives which express their use in combat.