Join Date: Dec 2004
it's most likely Vietnamese / comparative terminology
The elongated, slightly tapering ferrule with the numerous raised rings is a typical Vietnamese mounting for most pole weapons. The normal Chinese fashion is to have a wide (maybe 4 in. on average) sleeve below the guard, and two narrower rings below, in between which which are the iron rivets anchoring the tang into the shaft (these rivets usually peened over floreate brass escutcheons). Chinese tangs tend to be longer and stouter than Vietnamese equivalents, because the latter culture area generally anchored the tang into the socket with resin adhesive as was the usual case in neighboring Thailand, Laos, and Burma. Thus, a smaller tang was considered adequate.
These Vietnamese polearms as posted here are referred to as "phang", or the more sinified term "yem-nguyet-dao" (reclining [i.e. crescent] moon knife). The latter is a direct derivation from the Chinese "yanyuedao" (also analogous to Korean "unwoldo" which has the same meaning and identifies the same weapon). The popular term "guandao" is a relatively modern "dojo-ism" common in the martial arts world. It never appears in Chinese military texts dealing with this weapon or its usage. The weapon first appears in Chinese texts in the 11th cent. or so and was always referred to henceforth as yanyuedao. The story that it was invented by Gen. Guan Yu during the Three Kingdoms period, centuries earlier, is without foundation although it is an unshakable folk truism.