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Old 6th January 2005, 11:25 PM   #15
tom hyle
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 1,254

Tom, I think you should see some difference in intent, [/QUOTE]

'Fraid I don't. The farmer's short swords, especially when they have a point, are certainly intended for violence. They may have features which linguistically or even legally define them as knives (though in this case those characteristics are strictly limitted to shortness, width, and decoration level, all of which seem to me rather nebulous and perhaps irrelevant), but their intent and descent, as well of course as their shapes, are the same as of the "higher end" (and I object to the whole idea of attaching concepts of quality to social status, fanciness, or intended use, since it is an invalid and by no means constantly establishable connection) warrior(?) dhas. We have seen much this relationship very recently with an European sword excavated on Cyprus; clearly a working caste piece, with the flat tang, soft rivets, and layered hilt of a knife (plus peasanty crudity expressed in both the cross section and the lack of taper), but very clearly indeed intended to emulate and serve much as a soldierly sword. Such parrallel strands of folk-level vs. "high" (ie. rich/armigerous/high-caste) culture within the same societies are a thing I find interesting. Similarities; co-ancestralness; mutual copying; unities and dichotomies. The "high" culture perspective feels it neccessary to maintain a division, as this is part of a basis of certain claims and beliefs it enjoys......
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