Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
The Great 'Garsoe jamadhar' mystery
As Nihl has noted in previous post, the curious 'Garsoe ' katar/jamadhar which appears in Egerton (p.138, fig. 727) image attached, defies any definition as to 'why' it has been given this term, or for that matter, why its sidebars are scrolled or undulating.
As I previously mentioned, Jens has an incredible knowledge of the katar, pretty much unparalleled, and if he has not found an answer, it is so deeply hidden that possible no accurate solution may be discovered.
We know that seemingly, Egerton made the first reference to this form of jamadhar/katar and decribes it as with 'curved side bars' (plate XIV, #727) as a 'garsoee katar'. ...and from Bhuj, Kach.
These regions are in Ghujerat, with Bhuj a major city and Kach (Cutch) also a key province. Sind (now in Pakistan) is situated north of Gujerat and separated from Gujerat by the huge salt marsh known as the Rann of Cutch.
It does seem that these regions have given us another distinct weapon, commonly called elephant sword (for the fixture on the hilt using that figure) but often termed a 'bhuj'. This is a hafted dagger often seen used by Sindhi horsemen(picture attached).
It would seem that this curious curved bar katar was perhaps named for the place from which it is known(or tribe?) given the propensity to term a weapon in that manner (i.e. bhuj).
Whatever the case, the Egerton(1880) term (again) stood and was perpetuated by other writers. This carried to the great conundrum which was discovered by Jens in research he was doing on this about 15 years ago (seen in posts by him in 2006).
In "Contribution a l'Etude des Armes Orientales" ( Holstein, Paris, 1931, vol. I, plate XIII, #19) a curious extremely simple transverse grip dagger is illustrated...….it is attributed as 'GARSOE KATAR' from Bhoudj, Catch, and from the Henri Moser collection in Musee d' Berne.
However the curator of that museum insisted that no such dagger in the collection (now in storage)existed. It does seem that in Holstein another dagger with the curved bars was shown in the plate. Obviously this must have been a captioning error (?).
While not offering a solution to our dilemma, it seems clear that even by 1931, nobody knew what 'garsoe' meant.
Pant (1980) shows a Garsoe in fig. 489, but reference on p.173 simply refers to the illustration, saying it has already been described.
1) the Holstein (1931) image of a 'katar' described (apparently wrongly) as garsoe katar, #19, plate XIII
2) 1827 map of Sind and Catch (Kutch) in Gujerat, the water area (in appearance in the huge Rann of Kutch salt marsh (seasonal).
3) Sindhi cavalier wielding bhuj knife (from Haider)
4) the Egerton (1880) entry for garsoee katar (#727,)