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Old 21st January 2018, 02:43 AM   #1
shayde78
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Default Kharga, sacrificial kora,...or what?

Well, I've been looking for a kora in my price range for a while, now. Finally stumbled upon this piece for less than feeding a family of four at McDonalds. It is not the form of kora I have been seeking, and until seeing this, I didn't know such hilts were mounted with these blades.

I found two such examples on this forum; one in the swap forum (which I'm not sure I'm allowed to link to here), and another in posts 3 and 11 on thisthread where it is labeled a 'sacrificial kora'. Indeed, the guard being rather thin, I'd rather confront a sheep than an armed combatant with this thing.

The proportions are hard to convey in the images, but this is massive! It weighs 4 pounds (I actually weighed it, so this is not an estimate). It is over 32 inches in total length. The hilt is large enough for me to fit a two handed grip without it being tight (and my hands are not small). Overall, better suited for swinging at animals than lugging into battle. That said, I read somewhere that kora were intended for use during defense of fortifications. As such, even a heavy weapon could have been effective against scaling equipment, and such. All said, I wouldn't want it swung in my direction, nor would I want to be encumbered by it against more nimble foes.

So, what insights can be offered? Is this an authentic piece? Any guesses on time period? Could it be a massive hunk of wootz? Is it properly called a kharga? Can I cross kora off my list, or is this another class of weapon altogether?

As always, I appreciate the generosity of your knowledge.

-Rob
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Old 21st January 2018, 04:26 AM   #2
Battara
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Uh.......well.........this looks like this is a modern copy of an India kora.


Sorry.......
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Old 21st January 2018, 10:56 AM   #3
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I am suspicious of anything with a hex nut instead of peening on the pommel end. The guarded hilt is not traditional & appears more suited to a weapon. I suspect a marriage not made in heaven. might even have a rat tail rod tang welded to the blade near the guard. I'd disassemble the hilt to check it before you actually hit anything with it.
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Old 21st January 2018, 12:29 PM   #4
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I would say this is a recent interpretation of the Nepalese kora. The grind on the sharpened edge is very much like northern India swords (e.g. tulwar), with a pronounced "bite" to the start of the sharpened edge and an unsharpened section just in front of the D-guard. Traditional kora don't have this type of edge. Also, that little serrated piece adjacent to the guard is seen on jamdhar katari and is not a Nepalese feature.

Northern Indian or Pakistani in manufacture.

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Old 21st January 2018, 04:38 PM   #5
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Certainly suspected a reproduction, but never saw anyone offering modern versions for sale. Thanks for the feedback.

Aside from this example, what about the one I linked to on display in the Ghurkha museum? What is the story about authentic pieces with similar styled hilts (albeit better rendered)? Are the temple swords, ceremonial, or what have you?
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Old 24th January 2018, 09:46 AM   #6
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Haven't seen a kora with a handle like that....possibly reproduction piece
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Old 24th January 2018, 07:47 PM   #7
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The typical grip is cylindrical with a flat disk above and below, i have found one like that with a knuckle bow, and you see the occasional one with a tulwar hilt with or without a knuckle bow. The photos below include the typical scabbard used for these unusual weapons. They were primarily weapons too, rather than sacrificial, tho, like the khukuri, were occasionally used for that purpose.
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Old 16th February 2018, 01:37 AM   #8
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Thanks for the thoughts so far.

I've been thinking about this, and still feel there is a type represented here (although rarely seen) that is worth considering as a distinct form of Kora.

For starters, the Gurkha Museum has the example below labeled as a 'Sacrificial Kora'. Is this a valid attribution? I have learned since lurking on here that museum labels are known to be fallible, but I would suspect a museum dedicated to Nepalese warfare might be somewhat accurate. Maybe?
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Old 16th February 2018, 01:39 AM   #9
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We also have this example. The picture is of an item no longer being offered for sale, so I hope it doesn't violate the rules to post here. This, too, is listed as a 'sacrificial' kora.
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Old 16th February 2018, 01:40 AM   #10
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From Atkinson is this example. Not as nice as the others, but a tier above the original item shown in this thread.
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Old 16th February 2018, 01:43 AM   #11
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And, finally, this example that was posted on our very own swap forum . Again, this sale is ended, so I hope it is OK to post the link. There are a number of additional photos in the swap thread, but the image below shows it to be VERY similar to Atkinson's example above.

So, more thoughts on this being a true form...or did someone make a handful of reproductions, of which a few exist?
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