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Old 31st January 2016, 09:26 PM   #1
drac2k
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Default A most unusual haladie for comment

I think we can call this a haladie based on the fact that it has 2 opposite blades, however even though I have seen this weapon with a third blade, I have never seen one with 3 spikes and 2 blades.
It is hand forged and well made, but I am unsure how old this is or if it is a fantasy piece. I am seeing some interesting "old-new," items coming out of India recently, but I can not find anything like this.It measures 18" in length, the blades and spikes are sharp .
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Old 31st January 2016, 10:02 PM   #2
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you could poke somebodies eye out with that, as granny used to say.

bit crude, but i like it, not a parade piece, i suspect. how heavy is it? how's the 'feel'?
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Old 31st January 2016, 10:31 PM   #3
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Very solid, about 1.0 to 1.5 lbs.It feels good, surprisingly comfortable to grip.I was wondering about the squared off handle, but after experimenting with it(playing),I found one could thrust with the weapon easily and the squared handle assisted in this.I think this would make a good Thug weapon and in close quarters be very effective !
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Old 1st February 2016, 07:49 AM   #4
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This appears to be in the range of parrying type arms of India, much like the madu.
The thugs (thuggee) actually did not use weapons, but carried out their depredations using a knotted scarf to strangle victims. Their beliefs prohibited shedding of blood. They did however use a mysterious (as far as the lore ascribed to it) pick axe to bury bodies, but again not used as a weapon. Pretty intriguing history though, so easy to consider such an unusual item to these mysterious 'phansigar' (=stranglers).

The spikes reminded me of this guy.
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Old 1st February 2016, 10:03 AM   #5
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I do not doubt the ability of this haladie to inflict severe bodily damage, but ( just like Drac2k) have hesitations about its age and "historicity".

These days, anything that comes to the market from India as antique is suspect in my eyes until proven otherwise.

20-25 years ago many people bought "antiques" from China in good faith; this rapidly changed into " trust but verify" attitude; by now we all know with iron-clad certainty that everything coming out of there was manufactured last week at the latest.

As the availability of old tulwar handles in India comes down, we see more and more freshly cast ones. Taking into account ridiculously low hourly wages there, even seemingly reasonably-priced "antique" weapons must be bringing high percentage profits.

Caveat emptor!
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Old 1st February 2016, 11:32 AM   #6
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Thanks for the imput .I can see why that guy was the executioner, as he was a most fear inspiring individual !
I guess I got the poor mans' version of that great piece you show .
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Old 1st February 2016, 02:09 PM   #7
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Absolutely ! This guy could kill ya just by looking at him
While the example I showed is of course very refined and using spear type opposites for the parry, it is more like a madu which is the pairs of joined buffalo horns typically with a buckler/shield at the center over the hold loop. These often had spikes from the boss or center of the shield.

Another form as you describe was in the form of one of these but with opposing blades and no shield but a projecting forward blade at the center.
I think it was one Oriental Arms had years ago.
Another form of this group of Indian arms related is the 'saintie'.
I hadn't yet found an example pertinent enough to post, hoping to find more with the prominent hold loop.

As I mentioned, the Thugs/Thuggee were a most mysterious and deadly group in India (I have a thread on them from December 2007) but the only 'weapon' they had was the ceremonial pickaxe with which they dug graves for their victims. As far as is known none of the heads of these is known to currently exist and no examples were ever properly depicted.
These groups were eliminated by the British by about 1850.

While your weapon here is indeed 'rugged' looking, as has been noted, it looks sufficient for actual use and is certainly far from a 'tourist' type item.
What I might suggest is that Indian armourers often were producers of innovative creations which could show influences of other known weapons.
What this reminds me of is a 'test' piece made to show the skills of the maker, mindful of my high school days in metal shop (WAY too many years ago!) where such tests pieces were forged scribes with a loop type handle and the iron 'twist' which was the primary feature testing your skills.
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Old 1st February 2016, 06:29 PM   #8
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the spiral one may look prettier, but i'd rather have yours, drak2k.

that executioner looks like he'd do more harm to himself or his companions in a melee. especially if he fell down. (his widdle tootsies look very vulnerable to arrows (caltrops might also work) he'd nail himself down if he fell & you could take him apart at leisure. note i say you. i wouldn't get anywhere near him myself dotsa beeg sword he got. betcha he knows how to use it too, without spiking himself.
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Old 1st February 2016, 07:51 PM   #9
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A handful of caltrops might slow him down ;I'm wondering why an executioner might need a shield ?
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Old 1st February 2016, 09:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
A handful of caltrops might slow him down ;I'm wondering why an executioner might need a shield ?


Now there's the rub!
Many of these Victorian period photographs were studio situated using various items kept as props. The big sword simply (as usual) is assumed to be an 'executioner' sword, much as with the Chinese swords etc. with large blades.

I agree, the simpler more rugged pieces, strictly business, are far more to my tastes as well as they are more representative of arms actually used.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 07:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
The thugs (thuggee) actually did not use weapons, but carried out their depredations using a knotted scarf to strangle victims. Their beliefs prohibited shedding of blood. They did however use a mysterious (as far as the lore ascribed to it) pick axe to bury bodies, but again not used as a weapon.


Jim, I have run across a few references mentioning thuggees actually drugging/poisioning their victims before killing them with some drugged victims merely being robbed and not killed and there are some mentions of daggers being used as well as strangulation. There is also mention of people who excape from the thuggees initial attack being killed by sword.


Report on the crime of thuggee by means of poisons in British territory 1864-66 by Charles Robert W. Hervey, 1868.

The Thugs or Phansigars of India: comprising a history of the rise and progress of that extraordinary fraternity of assassins; and a description of the system which it pursues, and of the measures which have been adopted by the supreme government of India for its suppression, Volume 2 Front Cover Sir William Henry Sleeman Carey & Hart, 1839.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 08:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
I think we can call this a haladie based on the fact that it has 2 opposite blades, however even though I have seen this weapon with a third blade, I have never seen one with 3 spikes and 2 blades.
It is hand forged and well made, but I am unsure how old this is or if it is a fantasy piece. I am seeing some interesting "old-new," items coming out of India recently, but I can not find anything like this.It measures 18" in length, the blades and spikes are sharp .


There is a weapons called "vajra mushti" which is a nuckleduster that has spikes/blades etc at the nuckle and blades/spikes etc at either end, Jim already posted one variety. The grip of your haladie looks similar but with asymmetrical haladie blades attached.

As for the age, that is hard to tell, it has a very primitive/rustic look, not like most replicas that you might see lately. While researching an unusual symmetrical bladed haladie that I had a chance to look at I was told by someone with a lot of knowledge of Indian weapons this quote that may as well apply to your haladie as well.

Quote:
Its not a weapon made that conforms to any I have seen before, nor does the style and construction method conform to known methods and styles. Therefore I would say it is either a village made item (amateur smith) or a modern reproduction.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 12:09 PM   #13
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Now that you have posted examples, I can see the similarities of the weapons; mine being the crudest of the lot.
What was the significance of the Thugges putting their victims eyes out? Was it religious , ritualistic or punitive ?
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Old 2nd February 2016, 12:18 PM   #14
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the eye was a window to the soul also a window to the brain, a thrust thru the eye into the brain thru a fairly thin layer of bone would kill quickly and relatively bloodlessly, what little did ooze out after the victim died and the heart stops before you then pulled out the dagger would drop into the well, followed by the body. anywhere else may have cut an artery or vein and it might spurt a fair distance while they died.
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Old 2nd February 2016, 01:01 PM   #15
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Very interesting and based on the drawing it makes sense; the heads are held over the well and as you say, any small drops of blood would have been dissipated in the water. Thanks for the answer.
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