Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 3rd March 2014, 02:13 PM   #1
josh stout
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 369
Default uyghur knives?

After the horrendous Chinese train station attack by what people assumed to be Uighurs, I wondered about their weapons. The attackers were described as dressed in black from head to toe with only the eyes showing, and included at least two women. They carried what was described a "knives as long as a man's arm and a couple of inches wide." What were these "knives"? Google image search shows some shiny items that look like fancy hunting knives, but nothing on the scale described. Perhaps they were the same thing but bigger? Certainly the accounts seem to indicate a single edged chopping weapon.
Please forgive me for what sounds like morbid curiosity, but contemporary accounts of ethnic groups with long standing weapons traditions tend to focus on gory details but not details of the weapons. In this country, when a mass shooting occurs, we know exactly which version of the AR15 was used, but from Africa to Assam, blade wielding mobs are usually described as carrying out "machete" attacks. If we knew what weapons were used, we would know much more about what group was involved, their connection to traditional culture, and their access to modern construction techniques.
Thanks,
Josh
josh stout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2014, 02:33 PM   #2
blue lander
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 456
Default

According to AP:

"I saw two attackers, both men, one with a watermelon knife and the other with a fruit knife. They were running and chopping whoever they could."
blue lander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2014, 03:54 PM   #3
Andrew
Vikingsword Staff
 
Andrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,725
Lightbulb Moderator's Comment

Let's make sure we stay on Josh's topic (Uyghur weapons) and not slide into socio-political discussion, thus ensuring this thread remains open.
Andrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2014, 04:17 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,693
Default

This is a fascinating and brilliantly posed question by Josh. Naturally most modern news accounts of current events noting the relatively unusual use of edged weapons in such actions note same typically in rather collective terms. One thing I have always noticed in contemporary narratives on historically significant events is that edged weapons are seldom described other than in general terms. I often noticed even in military history references there is often emphasis on artillery and firearms in detail, but any type of sword is either 'curved or straight' if any detail given.

While in many cultures ethnographically there are significantly key edged weapons, these are seldom addressed by the terms they are known by. In one news account of these kinds of events in Saharan regions many years ago I do recall a tribal chieftain (possibly Tuareg) who expressed in an interview, 'we raised our 'takoubas'' referring to their taking action.

Another case in point is the collective use of the relatively modern term 'machete' which describes of course heavy bladed chopping edged weapons used typically in tropical climate regions for cutting through jungle foliage. Over the years, most often in news events in Africa of course, the gruesome use of edged weapons typically refer to machetes, though these may have been various types of indigenous weapons.

In this instance, even beyond the collective and broadly used terms for many weapon forms, are the terms used in the same manner for ethnic groups such as the Uyghurs. The term is known in somewhat ancient records and in more modern times refers typically to Muslim peoples of the Xinjiang regions in western China, however it has been noted that for many centuries these people had no specific name (Lattimore, 1973).
The Uyghur classification was apparently adopted by Turkic Muslims primarily from Tarim basin at the 1921 conference at Tashkent, according to a reference noted in a 'Wiki' entry, which I have used for convenience for some details.

I suppose these factors in using news items for detail reveal the potential caveats in such details if they were indeed included, however they do serve well as benchmarks for the brilliantly posed and pertinent question Josh has set forth here.

Having noted that, I would very much second Andrew's most pertinent caveat here as well, considering the stream of volatile events unfolding as we speak.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2014, 06:55 PM   #5
spiral
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,712
Default

Chinese Water Melon knives are like long square dha in profile & certainly match the description. There also thin, springy & sharp

They have for a long time been triad/tong favorites at least in Hong Kong, along with the heavier shorter meat cleavers for the so called "chopping" attacks.

spiral
spiral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2014, 09:40 PM   #6
AJ1356
Member
 
AJ1356's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Nashville
Posts: 292
Default

I am guessing they used everyday fruit vendor knives or what not. The Uyghurs are basically Central Asian Muslims whose weapon would be the same or could resemble those of Afghanistan, the stans of Central Asia and Mongolia, with some Chines influence. I was reading something else, but had mentions of when Afghan King Ahmad Shah was trying to rally Muslim support to aid the besieged Ughurs and save them from the Qing invasion in the late 1700's. The people there are Turkic in origin and the the old folks mention the area calling it Turkistan e Sharqi (Eastern Turkistan).
AJ1356 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2014, 09:47 PM   #7
TVV
Member
 
TVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 1,148
Default

Here is a link to a threat that discussed Uyghur knives, and especially the modern productions from Yangisar.

http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthrea...ighlight=uyghur

Ariel posted a link to a Russian knives forum, where there is a very long threat on these with a lot of pictures even for those who cannot read Russian.

Teodor
TVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd March 2014, 09:57 PM   #8
spiral
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,712
Default

I dare say it will come out in the wash, but I bet they used the cheapest mass production factory melon choppers in a bulk buy from a dime store... not a traditional hand crafted or styled ethnic product....

Spiral
spiral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th March 2014, 02:07 PM   #9
kronckew
Member
 
kronckew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
Posts: 2,637
Default

hard to see, but one of the knives being bagged into evidence at the grip end:


appear to be about 18+ in. blades - news mentions 50-60cm. appear single edged, have a fuller and a slightly upswept tip:

Link to source video (last video at bottom of article)
Attached Images
  
kronckew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th March 2014, 03:31 PM   #10
spiral
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,712
Default

Interesting Kronckew .

Heres another one...From Chinese social media...

Looks like a Chinese knock off of a Japanese sword.

Spiral
Attached Images
 
spiral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2014, 05:50 PM   #11
josh stout
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 369
Default

I appreciate the work that went into the responses. It is unfortunate that we don't have better photos of the weapons involved given the large number of truly abhorrent photos of bloody victims. As far as I can tell, the knives used were indeed a random collection ranging from kitchen utensils to what is perhaps a wallhanger. I still think that with better photos we could tell a lot about the people who commit such atrocities. As we know, weapons can tell us much about the group that wields them, and we could probably deduce how well funded they were, and if they were a local group. The one somewhat clear photo of a “Chinese katana knockoff” has some interesting characteristics that separate it from the usual copies of Japanese things. It appears that it may be local construction, and if so, someone with a knowing eye would likely be able to narrow it down to a few local makers.

And thanks to everyone for staying on topic and not getting the post locked.
Josh
josh stout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2014, 06:52 PM   #12
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,693
Default

I very much agree Josh, and again interestingly posed question. Its good to see responses carried out without unnecessary editorial and kept on topic. Nicely done gentlemen.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2014, 08:01 PM   #13
mross
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 354
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral
I dare say it will come out in the wash, but I bet they used the cheapest mass production factory melon choppers in a bulk buy from a dime store... not a traditional hand crafted or styled ethnic product....

Spiral

I tend to agree with spiral on this one. From a USA perspective the most used knife in a murder is the ubiquitous kitchen knife. And from several knife magazine discussions on most used knife in war? The mess kit knife! People are people and they tend to use what's at hand.
mross is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 07:41 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.