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Old 20th February 2019, 03:20 PM   #91
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Jim,
Who is the author of the article on Coorg weapons?




Ariel, I was remiss in not answering this and cannot fathom how I did!

It was our own Nidhi Olikara who wrote a brilliant paper on the Coorg adda khathi in the Journal of the Arms & Armour Society,
Vol. XXII, #4, 2017
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Old 20th February 2019, 03:45 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
In 1883 Surgeon-Major Th. H. Hendleyi wrote that it is; “adapted for thrusting, and makes a wide and dangerous wound, which is enlarged in the act of withdrawing the weapon, as both edges are very sharp. Some katars are made to open like scissors blades, others have small pistols attached to the side guards, and in a third variety the open sides reveal a small point within. All these arrangements are devised to make the wound more horrible, and as, in hand to hand conflicts with

tigers and other large savage animals, it is essential to produce a considerable effect at once on the beast, this quality of the katar, which is often used in such sports, is very advantageous.”
i Memorials of the Jaypore Exhibition. P 9. Surgeon-Major Th. H. Hendley, who did service in India for many years, wrote a number of books about Indian weapons and artefacts.


Quote from How Old is the Katar?

To me, the quote above means that the katar was used both for hunting and in battle.



Wonderfully cited quotes from Hendley Jens!!! from a key source of insight on Indian arms, reflected by the fact that not only was in in India during important times, but readily observed many details.


I think that the often innovative features on Indian arms of these times were in many cases derived from some European sources and in some simply armourers trying to impress their patrons. In "Firearms Curiosa" (Winant) there are examples of firearm/sword combinations as seen often in hunting swords. In other cases, it would seem that the gun (single shot of course) was likely discharged, and if its effect failed, a secind weapon was literally in hand.


With the expanding (scissors type) blades, it seems we have determined that the potential for this supposed use in exacerbating wounds was quite improbable in most cases as it was unlikely to be able to expand within such anatomical enclosure. Also, obviously withdrawal would be impossible, thus the user would be left unarmed.


While these are the notable possibilities with these features in these weapons, there is of course no limit to what might occur or how they might be used in actual circumstances or situations. In situations almost anything can become a weapon 'of opportunity' and the results surprising.


I think that the katar would easily have been present in both hunting and battle, but worn by the upper echelon who were afforded these kinds of weapons. As previously noted, in my opinion they would have remained secondary weapons for use in final dispatch of an animal in hunting, and close quarters use in melee in battle.


While primary use of the katar certainly offers heroic image in illustration, it still seems to me an unusual circumstance, and expectedly questioned.
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Old 21st February 2019, 01:47 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
While primary use of the katar certainly offers heroic image in illustration, it still seems to me an unusual circumstance, and expectedly questioned.


The Hero of the East goes one on one against a predator. The Hero of the West - presses a button watching the monitor. Different cultures. Still.
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Old 21st February 2019, 03:29 PM   #94
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This is ridiculous, but I cannot find in European languages ​​how to translate the Greek term "θηριομαχία" (θηριομαχίᾱͅ) and the cultural phenomenon that stands behind it in traditional societies of the East.
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Old 21st February 2019, 04:17 PM   #95
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Θηριομαχία η transliterates to Thereumachi, meaning (sort of) a combat with wild beasts .


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Old 21st February 2019, 05:05 PM   #96
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fernando, good search ))

But this is not only gladiatorial performances in the arena. In the East, teriomachia was a way of confirmation of the royal power, the status of a hero and leader. Like in story about Akela's hunting in The Jungle Book.
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Old 21st February 2019, 05:59 PM   #97
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Wow! guys!!
That was cryptic, Mercenary ,on the East and West thing!!!

"..but there is neither east nor west, border nor breed, nor birth;
when two string men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth".
-Kipling (1889)


But Greek ?!!!! you guys are amazing. Well done and fascinating!
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Old 21st February 2019, 06:22 PM   #98
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Mercenary,

West and East did not differ that much in olden times. Only in the middle ages and later teriomachia in Europe became a spectator sport, like corridas in Spain and rodeos in Texas.


Of the 12 Labors of Hercules 6 consisted of killing animals.
Samson and the Lion?
Etc, etc, etc....


And let's not forget western royal hunts: wild boars, bears. Alexander III ( Russia) was famous for big game hunting at the very end of 19 century. And what about African safaris by Ted Roosevelt? That had nothing to do with " confirmation of royal power". This was pure testosterone.

West just became less aggressive as it matured, while the East still retained its wild streak. Still, there were multiple Western personalities who loved to test their mettle against big and dangerous beasts. Mostly, this adrenaline-seeking behavior sublimated into rock climbing, car racing, Fight Clubs etc. The East was just lagging behind in its " civilized behavior".
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Old 21st February 2019, 07:43 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
... West and East did not differ that much in olden times...

Naturally !

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
... And let's not forget western royal hunts: wild boars, bears. Alexander III ( Russia) was famous for big game hunting at the very end of 19 century...

We also have our local share. Portuguese King Dom Dinis (1278-1325) broke his ascuma (hunting spear) in a bear whom immediately charged back, having the King killed the beast in a body fight. His bastard son was killed by a wild boar after breaking his ascuma when charging on the animal. Other similar historic events are recorded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
...That had nothing to do with " confirmation of royal power"...

The only way it had is because when peasants went through such episodes were not covered by the period press as royals did !

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
... West just became less aggressive as it matured, while the East still retained its wild streak...

Indeed !
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Old 22nd February 2019, 09:40 AM   #100
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While the wild eastern countries were thinking about the royal power and the royal hunts, highly cultured western countries began to hunt the eastern countries themselves.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 09:50 AM   #101
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Returning to the royal hunt in India in the light of Teriomachia. When the first person who as a rule considered himself "a great warrior" and "a fearless hunter", fired at a predator and only wounded him, in most cases the predator attacked in response. And then on its way there were alwais specially trained assistants in most cases with katars. Because these daggers, by their origin and old main purpose, were "tiger daggers". Of course before 1840s.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 10:59 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
While the wild eastern countries were thinking about the royal power and the royal hunts, highly cultured western countries began to hunt the eastern countries themselves.

Better not take that road, don't you agree ? .
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:12 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
... When the first person who as a rule considered himself "a great warrior" and "a fearless hunter", fired at a predator and only wounded him, in most cases the predator attacked in response. And then on its way there were always specially trained assistants in most cases with katars. Because these daggers, by their origin and old main purpose, were "tiger daggers". Of course before 1840s.

A rather plausible approach.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:14 AM   #104
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While the wild eastern countries were thinking about the royal power and the royal hunts, highly cultured western countries began to hunt the eastern countries themselves.

Well, man has always been man's worst enemy. Period.

This certainly is not a West vs. East thing: Some of the most extensive political entities build upon imperialist approaches were decidedly "East" by whatever definition: Ottomans, Egypt, Persia, Mongols, China, Japan just to name a very few of the obvious contenders. Like European kingdoms, the kingdoms on the Indian subcontinent where also not exactly peaceful nor abstinent from colonial aspirations. Heck, show me any culture that has a proven track record of not preying upon neighboring ethnic groups and, if given a decent chance, possibly more distant peoples - and you'll have found a very rare and possibly short-lived exception to the rule...

Regards,
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:16 AM   #105
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Better not take that road, don't you agree ? .

Ok, Fernando, you beat me to it...
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:39 AM   #106
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So back to (katar/katari) business .
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Old 22nd February 2019, 11:49 AM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
While the wild eastern countries were thinking about the royal power and the royal hunts, highly cultured western countries began to hunt the eastern countries themselves.


Civilization and progress do not imply spinelesness.
On the contrary, they are the engines of technological and military progress.

“Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun and they have not”

However, the Maxim gun took a distant second in accomplishing Western victories over Eastern militaries from times immemorial. Strongly advise a book by Victor Davis Hanson “Carnage and Culture”, an account of West-East military confrontations beginning with ancient Greeks.

As a quick example you might also ponder on the battle of Assaye, where Wellington’s 9,500 soldiers with 17 cannons utterly destroyed Maratha force of 60,000 - 70,000 with > 100 guns.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:43 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Better not take that road, don't you agree ? .

That is just history. Europeans misunderstanding of Eastern culture always led to mistakes. As in the case of wars and in the case of ... katars.

Quote:
A rather plausible approach.

Thank you. But this is not an approach. This is a conclusion.

Quote:
This certainly is not a West vs. East thing: Some of the most extensive political entities build upon imperialist approaches were decidedly "East" by whatever definition: Ottomans, Egypt, Persia, Mongols, China, Japan just to name a very few of the obvious contenders. Like European kingdoms, the kingdoms on the Indian subcontinent where also not exactly peaceful nor abstinent from colonial aspirations. Heck, show me any culture that has a proven track record of not preying upon neighboring ethnic groups and, if given a decent chance, possibly more distant peoples - and you'll have found a very rare and possibly short-lived exception to the rule...

Could you check the difference between Colonization and Colonialism?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 12:44 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Civilization and progress do not imply spinelesness.
On the contrary, they are the engines of technological and military progress.

“Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun and they have not”

However, the Maxim gun took a distant second in accomplishing Western victories over Eastern militaries from times immemorial. Strongly advise a book by Victor Davis Hanson “Carnage and Culture”, an account of West-East military confrontations beginning with ancient Greeks.

As a quick example you might also ponder on the battle of Assaye, where Wellington’s 9,500 soldiers with 17 cannons utterly destroyed Maratha force of 60,000 - 70,000 with > 100 guns.

The West have not been distinguish the technical progress from the culture. Hence the lack of understanding of the phenomenon of traditional weapons in general.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 02:14 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
Could you check the difference between Colonization and Colonialism?

Aye, aye, Sir!

According to Merriam-Webster:

Colonization: an act or instance of colonizing
Colonizing: to establish a colony

Colonialism
1 : the quality or state of being colonial
2 : something characteristic of a colony
3a : control by one power over a dependent area or people
3b : a policy advocating or based on such control


Unless you colonize barren land not even utilzed by hunterers and gatherers, chances are very high that you'll subdue the local populace and also exploit it and its resources. (Limited and mutually agreed upon trade colonies may be an exception; however, if there are no checks and balances, chances are that conflict will arise, especially if the resources are considerable and/or the power unequally distributed.)

In reality, it often may only be a matter of perspective: The European settlers in northern America may well have thought they were colonizing the "new" world for good (and god); for the native nations it certainly was pure colonialism and bigotry. When the Vikings settled on Greenland during the limited spell of warm climate, it may be possible that the Inuit had already left; in most other cases, there hasn't been any relevant amount of "empty spots" to fill with gentle colonization during the last millennia...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 22nd February 2019, 02:31 PM   #111
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Exclamation An extemporaneous lament ... maybe

It is amazing how determined threads tend to become a battlefield where a mix of political ingredients and personal jabs spoil the flavor of the intended recipe. I blame myself for having, for a moment or two, contributed with fuel for such racing session; where some are picking any possible word coming from the other side to transform the conversation into a rooster fight.
Why do we have this mania that our hen is better than that of our neighbor ... or, to stay within topic, why my katar is better than yours ?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 02:45 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
Returning to the royal hunt in India in the light of Teriomachia.

..... these daggers, by their origin and old main purpose, were "tiger daggers". Of course before 1840s.


What is left, of course, is providing evidence that "their origin and old main purpose" was specifically tiger hunting:-)


Images of brave Indian personalities despatching tigers with katars are ( IMHO) likely to be of mainly glorifying or "advertising" value: bravery of a person fighting supremely dangerous animal one-on-one in close quarters. Multiple Indian miniatures show Rajahs or their close associates on a warpath, in the middle of the battle or just relaxing in the palace and... wearing katars under the belt. These are not hunting scenes and there are no tigers in the vicinity.

The allusion to katars as " tiger hunters" is of dubious value: khanjarli was often referred to as " elephant dagger". But it was not used for hunting elephants: most of them simply had elephant ivory handles ( Orissa was implicated as their origin). A subtype of khanjar with trilobate pommel is routinely called " tiger tooth". Because of the blade reminiscent of tiger's incisor or because of the pommel reminiscent of a molar? Or was it the true "tiger hunter"? A European " boar spear" ( with a horizontal metal "stop") was not necessarily used for boars only. My point is that many weapons had " honorific" monikers.


In general, weapons were developed initially for mixed purpose : both as man-fighting and utilitarian ( hunting included). Subsequently, these functions were largely separated by militarily-developed societies, with only a minority retaining their utilitarian/martial status in less organised societies ( machete in peaceful times, weapon during the war). Purely utilitarian implements are easily recognizable: fishing spear, whaling harpoon, eel catcher, pellet bow etc.

Without delving into documentary evidence and local semantics we are on very shaky grounds.

Last edited by ariel : 22nd February 2019 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 03:30 PM   #113
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Ok, back to blades:

Quote:
Returning to the royal hunt in India in the light of Teriomachia. When the first person who as a rule considered himself "a great warrior" and "a fearless hunter", fired at a predator and only wounded him, in most cases the predator attacked in response. And then on its way there were alwais specially trained assistants in most cases with katars.

Seems like "heroic" deeds where mainly for the younger generation to prove themselves worthy (and/or chosen by god) - also a fairly global feature of human societies. I am in no way belittleing the courage as well as determination of hunters and warriors of old (and of many if not most cultures globally).


Quote:
Because these daggers, by their origin and old main purpose, were "tiger daggers". Of course before 1840s.

So, aside from the probably inconclusive issue of semantics, you base this hypothesis on the possible predominance in paintings (obvious usage in hunting vs. warfare 10:1) only? Does carrying a blade count or does it have to be shown in action? While already having acknowledged that hunts may have been more numerous than battles? For which area on the Indian subcontinent and during which period?

What about early examples from southern India? If only limited to northern India, how do the proportion of blades with thickened tips relate to your hypothesis?


Mind you, I have no stake in this discussion of traditional usage - just trying to understand your reasoning and playing devil's advocate...

Regards,
Kai

Last edited by kai : 22nd February 2019 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 03:33 PM   #114
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Thank you Ariel.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 03:55 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
What is left, of course, is providing evidence that "their origin and old main purpose" was specifically tiger hunting:-)

Just consider one more opinion. I do not preach here, but just point to circumstances little known in the circle of dealers and collectors.

Quote:
Images of brave Indian personalities despatching tigers with katars are ( IMHO) likely to be of mainly glorifying or "advertising" value: bravery of a person fighting supremely dangerous animal one-on-one in close quarters.

Bravo! Sometimes to understand something someone just need to retell it in your own words.

Quote:
My point is that many weapons had " honorific" monikers.

Bingo!

Quote:
In general, weapons were developed initially for mixed purpose : both as man-fighting and utilitarian ( hunting included). Subsequently, these functions were largely separated by militarily-developed societies, with only a minority retaining their utilitarian/martial status in less organised societies ( machete in peaceful times, weapon during the war). Purely utilitarian implements are easily recognizable: fishing spear, whaling harpoon, eel catcher, pellet bow etc.

This is a speculative abstract model.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 04:01 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Ok, back to blades:

So, aside from the probably inconclusive issue of semantics, you base this hypothesis on the apparently biased proportion of paintings (obvious usage in hunting vs. warfare) only;

Biased proportion? It is a fact actually. Take an another proportion of pictures. Could you?

Quote:
What about early examples from southern India?

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Last edited by Mercenary : 22nd February 2019 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 22nd February 2019, 04:52 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
It is amazing how determined threads tend to become a battlefield where a mix of political ingredients

I talked only about the history. But to make politics out of history is already a common tradition for both the West and the East.


Quote:
where some are picking any possible word coming from the other side to transform the conversation into a rooster fight.

In the future, I can publish only pictures and quotes, but I suppose it still hurts someone

Quote:
why my katar is better than yours ?

This is not your katar, not mine, not Ariel's, not Jens's and not even Egerton with Elgood. It was Indian one, but few know about it now because since 1840 it became European item and we can now easily and naturally talk about the functions and technical progress of Indian weapons.

Now really:
Quote:
Without delving into documentary evidence and local semantics we are on very shaky grounds.

But I try to give here "documentary evidence and local semantics", don't I?
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Old 22nd February 2019, 04:53 PM   #118
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Biased proportion? It is a fact actually.

I wasn't accusing you of introducing any malicious bias - I did rephrase my earlier posting for clarity, hopefully.

Still, if you only count actions scenes while ignoring warriors carrying these blades in a battle scenario (probably not for fun), this will exaggerate any differences. Also you did not answer how you'd suggest to normalize the statistics assuming that hunting was more common than battles...

It's easy to come up with statistics; making probabilities a really convincing case is a tad tougher.

Regards,
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Old 22nd February 2019, 05:18 PM   #119
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OK

The design of katar is the best design to stop the attacking predator. It is more comfortable to wear and use than a heavy spear.

Most of the situations we know where a tiger was stopping are illustrated with the katar.

In India, whether we like it or not, one of its names is "tiger dagger".

Within the framework of the concept of Theriomachia, the wearing of this dagger could imply that its owner is able to accept the challenge of a predator.

Wearing a status weapon as an element of costume at the royal court, I hope, raises no questions.

In the chronicles you can find many descriptions of how the heads are cut off with a simple dagger. How to thrust with katar? Good luck in search.

- That is all.
- Thank you, Mercenary, that we have learned something more. But excuse us because we will argue further.
- No problem. I understand. I was just glad to share my knowledge
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Old 22nd February 2019, 05:43 PM   #120
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To be honest. The facts say that using the katar in battle is exception, unlike hunting or wearing a suit.
Only two:
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