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Old 18th August 2017, 08:13 PM   #1
ariel
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Default Karud: the weapon that did not exist:-)

• On several occasions, this Forum has been engaged in discussions about a straight-bladed version of the Central Asian Peshkabz, that sometimes is referred to as a “Karud”. These discussions centered around two main questions: is the Karud indeed an independent weapon, i.e. separate of Peshkabz and, secondly, what is the origin of its name.
• Thorben Flindt and Robert Elgood (T. Flindt, “Nineteenth-century Arms from Bukhara”, in: Islamic Arms and Armour, Ed. By R. Elgood, London Scholar Press, 1979, pp. 20-29) have openly admitted that their efforts to pinpoint the origin of that name were unsuccessful, although they suspected that in some way it might have stemmed from the Persian word “kard”, meaning “knife”.

• Recently, Dmitri Miloserdov (herewith the ”Author”) had published an article in which he not only asserted the independence of the Karud from the Peshkabz, but also defined the very name of the Karud as a justifiable one due to the alleged “ historically established classification”. In support of his assertion he mentions “recently discovered data on the etymology of the word Karud.” (Д. Милосердов" К вопросу о правомочности существования термина "Каруд", “Историческое Оружиеведение”, 2015, 2:88-101;
D. Miloserdov, “ To the issue of justification of usage of the term “Karud”, “ Historical Weapons Studies 2015, 2:88-101).
http://historical-weapons.com/wp-co...ILOSERDOV-2.pdf

• This is the first and, to my knowledge, the only scientific paper specifically addressing the “Karud”. This contribution piqued my curiosity and prompted my (rather pleasant and educational) journey into the origins of that name.

• The Author starts with a long list of sources who did not use the term Karud, but referred to it as a Peshkabz. After that, he lists numerable sources that did use this term, including books and catalogues of collections by Moser, Buttin, Jacob and Stone. He also uses an English- Hindoostanee ( precursor of both Hindi and Urdu languages) dictionary published in 1820 in which the word Karud is used as a translation of “knife” (J.B. Gilchrist, “The strangers infallible East-Indian Guide of Hindoostanee multum in parvo as a grammatical compendium of the grand popular and military language of India”, London, 1820, p. 351,) as well as the book of a famous British diplomat Alexander Burns ( A.Burns,” Cabool: a personal narrative of a journey to, and residence in that city in the years 1836, 7, and 8”, Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1843 рр.274-275). In this book Burns is quoting an Afghani expression “shurt-i-karud”, meaning not slicing a melon for which one hadn’t paid yet, reminiscent of the English one about not counting one’s chickens before they hatch. These constitute the “recently discovered data on the etymology of the word Karud” on which he based his conclusions.



• The Author provided a highly professional and meticulous physical description of the illustrated weapons. However, I feel that he glossed over and misinterpreted one of the references that he himself brought up as an example in favor of his opinion and, as a result, the opportunity to get the correct answer was missed.

• He cited the 1820 book of Gilchrist (see above) that had mentioned the word “karud” as a translation of “knife”. However, he missed an interpretation of an entry from even earlier book by the same author (J.B. Gilchrist “ A Dictionary: English and Hindoostanee”, Calcutta 1787-1790) in which English words were translated into “Hinduwee, Arabic and Persian” and the native spelling was provided ( Fig.1). This is an equivalent of the Rosetta Stone, a trilingual stele that allowed Champollion not only to decipher the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphics, but also to reproduce their phonetics.
• Fig.2 shows the entry for the English word “knife” and its translated equivalents in Arabic ( marked with an “a”), Persian (“p”) and Hinduwee ( “h”). The Persian word is spelled “kard”: kaf, alef, re, dal (from right to left, of course), with no sound for “u”. But the English vocalization of this word in the Dictionary is listed as “ Karud”, with an additional vowel “u” between re and dal.
• This was strange, and therefore I asked my native Iranian colleagues to pronounce the Persian word for “ knife”. All pronounced it as Kar(?)d, where (?) is a poorly defined vowel sound, and with stress on the first syllable. However, when asked to write the same word in Persian they unhesitantly wrote “kard”. I then went to the internet and asked the same question: got the same result.
http://www.learn-persian.com/english/knife.php
• My colleagues explained to me that Persian is a highly melodic language and clusters of consonants are just “improved” by insertion of some additional vowel sounds.
• This is a classic example of a linguistic phonetic phenomenon called “epenthesis”, the insertion of an imaginary sound to ease and improve the pronounciation of a word. It happens in English, too. For example, one of the Detroit suburbs (not far from me) is called Hamtramck, but is pronounced as Hamtramick, or Hamtrameck.
• That explains Burns’ rendition of “shurt-i-karud”, and since he never reproduced this word in the Persian alphabet, we will never know what the Afghanis or Persians were actually saying to him, only what he had heard from them.
• This also explains why Buttin (C. Buttin “ Catalogue de la collection d’armes anciennes”, Rumilly 1933, p.160) and Jacob ( A. Jacob “ Les armes blanches du monde islamique” Jacques Grancher, 1985, p.190 ) both speak about “ Kard ou Karoud” and why P. Holstein in his ” Conributions a l’etude des armes Orientales (vol.1, p.125), writes about Kared, Karoud or Kard (“le nom de Kared ne sont pas autre chose que le Kard ou Karud persan et qui sont utilisés dans l'Hindoustan”: “The name Kared is nothing other than the Persian Kard or Karud which is used in Hindustan”)

• Taken together, all these points tell us a coherent story: the so-called “Karud” (or, if we prefer Holstein to Buttin, a “Kared”) is not a real weapon or a real word. It is a product of a mistaken identity stemming from a phonetical peculiarity of Persian language and a gullible ear of European visitors to Central Asia. Professor Higgins (a phoneticist) and Colonel Pickering (a student of Indian languages) would have understood (G.B.Shaw “ Pigmalion”)

• How did we get to a situation in which a phonetic trick called epenthesis introduced so much confusion in the European books dedicated to Central Asian weapons? Who is responsible for this amusing calamity? Let us look at the chronology of its appearance.


• The suspicion will definitely fall first and foremost on Mr. Gilchist, who introduced the wrong phonetisation as early as 1787. But I do not think we can blame him for the outcome: his book was designed for the British personnel of East India Company and to a much lesser extent for the local students of Fort William College. It is quite unlikely that this book influenced anyone in Europe at the end of the 19th century. By the middle of the 19th century both Hindi and Urdu were already firmly established and the need for a dictionary of “Hindoostanee” was rather unlikely.

• “The Book of the Sword” by Richard Burton was published in 1884: neither kard, karud nor peshkabz were mentioned there.

• The magisterial “Indian and Oriental Arms and Armor” by Lord Egerton came out in 2 editions: 1880 and ( reworked and expanded) 1896. Again, no mention of karud could be found in either.

• Thus, we are narrowing down our list of suspects and are putting Henry Moser-Charlottenfels in the crosshairs. He traveled across Central Asian Khanates, Iran, the Caucasus and Turkey in 1882-83 and again in 1888. The first and second editions of his “ Orientalische Sammlung” were published in 1914 and in 1923 respectfully. Both contain the word “karud”, for the first time since Gilchrist’s books. How and why did it get there? The answer is likely to be very simple: Moser did not know any Oriental language and hired a native speaker of Persian, one Mirza Dawud, to assist him in negotiating acquisition of objects of interest, including weapons. Since Persian was a lingua franca of that area, especially among the well-off people who brought first-rate items to Moser, all negotiations must have been conducted in that language. Thus, Mirza Dawud must have told Moser the name of the object in question, and Moser transcribed his notes the way he heard it, just as Gilchrist recorded the word Kard hundred years earlier.

• However, in the most recent 1955 edition of “Orientalische Sammlung” page 382 we find a revealing statement:”…der Karud (dem persischen “Kard” entsprechend)… “ : “….Karud (corresponding to Persian “Kard”..)”.

• Following early editions of Moser’s catalogs, the name Karud was mentioned by P. Holstein in 1931, by C. Buttin in 1933 and, finally, in 1934 George Cameron Stone published his magisterial book “ A glossary of the construction, decoration and use of arms and armor in all countries and in all times”. The latter became a Bible of weapon historians, museum personnel and countless collectors. Understandably, just like any book it not only disseminated the much needed knowledge, but also perpetuated some old errors. In that case it was especially easy to occur because G.C. Stone had access to earlier books by Moser, Holstein and Buttin, relied heavily on the opinions of his agents in Europe and employed stenographic style of description. And that is whence the word Karud came into multiple books and articles dedicated to Oriental weapons.

• In summary, this account presents an analysis of early sources that led to the introduction of the term Karud into the contemporary study of Oriental weapons. I suggest that the appearance of this term was the result of an error by Europeans who listened to Persian pronouncination of the word “ kard” and “heard” the epenthesis of an indistinct vowel within a cluster of consonants. I further suggest that in Persia and Central Asia there never was a weapon specifically called Karud in local usage. This straight-bladed variant of Peshkabz was locally known simply as a “kard”, a “knife”, analogous of Turkish “ bichaq”, Uzbeki “ p’chak”, Indian “choora” or Greek “mahaira”. Whether currently we should call it Peshkabz, acknowledging the similarity of their physical structure, or Kard, acknowledging its correct pronounciation, is a matter of individual preference, although some uniformity might be useful. But all references to a special weapon called Karud have no linguistic or scientific basis and should be stricken out from professional literature.

Last edited by ariel : 19th August 2017 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 18th August 2017, 08:15 PM   #2
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Old 18th August 2017, 08:18 PM   #3
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Old 18th August 2017, 10:24 PM   #4
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Beautiful work Ariel.

Perhaps all who dabble in strange objects from faraway places, and who wish to name those objects in a more or less accurate manner, would benefit from absorbing that which you have written here.
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Old 19th August 2017, 01:22 AM   #5
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GREAT JOB ARIEL!


Many thanks!
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Old 19th August 2017, 01:52 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Nice job!!!

Excellent work, Ariel. I know this issue has been bugging you for a while and it's good to see a final declarative statement on the subject.

I agree with Alan, we can all learn something from your cautionary tale of loosely translating what we hear in a language other than our own.

Ian.
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Old 19th August 2017, 02:05 AM   #7
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Outstanding research Ariel!
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Old 19th August 2017, 05:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel


•Taken together, all these points tell us a coherent story: the so-called “Karud” (or, if we prefer Holstein to Buttin, a “Kared”) is not a real weapon or a real word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
all references to a special weapon called Karud have no linguistic or scientific basis and should be stricken out from professional literature.


Ariel, great research but once again this is the "name game". No words are "real" until people accept them and start using them...the word "karud" is NOW accepted and used to describe the straight relative of the pesh-kabz...if not "karud" then what word, you do suggest that a curved bladed dagger and a straight bladed dagger be called by same name? I do not care what the natives may have called them, or were the word came from original other than for historic reasons, these weapons need names and we now have some, what is the big problem?

Take a look at the karud daggers and pesh-kabz daggers below, does anyone seriously think they are the same weapons and should all be described by the same name?
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Last edited by estcrh : 19th August 2017 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 19th August 2017, 09:05 AM   #9
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Alan,
Thanks for your effort. Nice to get a confirmation from yet another source.
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Old 19th August 2017, 02:00 PM   #10
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Whether historically and linguistically correct or not, I see no reason why we cannot use the term "Karud" to name a specific type of knife that otherwise lacks a specific designation.

If we use the historically and linguistically correct term "Pesh-kabz," it will be rather ambiguous as we won't exactly know whether it is a straight blade knife or a recurved one.

If we use the even more historically and linguistically correct term "Kard," it will be even more confusing as it may refer to almost any type of knife from the Indo-Persian area of influence.

However, naming it "Karud," everybody will know what we are talking about.

Or at least I will...

PS: I think Estcrh was trying to point to the same idea since we had a discussoin on this topic in an earlier thread.
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Old 19th August 2017, 02:15 PM   #11
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Eric and Marius,
I think you are misinterpreting the point. I do not particularly care what should we be calling it ( see the last paragraph of the posting). I was just suggesting what we should NOT call it. The moniker "Karud" is not a real word: it is just a phonetical error, a misprint so to say. No matter how convenient it is for us, it is IMHO rather silly to invent a separate weapon based on a peculiarity of Persian pronounciation of the "r" and "d" combination ( see Alan's entry).
Personally, I would prefer to call it "straight-bladed Pesh Kabz". Calling it "Kard" ( correct spelling) will confuse it with the established and correct name for a different dagger. Still, I might accept it if there was a consensus, but do not see why we should use a silly mippselling ... o-o-ps.... my bad:-)
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Old 19th August 2017, 07:49 PM   #12
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This work by Ariel is really sort of a 'textbook' or classic example of serious arms study in depth analysis and investigative deduction. What I appreciate most is the well structured, thought through and well referenced detail as he explains the development of his theory.

These kinds of situations regarding 'what to call' a certain weapon form are very well known in studies of ethnographic weapon forms where instances of transliteration, and misunderstanding of linguistics or phonetic characterization become established terms in 'western' use. These kinds of situations occur even with European arms through vernacular terms or lore pertaining to various persons, events or places associated with certain form or style in a weapon, (i.e. Pappenheimer; colichemarde etc.).

It seems this instance, with 'karud' recalls the circumstance which I would call 'the scimitar syndrome' where a phonetic corruption of a word or term results in term use for a form of weapon being used, rather vaguely, where there is no particular weapon in actuality existing.
The term scimitar is generally held to drive from Persian (again) 'shamshir', referring of course to these often deeply curved sabres. According to Burton (1884, p.126), the word resulted from Greek interpretation and with their not having a 'sh' sound in their language. From there it entered the European context which evolved into 'cimiterre' and 'sauveterre', finally into scimitar.
Indirectly it presumed to describe Turkish sabres and broadly oriental forms of sabre but in broadly collective way. The term 'scimitar' became a romantic description used dynamically by writers to portray exotic, flashing, curved sabres of basically non specific form. It is essentially a word to describe a type of sword which did not specify a certain form, only that it was a curved sabre of exotic form.

The 'name game' has been discussed often on these pages, and while there is a notable polarity in the article being examined by Ariel and his in depth analysis of it here, the end result is a comprehensive and most constructive look at these situations.

As has happened with various sword forms such as 'kaskara'; 'nimcha'; and 'flyssa' among others, none of these is known regionally by those terms, and the list goes on. These have become 'collectors terms' which in turn have become key semantically in the discussion and description of these distinct forms in the world of arms scholars.
To try to change these at this juncture would be not only counterproductive but disastrous as we could no longer simply use the known term.

While still using these various terms in the capacity in which they have become known in 'our vernacular' , it is wonderfully appropriate to have the background historically available, not only in the development of these weapons, but in the etymology of the terms they are called by.

I always applaud the courage of authors in publishing their work, and here both Dmitry and Ariel for venturing into this analysis of not just a weapon form, but the etymology surrounding it.
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Old 20th August 2017, 04:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Eric and Marius,
I think you are misinterpreting the point. I do not particularly care what should we be calling it ( see the last paragraph of the posting). I was just suggesting what we should NOT call it.

Actually you are telling us what we should NOT call it, but why should we stop calling it a "karud"...Ariel you can call it a "cow" if you wish but to me the straight version of the pesh-kabz is a "karud". Making up a new name at this point does not make any sense to me. There are many other weapons and armors with made up names, as long as people understand what I am describing to them I am ok with it. When I tell people I know that I have a "karud"...they know exactly what I am talking about, they do not envision me holding a pesh-kabz, you want to take us backwards in time when people used one word to describe all sorts of swords and one word to describe all sorts of daggers. I do not agree with what you are suggesting here. A karud is not a kard, it is not a pesh-kabz, it is not a jambiya or khanjar, it is a specific type of dagger, call it whatever you want but it is certainly NOT a pesh-kabz.
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Old 20th August 2017, 04:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Personally, I would prefer to call it "straight-bladed Pesh Kabz".
Why should anyone use this term when we already have a perfectly good, accepted and used term...."karud". I have no problem with people pointing out the origins of "Western terms" though.

People from Europe and the US like to categorize weapons and armor by type etc. Having a specific name for this particular dagger type makes sense, lumping it into the category of "pesh-kabz" or "kard" does not help anything as far as I can see.
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Old 20th August 2017, 06:39 AM   #15
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A remarkable linguistic study, and a clarion call for controversy, elegantly wrapped in the scholastic tradition, deserves the praise that has been laid at its figurative feet.

The "name game" exists in any number of disparate fields, most frequently when objects or concepts in one culture are studied by investigators in another. It is especially rampant in areas in which the original issue has been clouded by time, or the lack of any meaningful opportunity to learn from the originators. Traditions lapse, old people die, and are replaced by youngsters no longer vested in the old ways.

The search for karud is not as hampered as it might be, as there remain living exemplars of the originating culture, although language changes over time, both in vocabulary and pronunciation, and in the changes in the object or issue. Still, it cannot be denied that in this field, as in so many others, words and ideas have been taken out of context, and have formed a sort of meta-language, filled with descriptive terms unrecognisable by those who originated the object under study.

Insofar as in most cases, language does not alter function nor reality, but merely attempts to communicate information, unless and until proper correlations can be discovered and put into use, we will continue to find ourselves enmeshed in the inaccuracies introduced by those who came before, who often lacked to information that was developed subsequent to their original research. It should definitely be noted that in many cases this subsequent information would not exist at all, had they not ventured into the unknown.

All the above merely serves as a long-winded replacement for a simple concept, which I can not claim as my own; "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet".
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Old 20th August 2017, 05:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Take a look at the karud daggers and pesh-kabz daggers below, does anyone seriously think they are the same weapons and should all be described by the same name?

Well gentlemen, i have no horse in this race. These blades are well out of my collecting area, though i do find them both beautiful and exquisitely crafted. Admittedly i know very little about them, but i do have some observations based upon my own area of interest.
In the keris world we are constantly inundated with terms for everything from various parts of the blade and elements of the hilts and sheaths to precise dhapur (profile and feature shapes) and pamor patterns. I don't know if i have ever encountered a study so seemingly obsessed with the name game. These terms can not only vary from island to island, but sometimes even from village to village and certainly from era to era. We also know that over the centuries we can also find other names used to describe the entire keris that go well beyond the divergent spellings of that word itself (i.e. kris, creese, etc.). I won't get into them here. However, the vast majority of the keris collecting world seems to have decided upon "keris" (though some, especially in the West, hold on to he spelling as "kris") to describe this asymmetrical blade that seems to have an almost infinite amount of subtle variations.
To my untrained eye i see many of the same feature elements in what you call a pesh-kabz and a karud with the major difference being only a straight blade vs. a recurved one.
Estcrh asks "does anyone seriously think they are the same weapons and should all be described by the same name?"
All i can say is that a keris is a keris whether it is a lurus (straight) blade or a wavy (luk) blade. If the only thing that hold one back from referring to a straight pesh-kabz as such is the straightens of the blade i don't really find that to be much of a problem.
The keris examples i show below are the least of the variations one can find in keris blades from various parts of the area. Yet they are all called "keris".
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Old 20th August 2017, 09:01 PM   #17
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Sorry, but I cannot comment on the feedback with any references right now: we are at a delightful little town in Westerm Michigan called South Haven ( pop. 4166) on the shore of Lake Michigan , with our newly-adopted dog Snoopy. She is a mini schnauzer, almost 7 years old, and came from a shelter. She is overwhelmed by new experiences and needs to be taken out every hour or two.. Will be back tomorrow evening, and I might have occasional opportunities to hit the books.

Meanwhile, thanks everybody for your feedbacks.
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Old 21st August 2017, 03:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Estcrh asks "does anyone seriously think they are the same weapons and should all be described by the same name?"
All i can say is that a keris is a keris whether it is a lurus (straight) blade or a wavy (luk) blade. If the only thing that hold one back from referring to a straight pesh-kabz as such is the straightens of the blade i don't really find that to be much of a problem.
David, the keris you show have straight blades not curved, now if a keris had a curved blade instead of straight (is there such a thing?) would it not have a specific name, probably so.
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Old 22nd August 2017, 03:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
David, the keris you show have straight blades not curved, now if a keris had a curved blade instead of straight (is there such a thing?) would it not have a specific name, probably so.

Estcrh, you seriously see the wavy bladed keris on the left side of my post #27 as "straight blades"? You cannot see how what i posted applies to this topic of discussion? I am afraid that you have left me confused in this matter.
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Old 21st August 2017, 03:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
In the keris world we are constantly inundated with terms for everything from various parts of the blade and elements of the hilts and sheaths to precise dhapur (profile and feature shapes) and pamor patterns. I don't know if i have ever encountered a study so seemingly obsessed with the name game.
David, try Japanese swords, everything has a name and I mean everything!! And then there are the smiths and the schools etc etc.
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Old 21st August 2017, 06:55 AM   #21
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the vikings, like the japanese named individual swords of note. the tachi and katana are both curved swords, genus 'samurai swords' subclasses tachi and katana. simlar taxonomy for knives?

i'm also reminded of the made-up word 'falcata' used for spanish kopis-like sword after the mid 19c.

arroz by any other name would small as sweet.

'karud' may not have started off as a proper unique word, but it has gained a life of it's own. english especially is famous for loan words and made-up words, ambiguous words, etc.. unlike france, or quebec, where you may get fined for using the english word for an item that has a french equivalent in french conversation, we do not have that restriction here. i hope.
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Old 21st August 2017, 01:13 PM   #22
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I think that we collectors of ethnographic artifacts have found it very convenient (and fitting) to adopt what may have been a generic term (i.e. sword, knife, dagger) in the language or dialect of the producing culture as a specific term for an artifact of that culture. On many occasions what was recorded and became accepted has been 'in error' and a brief visit to your dusty copy of Stone's Glossary... should prove that. So, while karud may well remain a useful and specific term for us, it is still worthwhile for us to know the origins of this label.
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Old 22nd August 2017, 06:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... i'm also reminded of the made-up word 'falcata' used for spanish kopis-like sword after the mid 19c...

As an empirical i am fond of neologisms but, when Fernando Fulgosio decided to put a name to this thing in 1872, he was hardly building one. Remember there was no record of how this sword was called by its ancestor users, so he got hold of some latin (Roman) script quoting this sword they greatly appreciated, ensis falcâtus and, aware of the curved (sickle) attribution, off he went. Only in the current case he made it simple, only opting for connoting the form of the blade and declining the substantive 'sword', after ensis.
Certainly more complicated is when authors have to refer, in their own (english) phonetic manner, to swords named in all languages, attending to the sound pronounced by their nationals; and eventually omitting the term ethimology, something which would give the reader a more accurate perception. I see how Portuguese established contact with weapons (and all) they encountered during their XVI century travels and chroniclers had to put them in writing; the deal was to turn into portuguese as per the sound they heard. Then once it is written, is perpetuated.
You don't see many (any) weapons in Stone with a Portuguese name; he entitles his work as 'in all countries in all times' but i suspect he didn't contemplate this little corner. The only time so far i found a familiar term (page 3) is result of a gaffe; he joins the term Adaga with Adarga, whereas the first is a dagger and the second is a shield... terms with completely different origins.

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Originally Posted by kronckew
... arroz by any other name would small as sweet. ...

You mean arroz doce, sweet rice; your portuguese is improving .
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Old 22nd August 2017, 03:11 PM   #24
David
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Originally Posted by estcrh
David, try Japanese swords, everything has a name and I mean everything!! And then there are the smiths and the schools etc etc.

LOL! There are probably at least twice as many named parts to a keris blade as there is for a katana. That doesn't even begin to get into the variant dhapurs (blade profiles) and pamor patterns. And then the concepts of tangguh that categorize blades by era geography. Believe me the Japanese sword has nothing on keris when it comes to names and categories. Please, don't get me started.
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Old 22nd August 2017, 05:18 PM   #25
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David,
You are correct: we can compose an endless list of Oriental weapons with the same name and different blades or handles ( Ottoman yataghan is just one example), or with different names and identical construction ( see Van Zonneveld's book of Indonesian weapons).

Most, if not all of it, is due to ethnic or even village traditions.

Early Oriental societies had no regulation patterns. The same blade with different handles could have been a Peshkabz with straight blade ( once again, an example of my magnanimity: a Karud) or an Afridi Choora. Asking why did the knifemakers manufacture Peshkabz with straight blade instead of a recurved one is pointless, akin to asking why some Kris are wavy and some are straight or why Zeibek yataghans have T-like pommel instead of an eared one and integral bolster instead of flimsy hollow brass one.

Last edited by ariel : 22nd August 2017 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 11:31 AM   #26
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Hi all,
I am a late comer to this discussion because I have been away from computers for several weeks.
Ariel, I join the rest in congratulating you on the fine research work. Besides the facts presented, it is also very plausible, because in many languages short vowls are inserted in a consonant cluster whenever it is uncomfortable to pronounce. The best example I know is spoken Palestinian Arabic where this is done in almost every other word.
However, I also see kronckew's point: why not use karud whether it is invented or not? The naming question has been discussed many times as I understand, but it is a very important for this forum and therefore I will add my own opinion.
No method of naming is without serious flaws. The use of "collectors" terms may not reflect any insight at all and different names for the same items are common, as well as mindless copying of names read somewhere. Local "real" names are good to know, but are often generic and reflect a language of origin more that a type. Many names mean knife, dagger or sword in their language of origin' like saif in Arabic as opposed to shamshir in Persian.

This means that all names are rather loose denotations of certain types and not definitions or tool in a classification system, like in biological species for example. So, any discussion that has names as focus, and these very common in the forum, has really not much value and is far less meaningful than questions like age, origin, use, materials etc. It is not that the discussion of naming is without value, but in contrast to other subjects, there can not be absolute right or wrong because weapon names do not represent real entities.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 12:47 PM   #27
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Yes, precisely.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 03:49 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motan
Hi all,
I am a late comer to this discussion because I have been away from computers for several weeks.
Ariel, I join the rest in congratulating you on the fine research work. Besides the facts presented, it is also very plausible, because in many languages short vowls are inserted in a consonant cluster whenever it is uncomfortable to pronounce. The best example I know is spoken Palestinian Arabic where this is done in almost every other word.
However, I also see kronckew's point: why not use karud whether it is invented or not? The naming question has been discussed many times as I understand, but it is a very important for this forum and therefore I will add my own opinion.
No method of naming is without serious flaws. The use of "collectors" terms may not reflect any insight at all and different names for the same items are common, as well as mindless copying of names read somewhere. Local "real" names are good to know, but are often generic and reflect a language of origin more that a type. Many names mean knife, dagger or sword in their language of origin' like saif in Arabic as opposed to shamshir in Persian.

This means that all names are rather loose denotations of certain types and not definitions or tool in a classification system, like in biological species for example. So, any discussion that has names as focus, and these very common in the forum, has really not much value and is far less meaningful than questions like age, origin, use, materials etc. It is not that the discussion of naming is without value, but in contrast to other subjects, there can not be absolute right or wrong because weapon names do not represent real entities.



Motan,
A brilliantly written and concise closing summary to the discussion here, and perfectly describing these circumstances concerning the terminology used to describe various weapons.
You may be late to the discussion, but I cant help thinking of the analogy of 'the cavalry arriving' !!
Thank you!

Jim
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Old 19th August 2017, 09:21 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel

• Fig.2 shows the entry for the English word “knife” and its translated equivalents in Arabic ( marked with an “a”), Persian (“p”) and Hinduwee ( “h”). The Persian word is spelled “kard”: kaf, alef, re, dal (from right to left, of course), with no sound for “u”. But the English vocalization of this word in the Dictionary is listed as “ Karud”, with an additional vowel “u” between re and dal

Ariel, excelent work! You are talented reviewer. My thougts about kard/karud are the same. But in fairness I should add that in arabic script for Hinduwee between two consonants may be different vowels which are not written. Between "re" and "dal" there may be "a" or "u".
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Old 19th August 2017, 10:54 PM   #30
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This is a great in depth study into the whats in a word(letter) syndrome. There is a small pile of weapons across the Ethnographic stratum which have such pickled wording and spelling as to be a veritable knot of muddled and mixed up mess. It is a brave researcher who will take on any of this centuries old train crash.. In his dissertation Ariel shows how to go about unpicking the puzzle. I can think of a dozen or more twisted or misapplied words for various weapons that we know little about..and noted by Jim above . The word Nimcha, for example, is just one baffling arrangement...often caused by Ethnographics experts and authors who transcribe these errors into their work from previous authors.

Perhaps the thread should be better termed ..the.. What's in a Word and any such muddles can be added onto it and see where the thread is after a year or two... it could be an epic.
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