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Old 6th December 2009, 02:12 PM   #1
Michel
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Default sickles/ weapons of other country than India

Since we are showing sickles of India, could we look at sickles / weapons of other countries like Malaysia, Indonesia.
The first is a Kelewang from Kelantan (Malaysia) very similar to the Kelewang shown in Spirit of wood (p105) A very powerful cutting tool for the jungle of Malaysia but also a terrible weapon
I personally like it very much.
How about you ?
Michel
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Old 6th December 2009, 02:19 PM   #2
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Default Sickles / weapons

An other sickle from Kelantan Malaysia named there a Parang.
For the next one I do not have any name and it looks essentially as a sickle . It is also coming from Malaysia.
Can anyone tell me more about it?
Thanks, regards
Michel
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Old 6th December 2009, 02:40 PM   #3
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Default Sickles / weapons

The following sickle is definitely a tool with an angle between the blade and the handle. The sharp edge is on the exterior of the blade. The interior of the blade being blunt and thicker.
No name, no origin. Purchased in Malaysia

The next one is peculiar, I have no name for it, and do not know its origin, could be a sacrificial knife ? Purchased in Indonesia. Any information would be welcome.
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Old 6th December 2009, 02:51 PM   #4
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Default Sickles / weapons

This last one is quite amazing. It is a goat(?) horn to which the blade has been fixed. The sharp edge is on the exterior, at the base of the blade is en enlargement to allow the thumb positioning. Nicely decorated with silver. A rice cutting tool ?
Origin : Malaysia, Name : unknown
Every information is welcomed.
Regards
Michel
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Old 6th December 2009, 03:50 PM   #5
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Awesome pieces Michel! Thanks for posting these.
I wouldn't call all of them sickle though as many have a convex edge while the sickle has a concave one.

The Dacian falx and the Thracian Rhomphaia are additional examples of such weapons.

Here is also a Spanish sword supposedly used against cavalry that features convex and concave edges.

Emanuel
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Old 7th December 2009, 08:11 AM   #6
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Default Sickles / weapons

Hi Emanuel,
Thanks you for your message and the links.
I did not know that sickles had to have concave edge.
How do you name cutting tools with convex edges ?
In French, my mother tongue, I do not recall a word for sickles with convex cutting edge.
Thanks for the information
Michel
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Old 7th December 2009, 12:52 PM   #7
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Hi Michel,

Sickle = serpe ou faucille, toutes les deux ont la lame concave, non?
In English I think "machete" covers most kinds of large utilitarian blades.
Sickle, bill-hook and scythe cover the concave blades.

For arms, sabre, cutlass and "scimitar" all represent blade with convex cutting edge. I think most kinds of SE Asian klewangs would generally be termed machetes in English, regardless of curvature, thickness or blade profile.

Cheers,
Emanuel
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Old 7th December 2009, 01:15 PM   #8
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Hi Michel,
the picture in your second post is almost certainly a Parang Ginah


http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=3767

Regards David
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Old 7th December 2009, 02:28 PM   #9
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Thank you David,
It is indeed a parang ginah, Stone page 481 and van Zoneveld page 98, (only a description no photo) confirm it.
I have not found any name or picture for the other tools or weapons

Thanks Emanuel,
You are right with the French translation and the concave blade.
But for me, a machete is a long strait blade slashing tool, with sometime a bit of an upwards convex tip, that can be utilized as a weapon.
I have seen many in Africa and in South America. I have one from South America.
Do you really think that the pieces I showed could be named machete in English ?
I have never seen machete with such a convex curved shape.

You said : Sickle, bill-hook and scythe cover the concave blades.
You are right again but what about those with convex blades that are not arms/weapons ?
English is usually a very precise language and I am a bit surprise that a generic name for convex tools cannot be found.
May be one of the expert of the forum could help me ?
Thanks in any case, I have learned something with your post.
Regards
Michel
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Old 7th December 2009, 03:51 PM   #10
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Hi Michel,

There really aren't many utilitarian convex blades that I can think of.

There are a few WWII US machete variants based on a Philippine bolo, with a wide belly and various convex curvatures. Not much thought into this, but it seems that a highly curved convex blade is not really needed for utilitarian purposes - cutting vegetation, wood, or rope

As far as i understand it, in lay usage "machete" covers pretty much any large blade that is not a recognizable sword or sabre. Technically I think of it as a relatively thin blade with no distal taper, mostly straight with parallel edges and with a sometimes broader convex tip, used primarily for cutting vegetation. Variations are endless. It would be good to see others chime in on this, as I'm not a native English speaker.

English is not always that precise. A while back there was a discussion around the difference between knife and dagger, bowie-type versus naval-type. Same as in French to some degree - couteau, poignard, dague, coutelas, subtle differences, all debatable.

Regards,
Emanuel
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Old 7th December 2009, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel
Hi Michel,

Sickle = serpe ou faucille, toutes les deux ont la lame concave, non?
In English I think "machete" covers most kinds of large utilitarian blades.
Sickle, bill-hook and scythe cover the concave blades.

For arms, sabre, cutlass and "scimitar" all represent blade with convex cutting edge. I think most kinds of SE Asian klewangs would generally be termed machetes in English, regardless of curvature, thickness or blade profile.

Cheers,
Emanuel


Hi Emanuel,

I think it depends on the version of English that you use.

I agree that a sickle has to have the concave edge sharpened. These are single-handed tools primarily used for harvesting wheat, and the name has been used for others, such as the kama used to harvest rice and incidentally as a weapon.. Something similar to the kama is called a crane's bill, and of course, the two-handed version is called the scythe.

In America, most of the large utilitarian blades are machetes, but that doesn't mean that any utilitarian blade in America is called a machete.

In England, at least 100 years ago, they used bills/brush hooks/bill hooks, which were typically concave (although some were sharp on both sides), especially for hedging, but also for light pruning jobs. Two-handed bills (typically double-edged) are called blank blades or sling blades at major hardware stores in the US. The french name is fauchard, interestingly, we're back in falx land here.

In Australia, machete-like blades are called bush knives. Probably there are sickles and the rest out there somewhere, but I don't know about them. I wouldn't be surprised if Indonesian goloks aren't percolating in as we speak.

When in doubt, call it a knife, or call it a saber if you want to emphasize its military aspects.

Best,

F
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Old 8th December 2009, 12:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel
Since we are showing sickles of India, could we look at sickles / weapons of other countries like Malaysia, Indonesia.
Thanks Michel for sharing these photos!

It looks like well before modern architects & designers came up with the dictum, "Nature hates straight lines", these blade-smiths have already been heeding the principle
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Old 8th December 2009, 06:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel
The next one is peculiar, I have no name for it, and do not know its origin, could be a sacrificial knife ? Purchased in Indonesia. Any information would be welcome.


Hello Michel,

very nice collection you have there. The second knife is maybe a ceremonial knife for cutting the umbilical cord, I have seen a similar knife by a friend, also collected in Indonesia.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 8th December 2009, 02:34 PM   #14
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Default Ceremonial knife

Hi Detlef,
Interesting suggestion: a ceremonial knife to cut umbilical cord.
I have made a quick search on Google but found nothing of interest.
I will keep looking !
Thank you.

Emanuel,
Is your mother tongue French ? Are you from Quebec and live in English speaking Canada ? You seem to be at ease with French !
If we come back to the N° 3 tool (the one with a brass handle) it is really a convex cutting tool for which I cannot find a reason to the convex sharpened edge. A slashing movement would certainly cut but push away the grass or branches. Now if you want only to cut, it will work with a slicing movement. It is reasonably thick at the base (6mm) and could sustain heavy blow but than the blade is too wide and fragile. (2mm at the cutting edge)

The N° 4 has this very clear angle between the blade and the handle. For me in view of facilitating the slashing movement parallel to earth. But why this really convex blade with more than 180° cutting edge ?

The n° 5 is nice looking but the horn come in to your arm if you try to cut with wrist movement. Strange !
I realize that the forum is full of members having experience with arms but much less with agricultural tool !
Thanks to all for their input
Cheers
Michel
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Old 20th December 2009, 08:30 PM   #15
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Don't know anything about this one, but it took my eye. Serrated blade, 15" approx overall length


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Old 20th December 2009, 11:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Don't know anything about this one, but it took my eye. Serrated blade, 15" approx overall length




That too took my eye but I let it slide, did you win it at auction? I got the lots either side of it.

Gav
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Old 20th December 2009, 11:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
That too took my eye but I let it slide, did you win it at auction? I got the lots either side of it.

Gav



Yes mate,
what the hell is it? And what was either side? did I not notice?


Gene
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Old 20th December 2009, 11:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantia
Yes mate,
what the hell is it? And what was either side? did I not notice?


Gene


To be honest, I have no idea, I think Indian??? I think looking at the reasonalble quality of the piece it is worthy of further discussion.
The other lots were a Sosun Patta "style" knife from North India and a very nice old Chinese sword catcher.
Thanks for the email too.

best

Gav
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Old 23rd December 2009, 04:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
To be honest, I have no idea, I think Indian??? I think looking at the reasonalble quality of the piece it is worthy of further discussion.
The other lots were a Sosun Patta "style" knife from North India and a very nice old Chinese sword catcher.
Thanks for the email too.

best

Gav


Hi Mate,

I didn't even see those!! Bloody ebay.uk blocking search results of knives.
Please make sure you post them here when they arrive so we can all be jealous

The Sickle has arrived today, I know it was described as Indian, but I really didn't think it was (so I added it to the list here of non-Indian). If you think it probobly is Indian, I better put it in another thread.

Cheers
Gene
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Old 5th November 2010, 05:22 PM   #20
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Hi

Names of tools/weapons in other languages is a major problem... I collect billhooks, variously know in the UK as pruning hooks, spar hooks, block hooks, hedging bills, hand bills, bills and a whole load of other regional names...

In France they are called serpes or serpettes (small serpe) but other names also exist e.g. poudo, gouet, goyard, vousge...

Add a long handle and the english bill becomes a staff hook or slasher and a french serpe a croissant (no, not the sort you eat)....

Then there are sickles, also called hooks in the UK, and known as faucilles in France, but the faucillon and faucille à bois are curved billhooks for cutting wood...

Look up the word billhook in Spanish, and you get podadora, but search Google for podadora and you get secateurs and chainsaws... the billhook can be found, but as a podòn or a podal (or by yet another dialect name...)

Mutiple names in one country for the same tool make it difficult to be sure exactly what you have...

Even the experts get it wrong - the Cambridge Museum (UK) has a Spanish sickle shaped billhook catalogued as an 'ocino' - look this word up and you draw a blank... Search instead for 'hocino' and you will find a small 'hoz' or sickle - the 'h' in hocino is silent - if museums have this level of confusion, what hope is there for the amateur collector....

Add dialect to regional accent, and puta, pota, poda, puda can all sound the same - all are dialect variations on poudo in France and Spain...

Good luck on getting the name right for a weapon or tool in your collection....

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Old 5th November 2010, 10:35 PM   #21
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Thai/Cambodian? Rice cutter/sickle. Horn handle.

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Old 6th November 2010, 03:00 PM   #22
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Default Cambodian sickle

Hi Nathaniel,
These two rice cutting tools are from Cambodia.(one piece only, but two exposures)
Your photo of these 15 or 16 tools from Cambodia do not clearly show the hook and the handle of these tools.
They look at least similar to my photo.
May be Billman can suggest the most appropriate name in English. I would propose : sickle ?

Regards
Michel
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Old 6th November 2010, 10:56 PM   #23
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Yes sickle would be the best word to describe these... in French they are known a 'faucille à riz' - rice sickle...
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Old 18th March 2011, 05:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel
Hi Emanuel,
Thanks you for your message and the links.
I did not know that sickles had to have concave edge.
How do you name cutting tools with convex edges ?
In French, my mother tongue, I do not recall a word for sickles with convex cutting edge.
Thanks for the information
Michel


En France les outils for couper le bois se sont appellé la 'serpe', c'est à dire billhook on anglais, mais on trouve aussi les 'faucilles à bois'.... 'La serpe' est aussi utilisé pour les autres outils taillants, comme la serpe à betterave (beet knife en anglais), serpe à tonnellier (un cochoir ou une cauchoire - cooper's knife en anglais)... La serpe est ein Gertel en allemande suisse.....

En France la serpe est concave, etroit, ventré et limande (c'est à dire affutée sur la cote convexe...)

Woodcutting billhooks from France can have concave, straight, bellied or convex blades - they are not all only sharpened on the inner edge...

Images d'une serpe à betterave française, marquée Creuset Saut du Tarn Garanti (a french beet knife made by Creuset from Saut du Tarn)
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Old 18th March 2011, 08:38 PM   #25
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wow! Super cool thread. I have started a new job, am poisoned by toxic sewer gas/black mold, am running on pills, have slept 4 1/2 hours in the last three days, so state of exhaution, but I am bound to have things to say later Very nice!!!
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Old 19th March 2011, 12:10 AM   #26
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Default machete

Interestingly enough, to me, machete is a very major example of a traditional work sword with convex curvature. I do not consider hooked bill-like swords true machetes, nor for that matter are sugar cane knives, nor a variety of other square-tipped work swords to which the term is often applied. To me a true machete is curved backward (ie like a sabre), usually rather slightly, usually mostly at the tip, usually mostly on the true/front/cutting edge.
Good old machetes do have distal taper, and it makes a particularly big difference in using quality in these thin swords.
Billman, I am really enjoying you; you have shown up since I have been gone.
I am glad to see a trend on this forum progressing away from the tradition of arbitrarily misidentifying unkown blades as tourist/decorator pieces, BTW
And then (convexly curved work swords) there is the butcher's scymitar.....
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Old 20th March 2011, 11:58 AM   #27
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And don't forget Blakie's hedge scimitar, as mention in Loudon'e treatise of 1860.. although with a long handle and a hooked blade, this is more of a slasher (hedge trimming bill).... see also slashing knife...

This tool survives virtually unchanged in the vineyards of France, where it is known as a 'serpe à désherber' (or a 'faucille à écimer' or 'dailhot' (region Bordelais)) - often made from a piece of an old scythe blade rivetted to a wooden handle... It is used to remove excess foliage from a vine to allow the plant to put its effort into producing grapes... (see third image - of a professionally made version from Gironde (Bordeaux) in France)
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Old 20th March 2011, 12:06 PM   #28
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Default French Coupe -marc

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hyle
I am glad to see a trend on this forum progressing away from the tradition of arbitrarily misidentifying unkown blades as tourist/decorator pieces, BTW


Found these two images on Flikr a few days ago - labelled as vousge, a type of bill or pike, i.e. a pole arm, and thought to be 18th century... They are in a museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.... They are in fact French 'coupes-marc' (singular 'coupe-marc' - also known as a 'hache de chais') - a long handled knife from the Normandy/Britanny regions, used to cut up the 'marc', or residue, (known also as the 'moût' in some regions) of the cider presses. The protuberence on the back of the blade, often bearing the maker's stamp or 'poinçon', readily identifies these as from this part of northern France... Similar (and also axe shaped version - often mis-named as be-heading axes), are also found in the wine growing regions....

The shape of the blade varies widely from region to region.... for anyone interested in Franch tools, I would highly recommend the books of Daniel Boucard, published by Jean Cyrille Godefroy... A page from one of his books showing this tool can be found at: http://www.anciens-outils.com/page_hachesdechais.htm and another at http://img41.xooimage.com/files/4/7...ais-131bda9.jpg

But arms and weapons have greater value than mere agricultural tools.... The comparison picture is from the Musée du Vin (Wine Museum) in Paris, and shows some of the regional blade shapes... and two others with the maker's mark DU CHENE on the blade...
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Old 18th December 2013, 04:29 PM   #29
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Sorry for digging up such an old thread but I thought I'd post a sickle I bought awhile ago as it's somewhat similar to the "slashing-knife" in the illustration from Billman's post. I assume it's proper ethnographic categorization would be "rusty old American farm implement", but I could be wrong. There's no markings on the blade that I can see. It's hollow ground on one side and flat on the other, and it's bent to one side.
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