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Old 30th December 2015, 09:14 PM   #1
ariel
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Default Hilt of an old South-Indian sword

Got myself a New Year present.

Elgood's book has 3 somewhat similar: back cover and pic # 11-5 on p. 111, but mine is, AFAIK, even better and purely local in character. Horrendously heavy, with very thick bronze, and the cavity is still filled with very old mastique. Surfaces in excellent shape, small dings, no losses, beautiful patina.

Need your opinion:
- should I leave it like that, or find it a blade?
- if she should get married, what kind of a groom does she deserve? Tulwar or something else? Wootz? Or, taking into account that wootz blades were not very frequent on S. Indian swords, should I find mechanical damascus?

Appreciate all your opinions and ... Happy New Year!
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Old 31st December 2015, 02:08 AM   #2
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Default Hilt of South-Indian sword

Ariel: Definitely remount it with a nice blade. A hilt of this quality deserves a wootz blade............Dave.
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Old 31st December 2015, 03:43 AM   #3
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SUCH A BEAUTIFUL HANDLE DESERVES A GOOD ANTIQUE BLADE IF POSSIBLE. IF SUCH A WORTHY BLADE CAN BE FOUND REMOUNT BUT I WOULD NOT PUT IN A MODERN MADE BLADE. JUST MY OPINION. I WISH YOU LUCK
THE DESIGN DOES REMIND ME OF THE SWORDS FROM CEYLON (SIRI LANKA)
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Old 31st December 2015, 04:14 AM   #4
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I agree totally!

What a great hilt!
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Old 31st December 2015, 05:46 AM   #5
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Thank you, guys!

My better half ain't gonna be happy : wootz blades do not come cheap:-)

On the other hand, none of the Elgood's swords comes with a wootz blade.

And I think Vandoo is right : Singhalese or Tamil.
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Old 31st December 2015, 11:37 AM   #6
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THATS A YALI.HALF LION HALF COW,MYTHOLOGICAL FIGURE,ASSUME ITS FROM MYSORE OR TANJORE ,CHEERS
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Old 31st December 2015, 08:30 PM   #7
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I think this is Makara.
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Old 1st January 2016, 12:29 AM   #8
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Yes I see 2 makaras on it.
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Old 1st January 2016, 10:09 AM   #9
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Congrats on a real nice hilt...its one of the nicest things I have seen in these pages in quite a while!

Gavin
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Old 1st January 2016, 12:21 PM   #10
Jens Nordlunde
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I agree with Bandook, that the animals shown at the end of the quillons are Yalis. I even think there is a third one, just under the flower at the top of the langet - supposed to be seen from the front.
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Old 1st January 2016, 01:23 PM   #11
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And don't forget the 4th one at the top of the hand guard.
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Old 1st January 2016, 01:33 PM   #12
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:-) You are right :-)
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Old 1st January 2016, 03:09 PM   #13
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I always seem to confuse them...
Thus, a quick trip to Wikipedia.
Yali is largely a terrestrial creature: cow, lion, elephant etc through and through.
Makara in Sanskrit is a "sea-dragon" : it's front half is largely terrestrial, but the hind part is aquatic. Snake/dragon play a prominent role.

Creatures on the handle clearly have snake/dragon bodies and tails: see scales on the D-hard and on body extensions on the quillons.
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Old 1st January 2016, 03:39 PM   #14
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The Makara is mostly used in the northern part of India, and the Yali/Vyala is used in the southern part of India.
There is a destinct difference in the way they are shown, so have you seen them once, it will be easy to recognise which is which.
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Old 1st January 2016, 06:20 PM   #15
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We have a variety of creatures in our backyard, from deer to foxes, wild turkeys and groundhogs, but regretfully no Yalis or Makaras. Thus the ignorance:-)
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Old 2nd January 2016, 05:05 PM   #16
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PICASSO WAS NOT THE FIRST TO MAKE THINGS LOOK ABSTRACT, FOR EXAMPLE THIS SWORD HANDLE PREDATES HIM.
REAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL ANIMALS ARE OFTEN MADE UP FROM DESCRIPTIONS NOT FROM ACTUAL OBSERVATIONS. IN SOME COUNTRIES WHERE ELEPHANTS HAVE NEVER BEEN SEEN THE DRAWINGS MADE UP FROM DESCRIPTIONS ARE OFTEN QUITE STRANGE.
ON CLOSER INSPECTION THERE ARE POSSIBLY 6 REPRESENTATIONS OF THIS ANIMAL. THE ONE AT THE TOP OF THE GUARD THE TWO AT THE ENDS OF THE QUILLIONS AND TWO MORE REVERSED FROM THOSE ON TWO QUILLIONS JUST BELOW THE FLOWER IN THE CENTER. THE FIGURE IN THE CENTER BELOW THE QUILLIONS MAY BE A FRONTAL FACE WITH CROSSED ARMS, FEET, PAWS OR WHATEVER.
I HAVE NEVER SEEN A COW-LION BUT I HAVE SEEN A HORSE FLY
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Old 2nd January 2016, 06:21 PM   #17
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Very good Vandoo:-).
When you have seen it only once, drawn out to you, you will not miss it, but if you have not, you will never see it.
In this way the 'messages' are hidden to others, than to those who know what to look for - and were centuries ago.
Many of the members may have 'hidden messages' on their hilts and blades, but they dont see them. And often the ones they see, they dont understand what they mean.
That is one of the challanges when you research - happy research :-).
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Old 7th February 2016, 09:46 PM   #18
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Default yali or not ?

gentlemen ,around the temple of lord shiva in kanchipuram, the kanchi kailasanathar temple in tamil nandu built in dravinian architectural style, you will find semi-god statues whitch represent yalis! very powerfull creatures with there own will and not committed to other deities! compare them with the faces on this beautiful handle! iskender
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Old 9th February 2016, 12:20 PM   #19
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Can you post some pic, please?

I do not think I will be booking a trip to Kanchipuram any time soon, but would love to see the creatures.
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Old 9th February 2016, 02:37 PM   #20
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Here is a Yali. Notice the elephant between the hind legs, and that it is eating an elephant.
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Old 9th February 2016, 04:34 PM   #21
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Default yalis in tamil nandu (chennai/madras

as requested a few yalis from kanchipuram, i have problems my files are to large otherwise i would upload more! you can find more on wikipedia! the templewalls are full of them,also the inside of the wall around the whole complex is guarded by them! the temple is built from 685-705AD. (is said) greetings iskender
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Old 9th February 2016, 06:08 PM   #22
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Thank you very much for the pictures.
Could you, to the best of you oppinion, describe what a Yali is, and what it is supposed to do/mean? If possible also about the Makari.
As I think many on the forum are unknown to what they are. They have a wague idea - but that is all, and both are very important when it comes to the old Indian history.
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Old 9th February 2016, 07:29 PM   #23
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Default wonderfull hilt

what a brilliant piece,well done ,love the beasts,
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Old 9th February 2016, 09:15 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Got myself a New Year present.

Elgood's book has 3 somewhat similar: back cover and pic # 11-5 on p. 111, but mine is, AFAIK, even better and purely local in character. Horrendously heavy, with very thick bronze, and the cavity is still filled with very old mastique. Surfaces in excellent shape, small dings, no losses, beautiful patina.

Need your opinion:
- should I leave it like that, or find it a blade?
- if she should get married, what kind of a groom does she deserve? Tulwar or something else? Wootz? Or, taking into account that wootz blades were not very frequent on S. Indian swords, should I find mechanical damascus?

Appreciate all your opinions and ... Happy New Year!



Salaams Ariel, Nice Hilt. These hilts are a study in their own right (aren't they all!?) In this case comprised of the Tulvar hilt with various Hindu creature forms. I suggest the Kirtimukha (the 'Face of Glory'), and the Yali/Makara finial style. Those students that know what is coming next in the imagination because it is almost as if this hilt's creatures occupy a moment in time, will tell you what these creatures do;...Some emit other forms whilst some devour them. Essentially these Hindu motifs (if I can call them that) are multi dimensional and always changing... thus it is easier to understand that, for example, Makara have many different guises;...Elephant, Deer, Serpent, Peacock, Crocodile etc etc and appear in many mixed forms for example; the tail of a peacock, the head of a crocodile and feet of a pig or elephant...and occasionally an elephants trunk! On occasions these include part humanoid form.

Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makara_(Hindu_mythology) for more details.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 9th February 2016 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 9th February 2016, 09:51 PM   #25
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Regarding a blade for this hilt, I would look for a Western made trade blade such as you see in Ferangi. Straight, double or single edged and if possible with makers marks.
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Old 10th February 2016, 01:12 PM   #26
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Default yalis /makaras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
Thank you very much for the pictures.
Could you, to the best of you oppinion, describe what a Yali is, and what it is supposed to do/mean? If possible also about the Makari.
As I think many on the forum are unknown to what they are. They have a wague idea - but that is all, and both are very important when it comes to the old Indian history.

dear jens under the title :KuLulza28 -sinhala/srilankan swords-there is a highly interessting tread inkluding a lot of work from Ibrahiim,Gavin and other members on that theme! the only thing that i dare to say is that yalis descended from cows and can fly. greetings iskender
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Old 10th February 2016, 04:18 PM   #27
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I don't know much about the yali, but what I do know about the makara (again not much) is that it is a water based monster made up of different animal parts, like an elephant trunk (as mentioned earlier), sometimes tentacles, big mouth, etc. I have one on my Tibetan kartika (grigung in Tibetan).

I guess that does point to "makara" being from northern India.
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Old 10th February 2016, 04:37 PM   #28
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Someone whom I know in India, once showed me a family sword with a hilt a bit like Ariel's, and mounted with an European, one edged, three fuller blade.
So David's suggestion sounds like a good one.
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Old 10th February 2016, 08:09 PM   #29
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Salaams All ~ SEE picture 2 of project hilt at #1 The Kirtimukha. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirtimukha

Kirtimukha (Sanskrit kīrtimukha, mistakenly also kīrttimukha, a bahuvrihi compound translating to "glorious face") is the name of a swallowing fierce monster face with huge fangs, and gaping mouth, quite common in the iconography of Indian and Southeast Asian temple architecture. In Southeast Asia it is often referred to as Kala and in China it is known as T'ao t'ieh (Monster of Greed). Seen occasionally swallowing other supernatural traditional deities or inanimate objects imbibed with spiritual belief or superstition. Placed at the rainguard an auspicious position to swallow your enemies. This face is sometimes assimilated to, or confused with, another sculptural element, the lion face (Simhamukha). However, in order to be a Kirtimukha it has to be engaged in swallowing, for the Kirtimukha is the figure of the "all consuming"
(Seen below in biggest picture and a small golden picture clearly fiercely munching something!)

Taking the Yali approach It is quite a sleek individual but commonly viewed as a pair making the Quillons a popular place for their appearance... Known for their superhuman strength; a good choice at the Quillons. Often described as a Leogriff..Half Lion / Half Griffin. (Seen below as a pair of standing statues.)

Considering the Makara see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makara_(Hindu_mythology) noting that this creation has a main aim to disgorge onto the area other deities...and so far as I can deduce not on this project hilt...but ...at the top of the knuckleguard is that another Yali...or a Makara...about to splurge its load of oral delivered friends...?
(View below the pictures where the beast is disgorging at second largest picture and smallest...)
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Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 11th February 2016 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 10th February 2016, 08:16 PM   #30
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Default India; Talisman on Steroids.

Salaams All. With all due respect to Hindu and Budhist culture and beliefs;

It is encouraging to see at least one member turn to Forum Library to search for the mystical creature forms related to South East Asian Hindu and Budhist links. It is however a daunting task since the pool is 4,000 years deep and contains many twists. These deities (and even that word can be misconstrued) sometimes change and in a way can morph into something quite different depending on the stage of development that they change into...The Makara is perhaps more cunning being made up of parts of many beasts...It is however, easy to confuse with the Yali...and the Kurtimukha is often overlooked...On the subject at #1 it is the huge faced monster between the Quillons on the hilt on the rainguard~ at picture 2 of #1. Its task is to gobble up evil and may be construed as being on the rainguard to destroy its enemies i.e. the opponent. Chopped up and devoured so to speak. Like other figures it is therefor Talismanic.

An idea is to keep a hit list of the shape of each icon pictured invisibly in ones head... but this would only be a guide...since the concepts continually change ... One minute you could be looking at a crocodile headed monster with a peacock tail and the next a humanoid fronted, elephant snouted, dragon ! It is important on one level...for there are many...to know the task of each apperition...To swallow other demons? To emit other supporting deities? To not to do any of these..?

It is probably more important to consider what the warrior believes he is weilding.. In his hand a a fabulous hilted sword protected and supported by 4,000 years of tradition and religious empowerment, thus, in battle a very proud soldier indeed. The combination being a very strong cocktail of psychological empowerment likely to result in the opponent being mercilessly sliced up...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 10th February 2016 at 09:48 PM.
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