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Old 25th November 2017, 03:31 AM   #1
shayde78
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Default Khyber, pesh, choora, or kard?

So perusing past threads, I'm not sure how to classify this item. I'm leaning towards a Khyber knife, but it seems a bit short. Curious to get some additional opinions.

Dimensions:
in sheath - 17"
knife only - 15.5"
blade only - 10.5"
thickness of tang is over a 1/4"

Appears to be wootz (I did my best trying to capture I the photos). Also, the scabbard seems to have some legitimate age to it.

Thanks for commenting
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Old 25th November 2017, 06:55 AM   #2
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My pick is Choora.
Stu
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Old 25th November 2017, 12:58 PM   #3
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Afghani or NW Frontier, and Choora would be the closest one.


The handle is unusual for a classical Mahsud one, might have been later to the blade, but the blade and scabbard are classic.

On the other hand, there was such hodge-podge of ethnicities in that part of the world that replacement doesn’t need to be postulated: tribal variations might be sufficient.

This one is exceptionally good : Indian crystalline wootz. Right away it puts in doubt the assertion that Chooras came into being only in the 20th century.
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Old 25th November 2017, 02:09 PM   #4
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Very nice Karud!
I like the blade.
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Old 28th November 2017, 03:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
This one is exceptionally good : Indian crystalline wootz. Right away it puts in doubt the assertion that Chooras came into being only in the 20th century.


Thanks everyone! This is one of the times when the purchase far exceeded expectations!

Ariel, what features date this to pre-20th century?

Also, I thought chooras had a more beaked pommel, no?
Kabur, why a karud vs. kard? I have seen some debates on these two terms, but would like to hear why this example qualifies as karud.
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Old 28th November 2017, 04:38 AM   #6
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Wootz ceased to be produced in the second half of the 19th century. Certainly, there might have been occasional cases, but by and large it vanished from the horizon.

There is still a possibility of remounting older blade, but am I wrong thinking
that the handle is rhino?

There was a “bombshell discovery” that any brass part on an Afghani bladed weapon pinpoints it to the 20th century. The proponent was politely referred to Moser and Egerton’s collections that were assembled in the 19th and contained daggers with elements clearly labeled by the original owners as brass. Another beautiful hypothesis slaughtered by an ugly fact. He is still maintaining his position, God bless him....

Karud is just a misheard pronounciation of Persian and/or Dari Kard, and means just “Knife”, just as Chhurra in Hindi, P’chak in Uzbeki, although classical Persian Kard never had a T-spine.
Both chhurra and “Karud” are just Central Asian variants of Persian Pesh Kabz with a straight blade. They differ only in the form of handles. Likely, ethnic/tribal hallmarks.

The word “Karud” is still preferred by some collectors for stenographic purposes. That’s OK with me. Some words acquire lives of their own. We are still “Xeroxing” documents using Canon, Konika, Dell, HP etc. copiers:-)

Don’t let it bother you.
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Old 28th November 2017, 08:02 AM   #7
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Hello Shayde,
In my oppinion this is a rather typical example of North Indian, possibly Afghan, straight-bladed Pesh-kabz or Karud (as Karud is a "collector's term" for straight-bladed Pesh-kabz, as Ariel accurately mentioned in his posting).
The blade could benefit from some etching and then, from the aspect of the wootz, a more accurate assesment can be made.
Anyhow, it is a very good aquisition.
Regards,
Marius
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Old 28th November 2017, 07:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Very nice Karud!
I like the blade.

Yes it is a "karud". "Choora" are also a karud, just a sub type. Certainly not a khyber, kard or pesh kabz. I do not understand the confusion.
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Old 28th November 2017, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Karud is just a misheard pronounciation of Persian and/or Dari Kard, and means just “Knife”,
This is Ariels personal opinion....not a proven fact..and even if true "karud" has been in use to describe these types of daggers for quite some time, just like the now frequently used names of many Indo-Persian weapons and armor.

Last edited by estcrh : 29th November 2017 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 29th November 2017, 12:32 AM   #10
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Lighten up, Eric:-)))
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Old 29th November 2017, 01:25 AM   #11
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Finally!
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Old 29th November 2017, 07:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78

Also, I thought chooras had a more beaked pommel, no?
Kabur, why a karud vs. kard? I have seen some debates on these two terms, but would like to hear why this example qualifies as karud.


Shayde, here are a few examples for you...which dagger below do you think is the most similar to yours???? There are distinct differences between khyber, karud, pesh and kard. While a few examples do blurr the lines a bit, for the most part they are easily distinguished from each other. While a choora is a karud, it has certain traits that allow it to be identified as a specific type of karud...so all choora are karuds but not all karuds are choora.

In the images below you will see from top down a khyber knife, karud, choora, and pesh kabz. The next image shows three kard daggers, notice the lack of T spine?

All of these different types of daggers are distinctly different and usually easily identifiable from each other.
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Last edited by estcrh : 29th November 2017 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 29th November 2017, 07:48 AM   #13
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Here is a comparison of the karud dagger that Shayde posted and a true choora....how could any knowledge oriented collector confuse the two???? Does anyone here think that Shayde has posted anything other then a karud dagger, if so what is your reasoning??
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Old 29th November 2017, 07:56 AM   #14
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A few more examples of Afghan karud daggers.
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Old 29th November 2017, 08:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Lighten up, Eric:-)))
I will when you stop portraying your personal opinions as proven facts. What some villager a hundred plus years ago may or may not have called a particular weapon or armor has nothing to do with what we now call them.

Knowing how and when these current names came into use is historically important but lets not go backwards in time when describing them now in our time.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:14 AM   #16
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Well, if you want to call analysis of actual written sources and phonetic pronounciations of the word by native speakers "personal opinion", I would gently disagree, but will not, in any way, shape or form, try to prevent you from using the term you hold so dear to you.

The only thing I would like to add, is that my original post on the origin of "karud" was read and approved by Robert Elgood.

From now on, please take your fight to him.

Although I am afraid you are in different weight categories.

All the best.

And, by the way, do you still call the thingie some villager in Iran called "shamshir" three or five hundreds years ago, - "scimitar"? After all, we still see this word on many Internet auctions. I hope you are consistent in your beliefs.
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Old 30th November 2017, 11:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel

Although I am afraid you are in different weight categories.



It's a joke.
It's funny that the moderator didn't block this comment.
Eric, I think you should consult the forum but to participate.
It's a waste of time.
It's probably what I'll do when i read this kind of comment.
The forum is full of "I know everything"...
The same who praise Wikipedia search done by some members...
funny...
I hope that my comment will be published as it's a fact and not disgraceful like previous comment.

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Old 30th November 2017, 03:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
It's a joke.
It's funny that the moderator didn't block this comment.
Eric, I think you should consult the forum but to participate.
It's a waste of time.
It's probably what I'll do when i read this kind of comment.
The forum is full of "I know everything"...
The same who praise Wikipedia search done by some members...
funny...
I hope that my comment will be published as it's a fact and not disgraceful like previous comment.

Oh well....whats next? Maybe someone will decide that khyber knives are just large straight bladed pesh-khabs and insist that we stop using khyber knifes...humm.
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Old 30th November 2017, 05:14 PM   #19
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Really guys, I think the absence of mod intervention is mostly patient abstinence hoping you guys who seem at odds can maturely resolve these contentions.
I saw this and could only think of that 60s song, "The Name Game" with all the banana fana stuff, which pretty much characterizes these silly arguments about terms.
Actually we have gone nearly 5 or 6 months without the 'karud' theme.

Actually in my opinion much of the researched and supported perspectives on these terms used for the spectrum of weapons in these regions has been interesting and helpful, and much of it by those of you here at odds.
The reality is that these conundrums in terminology are resultant of the high volatility and dynamic intertribal flux in these areas, factor in cultural diffusion and influences. There are actually a number of 'right' answers, with the dreaded axiom, 'it depends' ,at the fore.

In ethnographic circumstances all of you are well aware of the kinds of variations and hybrids which result in these weapons and the same influences coupled with the semantics, colloquial terms, transliterations and other linguistic dilemmas render accurate classification pretty chaotic.

I think a brief visit to our search feature and archived threads would give a pretty good overview of the material already discussed, and help those seriously interested in arriving at their own conclusions . I know I use it often, pretty much faithfully actually, and never cease learning from the contributions you guys and others have entered.

As for Wikipedia, it is but one online source, and serves as a benchmark to pursue further research either online or in published references. It is not intended as a primary source, but initial research and overview reference.
Researchers use it often in that manner, as I know I do. Actually there are far more using it than will admit it, due to the unfortunate derision often unwarranted criticism often directed toward its use.

As most authors know, nothing written and published is the final word or conclusive answer to most questions, and most encourage further study and evidence to be presented. It is about fact finding and supported rebuttal, as well as courteous exchange of ideas whether opposed or in support.

I'm just sayin'

Jim
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Old 30th November 2017, 07:24 PM   #20
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Thanks Jim.

Patience with the exchanges here is running thin. Let's move on folks!

Ian.
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Old 30th November 2017, 07:53 PM   #21
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Sigh...I intentionally didn't use the one term to avoid triggering this debate that I have seen by searching through prior threads.

That said, from some of the pictures and feedback provided, I will conclude that my piece is a hybrid of forms from the Afghan region that probably dates to the mid-1800s.

Is that fair? Thanks to all who contributed, even if it did get a bit spirited.
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Old 1st December 2017, 10:19 AM   #22
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One does not have even to postulate the deliberate "hybrid" nature.
There were many ethic groups and semi-isolated tribes in that area, and each had its own tradition of embellishment ( scabbards, handles). Add to it different language groups and we will get a large variety of the same blade with different names and handles. Chhura is an Indian word, Kard is Persian, Kord is Tajik, Bichaq ( and its multiple pronounciations) Turkic. All mean just "knife".

Blades of Uzbeki P'chak and Tajiki Kord are virtually indistinguishable, as are blades of Mahsud Chhura and the so-called Karud. Mahsud Chhura and Indian Chhura bear the same name, but the former has a very distinct handle. Going heretical, one can wonder whether what we call Mahsud Chhura was indeed called Chhura by the Afghani Mahsuds: most of our knowledge about that region comes from the "Indian" part east of the Khyber Pass, travels to the Afghani parts being quite risky.

A very similar situation can be seen in the Caucasus: what we call kindjal, might have been called Kama of Khanzhali by their original owners depending on their proximity to and affiliation with Persian or Turkic cultures. The forms varied enormously: Meghrelia and Guria are tiny areas in Georgia located next to each other, but their " kindjals" were absolutely different in size, form and decorations.

From our Eurocentric perch we can just ignore this bewildering variety of names and forms. But I would argue that deeper knowledge of them is a legitimate subject of the study of arms. Elgood has more than 40,000 special names and terms for Islamic/ Indian weapons in his archives: forms, languages, origins, linguistic roots. I would buy this glossary in a flash.

From the mechanical point of view, any bladed weapon is a flattened and sharpened plate of steel, no more. Its form, decoration, construction of a handle, ethnic origins, names, sacral elements are avatars of its human connection. They carry information about its owners.

Last edited by ariel : 1st December 2017 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 1st December 2017, 08:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
One does not have even to postulate the deliberate "hybrid" nature.
There were many ethic groups and semi-isolated tribes in that area, and each had its own tradition of embellishment ( scabbards, handles). Add to it different language groups and we will get a large variety of the same blade with different names and handles. Chhura is an Indian word, Kard is Persian, Kord is Tajik, Bichaq ( and its multiple pronounciations) Turkic. All mean just "knife".

Blades of Uzbeki P'chak and Tajiki Kord are virtually indistinguishable, as are blades of Mahsud Chhura and the so-called Karud. Mahsud Chhura and Indian Chhura bear the same name, but the former has a very distinct handle. Going heretical, one can wonder whether what we call Mahsud Chhura was indeed called Chhura by the Afghani Mahsuds: most of our knowledge about that region comes from the "Indian" part east of the Khyber Pass, travels to the Afghani parts being quite risky.

A very similar situation can be seen in the Caucasus: what we call kindjal, might have been called Kama of Khanzhali by their original owners depending on their proximity to and affiliation with Persian or Turkic cultures. The forms varied enormously: Meghrelia and Guria are tiny areas in Georgia located next to each other, but their " kindjals" were absolutely different in size, form and decorations.

From our Eurocentric perch we can just ignore this bewildering variety of names and forms. But I would argue that deeper knowledge of them is a legitimate subject of the study of arms. Elgood has more than 40,000 special names and terms for Islamic/ Indian weapons in his archives: forms, languages, origins, linguistic roots. I would buy this glossary in a flash.

From the mechanical point of view, any bladed weapon is a flattened and sharpened plate of steel, no more. Its form, decoration, construction of a handle, ethnic origins, names, sacral elements are avatars of its human connection. They carry information about its owners.


Well said, Ariel. It is precisely the window into the cultures represented by these objects that motivates my collecting. Trying to synchronize linguistics across cultures is never exact, yet the nuances in language is also fascinating. The desire to have a common language to guide classification is fair. It is for this reason that medicine relies upon Latin, so that anatomy and physiological functions can be understood by practitioners with many native tongues.
However, the desire for a common language need not be exclusive to recognizing the local dialects and variance in terms. Indeed, if I tell the person stocking the shelves at the local Walmart, "I'm experiencing radiating pain from my occipital bone to my ifra-orbital foramen", that is not useful language at all. If I say, "I have a headache", they will show me where the aspirin is. Both vocabularies have their place, have value, and one does not exclude the validity of the other.
Can't we simply say, "Western collectors tend to call this ____. The local culture to which this is indigenous had this name for it. These are the features that make it fit into this category"? I love the scholarly debate, but it can be framed on the premise that multiple terms are equally valid, rather than binary 'right and wrong' reckoning.
Regardless, I learn much from the debate either way, and am grateful to those who contribute in civil and respectful ways. I have much basic knowledge to acquire, and this forum helps immensely in that regard.
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Old 1st December 2017, 09:21 PM   #24
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Also well said, Shayde78, I could not agree more.
Miguel
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Old 2nd December 2017, 12:01 AM   #25
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Shayde78:

But of course!
We find ourselves surrounded by colloquial terms that became part and parcel of our lingo as well as of many other human endeavors. Nothing can be done about it: the adherents of Eurocentric terminology will just ignore our protestations. But I would argue that giving up on our attempts to find the original terminology would impoverish our understanding of the history and meaning of the objects we are dealing with.

Sorry for bringing the example of "karud" that is accepted by some as an appropriate term ( and, for Pete's sake, let them use it!). In my opinion, this phonetical error created a name and a specific weapon that never existed originally. Should we correct this error or, in other words, just let the people truly interested in Central Asian weapons that there is a problem with this term? I think yes, some other people disagree and prefer to use it for stenographic purposes and because Moser and Stone introduced it in their books.

Purists among us go even further: Elgood took me to task for spelling " chhura" as "choora" :-) I am grateful.

If you say "headache", it is a complaint of nebulous description and significance. To help your doctor you may use "unilateral with the aura of flashing lights" or " thunderclap forehead with loss of temporal vision". That will be useful in distinguishing migraine from pituitary apoplexy :-)


With best wishes.
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