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Old 8th February 2008, 03:10 AM   #31
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Macdonald
Mr. MacDougall,

It seems that you already know our hearts if you like a Drambuie

Thankyou for your comments and thankyou Fernando for pointing me towards this forum. I look forward to more interesting topics in future.

Yours Very Truly,

Paul Macdonald,
Macdonald Armouries,
Macdonald Academy of Arms
http://www.historicalfencing.org/Ma...rmory/index.htm
www.historicalfencing.org/Macdonaldacademy


I would like to thank you so much for joining us here Mr MacDonald, and in welcoming you with the others, I am looking forward to your keen insight in future posts.
I do indeed know and understand the hearts of the Highlands, and the Drambuie!

With sincerest regards,
Jim
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Old 20th October 2010, 09:23 PM   #32
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Talking The Kukri blade Cutout And The "Spanish Notch"

To follow on to the Kukri blade cutout and the line(s) down the blade's back: One time when I was in Dehra Dun at the Windlass factory, one of the managers there had been in the 1971 scrap between Bangladesh and Pakistan, with the Indians thrown into the mix. He had been attached to a Gurkha unit; he said the cutout on the blade edge is the trident of Shiva; the line(s) on the kukri's back is the spear of Kali; together, they make the kukri effective. (Remember--Nepal is the only country in the world that has the Hindu religion as the state religion. In India, you can just wander in and out of Hindu temples--in Nepal, the temples I saw there had guards [Gurkhas with MK2 Sten guns] at the doors, and I reckon they'd blow you away if you tried to go inside!)
Samuel Setian showed me what one type of the "Spanish notch" is for: You use it with the blade placed edge upwards; you put your thumbnail into the notch so you can better control the point.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 04:43 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by whistlinbill
To follow on to the Kukri blade cutout and the line(s) down the blade's back: One time when I was in Dehra Dun at the Windlass factory, one of the managers there had been in the 1971 scrap between Bangladesh and Pakistan, with the Indians thrown into the mix. He had been attached to a Gurkha unit; he said the cutout on the blade edge is the trident of Shiva; the line(s) on the kukri's back is the spear of Kali; together, they make the kukri effective. (Remember--Nepal is the only country in the world that has the Hindu religion as the state religion. In India, you can just wander in and out of Hindu temples--in Nepal, the temples I saw there had guards [Gurkhas with MK2 Sten guns] at the doors, and I reckon they'd blow you away if you tried to go inside!)
Samuel Setian showed me what one type of the "Spanish notch" is for: You use it with the blade placed edge upwards; you put your thumbnail into the notch so you can better control the point.



I just wanted to thank you for adding this fascinating material on this topic!
Its always great to see these older threads brought back to life, and I always hope thier reappearance will spark the interest of readers to keep bringing in new material so we can keep learning. Research never ends, and the discovery of previously unknown or from esoteric resources often adds a whole new dimension to our understanding of these topics.
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Old 14th March 2013, 02:23 PM   #34
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Default Tamgas and Runes, Magic Numbers and Magic Symbols

Hello!

Resurrecting this old thread as it seems the right place to note an interesting article on the subject of "Tamgas and Runes, Magic Numbers and Magic Symbols" by Helmut Nickel, Curator of Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can download a PDF of the article here

There are many figures included and these may help in identification, interpretation and other study.

Best Regards,

Dave A.
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Old 16th March 2013, 02:51 PM   #35
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
On the thread on early makers trademarks, much of the discussion was keyed on the identifying marks used by guilds and makers primarily from a commercial standpoint. However, much of the discussion revealed religious and talismanic characteristics of many of these marks as well as phrases and mottoes.

I would like to open a line of discussion that would address the origins and history of applying marks to weapons and the purposes of these applications. While this topic is clearly so close to that of the other thread, I thought this might be interesting in our deeper understanding of weapons.

I would begin with early man, who in prehistoric times did indeed apply certain markings to his tools, and weapons, which of course were often closely related and interchageably used. Clearly, the tribal shamans or similarly functioning individuals, established that depictions of animals that were prey in the hunt might imbue the hunter with equivilent totemic power. In these times, extremely stylized or temporal geometric designs evolved and often appeared in wall illustrations and eventually on implements as well. We can only imagine the intended meanings of these, however some consistancies would seem have been established in degree in locations of discovery, and most important, we see that markings on weapons became an anthropological factor.

Jumping ahead to historic times, in the ancient world, I recall reading of archaeological discoveries of arrowheads I believe in Israel or other regions of Biblical history importantance, where there were identifying marks places on the arrowhead. It seems that in the caption it was noted that the purpose of this was to enable the warrior to claim the victim as his personal victory.
I wish I recall the reference exactly, but perhaps others might be able to offer either support or dispute as to its validity.

In recent travels here in the U.S. I have visited many American Indian historical sites and regions, and have found the tribal histories fascinating, especially of course, the weaponry. While there were of course, certain characteristics of style, ornamentation and symbolism in the varied weapons, it seems the key weapon that often carried personal identification, and with that purpose, was once again, the arrow. It seems that this practice was directed to the hunt, and these arrows would identify the warrior who would own the prey. I some cases of course, the objective was more universally tribal and this specific claim was overlooked, and naturally this practice was not necessarily common to all tribes.

I just found this practice of marking weapons from the earliest times, even to the present day most interesting. In a recent visit to an air museum here in Tucson, I thought of this while viewing the 'nose art' and various symbolism applied to not only combat aircraft, but even at times to the ordnance. Many bombs were emblazoned with patriotic jingoism and combat humor as they were loaded into planes. Naturally we are all aware of the trophy 'kill' symbols seen near the cockpits of these planes.
This also brings to mind the legends of the gunfighters notching the handles of thier guns (as I am presently in Tombstone, Arizona) and recently discovering that this practice was primarily myth. As far as is known, none of the historically known and established gunfighters ever notched thier gun handles.

This is simply a topic that has been on my mind for a while and just thought I would share it with all of you in hopes that you might join me with your thoughts, observations and examples. As always, the perspective gained by the constantly amazing core of knowledge that hallmarks the members and readers of this forum is monumental, and as always..we learn together!

Gentlemen, the lines are open!

All very best regards,
Jim



Salaams Jim and Dave A, I posted this a while back~ but it fits well the line of research on the subject.

Quote "Biography.
Schuyler Van Rensselaer Cammann was born in New York city in 1912 and attended St. Paul's School (Long Island) and Kent School (Connecticut). He received his B.A. from Yale (1935), M.A from Harvard (1941), and Ph.D. (1949) from John Hopkins, where he studied under Owen Lattimore. Both the M.A. and Ph.D. were in Asian History. From 1935 to 1941 he taught English in the Yale-in-China program, and served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II stationed in Washington D. C., western China and Mongolia. In 1948 Cammann joined the faculty of the Department of Oriental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania where he remained until his retirement in 1982. From 1948 till 1955 he was Associate Curator of the East Asian Collections for the University Museum. During his tenure at the museum he was a member of excavation teams at Gordion (Turkey) and Kunduz (Afghanistan). Also during that time he was a member of the panel for the popular T.V. program "What in the World" (1951 – 55). Important professional organization positions included Vice-President of the American Oriental Society and editor of its journal; President of the Philadelphia Anthropological Society and Philadelphia Oriental Club; fellow of the American Learned Societies and the American Anthropological Association.

Professor Cammann wrote, lectured, taught, and consulted in several geographic areas (including China, Tibet, Mongolia, Japan) on such topics as textiles, carpets, art, ivory, snuff bottles, magic squares, and symbolism. He authored four books and numerous articles and reviews, and presented considerable number of lectures to various meetings, organizations and conferences. After his retirement he continued to write as well as conduct several tours in Asia.

Schuyler Van Rensselaer Cammann died in an auto accident near his summer home in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire on September 10, 1991." Unquote.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Notes; In 1977 he made a visit and observations of Yemeni Daggers ~ see The Cult of The Jambiyyahttp://www.penn.museum/documents/pu...9-2/Cammann.pdf
(What is not so often known are his treatise upon Islamic and Indian squares.)


I am currently on research in Muscat and will try to include some details of swordblade marks. Talismanic marks are very common here.
What are also interesting are the dots on the blade marks which I simply couldnt find though I had seen them on one or two Omani Battle Swords years ago, however, I found one the other day and will photograph that later. Of these I have seen single and triple dots on the throat and the rarer dot (copper brass gold?) at the tip also seen on Abasiids in the Topkapi.
I have even chased hatched marks and compared those to marks of ownership on camels but have drawn no conclusions yet as to a link~ so there may not be one !
The treatise noted above by the late Schuyler Van Rensselaer Cammann on Indian and Islamic squares, numbers and talismanic shapes would be interesting and may well be cross linked to blade marks here.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Notes; See;
1. http://www.kunstpedia.com/articles/...iddle-east.html

2. Type into web search Schuyler Van Rensselaer Cammann for an array of associated detail.

3. The above quote comes from http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...sselaer+Cammann post # 40.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 16th March 2013 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 16th March 2013, 06:36 PM   #36
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Dave and Ibrahiim,
Thank you so much guys for reviving this thread. It is a remarkably under researched and discussed aspect of arms study, which has gratefully received some modicum of attention, as indicated in the article by the esteemed Helmut Nickel (Thank you Dave for the link).
Ibrahiim as you have well noted, there does seem to be certain connections in at least some degree between symbology from camel marks, various talismanic and apotropaic signs and others. The tamga is an important form of early identifying symbols which actually did develop into many aspects of heraldic use, and certainly seems likely to have found some use on weapons.

Excellent information, and look forward to further entries!

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 19th March 2013, 01:04 PM   #37
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Hi Jim,
Interesting subject and I will be keeping it in the back of my mind while doing research. On this note, I asked a Tuareg what the marks on his sword meant. He explained it was a map with cities and water.
Ann
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Old 19th March 2013, 01:22 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Feuerbach
Hi Jim,
Interesting subject and I will be keeping it in the back of my mind while doing research. On this note, I asked a Tuareg what the marks on his sword meant. He explained it was a map with cities and water.
Ann


Very interesting - can I ask what form the marks were? I assume not the typically observed twin crescent moons or derivatives of European marks as typically seen?
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Old 19th March 2013, 03:53 PM   #39
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Hi Ann,
Thank you so much for your note, and it will truly be great to have your input concerning markings found on sword blades, and your comments on the Tuareg explanation of markings on a blade described personally and in context is outstanding.
I think what is remarkable on markings found on blades, especially in native context, is that they often are likely to be perceived in personal interpretation rather than a widely held meaning in larger sense. I would add here for the readers some of my own thoughts on these kinds of circumstances in native blade markings.

When European markings entered native cultural spheres on trade blades, the makers marks and often cabalistic or talismanic symbols seem to have typically been construed into thier own cultural meanings. For example the cross and orb familiar on many European blades centuries ago have developed into holding the general meaning as symbols of the drum and sticks in Sudanese regions. Other marks typically associated with Kull are determined to be a fly, significant as representing the prowess of a warrior in combat in quick movements.

Perhaps aligned with this explanation of markings representing a map, the cross is often used in native parlance to signify the four cardinal directions, key to native description toward universality or similarly connotated concepts.

Ann, would it be possible to add more on the nature of the markings you have seen?

Thank you again,

Jim
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Old 20th March 2013, 02:01 PM   #40
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I can't really add anything. I was in Timbuktu and just asked the Tuareg I was buying a blade from what the markings on his sword meant, because you know I have to ask such things.
It was a squiggly line down the middle (Niger river) with marks on the side (cities and villages). Would never have guessed it but after he pointed it out, it made sense.
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Old 20th March 2013, 02:16 PM   #41
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Default Interesting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Feuerbach
I can't really add anything. I was in Timbuktu and just asked the Tuareg I was buying a blade from what the markings on his sword meant, because you know I have to ask such things.
It was a squiggly line down the middle (Niger river) with marks on the side (cities and villages). Would never have guessed it but after he pointed it out, it made sense.


So it is a map. Fascinating. As artistic expression, this reminds me of the paintings by Aboriginals in the Western Australia desert. With lines, squiggles, dots and circles, the paintings represent "overhead" map-type views of the countryside (locations of food gathering sources, water) or important rituals (women dancing around a campfire).

Are there other designs on ethnographic weapons that could be interpreted this way?
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Old 20th March 2013, 03:49 PM   #42
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Thank you so much Ann. That sounds most interesting, and I would note that there are certain markings of earlier European origin which did implememt an undulating line and in many cases dots along the line. Clearly the suggestion would be the serpent, and many of these markings had significant religious meanings as well as use by makers and regions.

The wavy lines if I recall correctly do occur variously in native use throughout North Africa, and similarly of course suggest serpent representation in degree. Many very old European blades entered their sphere in some cases hundreds of years ago, and native makers often adopted the markings they saw into thier own symbolism and parlance.

Our member Ed Hunley did a wonderful treatise on sword and knife blades in Kassala in 1985, and many of these instances were shown.

Fascinating note Dave on the Aborigines. While I have always thought somewhat that nomadic and tribal peoples were able to travel throughout thier habitats with an instinctive sense rather than formal directions, it does seem in certain situations some blade markings have had remarkable potential as possible maps.
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Old 20th March 2013, 04:00 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
[snip] The treatise noted above by the late Schuyler Van Rensselaer Cammann on Indian and Islamic squares, numbers and talismanic shapes would be interesting and may well be cross linked to blade marks here. [snip]


I have Cammann's two articles but they do not cover anything else than magic (i.e. mathematical, wafq etc.) squares.

Michael
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Old 22nd March 2013, 04:07 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by VVV
I have Cammann's two articles but they do not cover anything else than magic (i.e. mathematical, wafq etc.) squares.

Michael


Salaams VVV and thank you for that note. I think that is all the gentleman focussed upon and wonder if it can be published to Forum please?
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 22nd March 2013, 05:50 PM   #45
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Salaam Ibrahiim,

The articles are still under copyright but you can find them in JStor, for instance.

Michael


Cammann, Schuyler, "Islamic and Indian Magic Squares. Part I," History of Religions, 8/3 (1969), 181-209.
Cammann, Schuyler, "Islamic and Indian Magic Squares. Part II," History of Religions, 8/4 (1969), 271-299.
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Old 29th March 2013, 03:12 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by VVV
Salaam Ibrahiim,

The articles are still under copyright but you can find them in JStor, for instance.

Michael


Cammann, Schuyler, "Islamic and Indian Magic Squares. Part I," History of Religions, 8/3 (1969), 181-209.
Cammann, Schuyler, "Islamic and Indian Magic Squares. Part II," History of Religions, 8/4 (1969), 271-299.



Salaams VVV,
Apologies for the delay in replying ~ Thank you very much for the Jstor references to the works of Cammann Schuyler.

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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