View Single Post
Old 14th March 2021, 03:19 AM   #3
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
Jim McDougall's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,552

This is a most interesting question, as noted, these are most rare swords, and as you have mentioned the term 'half sword' you must be familiar with this sword technique. These do not seem associated with Portuguese styles of sword fighting nor swords, but German two hand (zweihander).
The only possible Portuguese connection might be the blades that came frm them, often rapier blades.

These appear to have been known in 16th century and referenced by c. 1620.
The use of terms for various Indian weapon forms has been an ongoing dilemma even before the spurious debates of more years here than I can say.

Even the author of the Nujum al Ulum, suggests the term 'bank' for this weapon, but then notes the disparity of the word also used for a kind of dagger.
He says further many of the names of the weapons are known of course to the Indians, but not to him.

It would seem these extended hilt swords were supplanted by the Deccani khanda with an extended spur from the pommel which afforded the use with two hands in the latter 16th c.

The term 'mel puttah bemoh' was used by Stone in 1935, which conveyed it into the general glossary of collectors terms.
This of course does not mean the term is patently improper, at least jn the vernacular of collectors, but not necessarily in accord with terms used in local dialects for the same weapon.

Mercenary, it seems well established here that you have a resounding knowledge of Indian arms, and you have piqued my curiosity!
What is the proper name for these rare and mysterious Indian swords?
I am always fascinated by words, and here was delighted (after looking it up) to find out what a Portuguese 'montante' was. (doesnt everybody knw that!?)
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote