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Old 30th May 2019, 03:40 PM   #1
Jens Nordlunde
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Default A katar is a katar till......

This is not an invitation to start a new 'game of the name', but I find it interesting all the same.
In Arms and Jewellery of the Indian Muguhuls by Abdul Aziz a plate with weapons is shown from A' in-i-Akbari (Akbar r. 1556-1605) - see the plate below. In this case it is nos. 5, 10 and 11 which is of interest. The text to these three numbers goes like this.
No 5 jamdhar, no 10 narsingh-moth 8 (according to Blochmann, in the plate the name is pesh-kabz) and no 11 katara.


All three we would happily call katars, but in the 16th century things seem to have been more complicated. It is interesting to see how little a weapon had to change before the name changed - especially when it comes to nos 10 and 11.
Pant wrote that a katar is not a katar, it is a jamdhar, and this seems to be correct, but only when it looks loke no 5.
Maybe it was Egerton, or maybe not, who 'collected' all there different daggers, and used the name katar.
As we dont know all the different names used for these daggers, my suggestions is, that we go on using the names katar/jamdhar and no other names, as it will only make the confusion bigger.
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Old 30th May 2019, 06:48 PM   #2
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Perfect example!

No doubt, old Hindus had some reasons to use different names for these apparently identical weapons, but we do not know whether this was due to linguistics, location, personal moniker, some feature that we cannot identify or anything else.
If in the future we manage to find out the reason, we may have to re-assess our current approach. Till then, katar is good enough for me, and the obsession with blindly subdividing 3 objects into five distinct groups may well be abandoned. Let's stop the madness.
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Old 31st May 2019, 03:53 PM   #3
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Yes Ariel, the reasons for all the different names can be many.
Although Babur only ruled in India from 1526 to 1530 Baburnama tell us, that he amongst other things gave katars/jamdhars as gifts. Quite unusual, as he must have 'adoptet' the katar quickly, or it would not have been mentioned, and strange as other countries did not seem to think highly about the katar.
Another interesting thing is, that in the drawing is shown one katar with a straight blade, but two katars with a curved blade. To day the katars with a straight blade are found like 'sand at the sea', but curved bladed katars are rare.
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Old 31st May 2019, 08:45 PM   #4
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Jens I very much agree with the approach you are taking to this virtual nonsense which often evolves with the dreaded 'name game' which seems to evolve in discussions here often over as many years as I can recall.

What it amounts to is that as you and I have agreed over as many years, it is important to serious researchers on arms to be aware of the alternate terms for weapons used in the vernaculars and parlance of the people who actually used them.
This is because if we are relying on contemporary narratives and accounts, or translated resources, we must know such terms to be sure we are reading about the same weapon we are researching. Without some sort of cross reference or thesaurus of terms for these weapons, especially by dialect, region or period, accurate investigation is useless.

I can recall being told by a key ethnographic researcher on Indonesian weapons, often the same weapon can be called by different terms almost 'by village'. Exaggerated perhaps, but the same dilemma applies often and widely.

I think that using an accepted term used pretty much universally in the vernacular of students of arms, with 'katar' a prime example, it is probably not only acceptable but advisable that it remain the same. This is so we can be sure semantically that we are talking about the same weapon.
The only thing I would hope would be accepted is that some sort of footnote or cross reference could be established as part of the alternate terms for other serious researchers.
For general conversation obviously, there is no such need. I simply often place such terms in parenthesis for such convenience, but clearly many people think it is too much info.
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Old 1st June 2019, 09:42 PM   #5
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This is not only about the names - it is also about the kater types, with a straight blade or a curved blade.
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Old 2nd June 2019, 12:45 AM   #6
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Well, Jens is correct as usual: perhaps straight-bladed and curved katars were called differently. We just do not know, and I for one would like to.
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Old 4th June 2019, 09:01 PM   #7
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I agree with Ariel, it's definitely interesting that we have a few odd names (categories) that have survived to today, yet no native terms to distinguish straight and curved katars, even though arguably one of the most basic variations you could make to a katar (blade-wise) is to give it a curved blade.

For reference purposes, the surviving, clearly defined terms I've found are:
Bara Jamdadu - a "hooded" katar
Pattani Jamdadu - a katar with a long, straight (pata-style) blade
Jamdhar Sehlicaneh - a katar with a three pointed blade
Jamdhar Doulicaneh - a katar with a two pointed blade
All of these are recorded by Egerton, along with a number of other weird terms, however the ones listed above are the only ones with clear definitions that seem to have lasted, being reproduced by numerous publications since.

Just some observations.
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Old 7th June 2019, 04:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
In Arms and Jewellery of the Indian Muguhuls by Abdul Aziz a plate with weapons is shown from A' in-i-Akbari (Akbar r. 1556-1605)
This is a fantasy picture from A' in-i-Akbari edition of late 19th. Like the inscriptions on it
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