Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 9th September 2022, 10:31 PM   #1
OakenStaff
Member
 
OakenStaff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Pakistan
Posts: 7
Default Regarding the chisel edge on Naga sword-daos.

Hello, all.
Does anyone know what the chisel edge on the Naga sword daos was for? Why have it over a normal double equal bevel edge? Was it somehow specialized for decapitation?
And also, I have had some confusion about the Naga and Kachin peoples. Were they one and the same? Were they different? How did the weapons of these two differ, if they were different?
OakenStaff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2022, 01:54 PM   #2
ausjulius
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: musorian territory
Posts: 410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by OakenStaff View Post
Hello, all.
Does anyone know what the chisel edge on the Naga sword daos was for? Why have it over a normal double equal bevel edge? Was it somehow specialized for decapitation?
And also, I have had some confusion about the Naga and Kachin peoples. Were they one and the same? Were they different? How did the weapons of these two differ, if they were different?
naga are tribal headhunters with quite a different culture from the Kachin or jingpo, the jingpo native swords look like the husa/achang ect the have an open faced sheath but are more like a burmese dha.
the reason i beleive you see many jingpo or kachin people with naga swords is that the two groups trade and the jingpo/kachin are buying swords and selling swords., in many areas the cohabit with other ethnic groups and will see them using swords from these groups..
i see that quite afew jingpo/kachin sdwords do have a single bevel even when they are not naga style. i would say this is due to naga influence on their metal working as the nagas trade to them swords,
in areas with a majority jingpo populaiton the single bevel is not present

watcht his video you can see naga, husa and more burmese styles swrods bing used all at the same time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjM7IUd5jIo
id say their native swords are probably these metal topped dha tyle of swords with metal bands on the sehat.. it seems to be their real native style

https://www.sohu.com/a/224845889_128114
this article states that jingpo/kachin like the husa knives and based on the video it seems they really do like them. as i see as mang naga and husa blades as i do jingpo/kachin weapons in that short video.



the reason for the single bevel is hard to say 100% there is a number of single beveled knife and sword making cultures in this world.. there is 4 reaosns generally..
1- for cutting or splitting banboo and springy plants,
2- for working and levelling wood
3- for shaving or slicing or scraping mateirals closely.
4- no reason just asthetic

the single bevel on the naga swords probably comes form them using it to clear close to the ground strubs and bamboo and to slip slivers of bamboo. it will bite and not skip up.. if you use the same shape of bevel to cut a large tree you will hate it.. but for springy items it works well as it bites in better than a double bevel.

the naga long handled cleavers are both single and double bevel depending on the use.


sdome other cultures that use single beveled knives and sords are -
the mainland taiwanese aboriginal groups.
the japanesse for some swords, most spears and most knives and tools.
some part sof china,, especially around fujian mostly on kitchen knives and billhooks. although soem swords with be single beveled too
the buryat mongols.. for some knives only,
the yakutians for everyting including swords, glaives, spears ect. soem swords are quite massive but still single beveled..
the nenets for some knvies.
komi poeple for some knives.
the eskimo.
the Athabaskan people of alaska and canada for daggers and ulus.. their daggers are all one beveled on one side.
mongur people- for belt knives only
balinese for most knives and some swords.
peopel of lombok (sasak) people for some knives
nagas for swords swords other tools
the dayaks for most small knives and many swords ,.
all vasayan ethinc gorups in the philippines.

there is probably others i have missed.
in europe it is unushal and normally confined to bullhooks but some regions in billhooks it is very common like northern france. i have many french billhooks with a single bevel
in the uk in soem regions it was more popular but other areas like germany unushal.


the most common example fo a european militaryt sword with a single bevel is the bazaar Austrian M1869 sabre.
ther eis also game wardens swords and military pioneers hangers that are heavy single beveled bladed tools for the 18th and 19th century. these again work great to cut steaks and to split and level wood. and are probably influenced by billhooks fo this tyle.. austria and russia had a love on such off blade profiles. the russian empire even issued them to game wardens.


it is odd.

single bevel knives in genera seem strange to westeners. i do wounder if there is more european examples

Last edited by ausjulius; 11th September 2022 at 02:08 PM.
ausjulius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2022, 02:15 PM   #3
ausjulius
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: musorian territory
Posts: 410
Default

more footage this time form burma,, not china. but still you can see many different ethnic groups swords used.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNTsVrEYQdI
ausjulius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2022, 05:07 PM   #4
Tim Simmons
Member
 
Tim Simmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: What is still UK
Posts: 5,691
Default

Fantastic. If that happened where I live the authorities would be shivering with outrage fear and angst, so many people peacefully carrying weapons. The UK is torn between lining up all the weapons like knives and swords after bad things happen and telling them not to do it again, while ignoring what makes the bad people do bad things .
Tim Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2022, 09:29 PM   #5
OakenStaff
Member
 
OakenStaff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Pakistan
Posts: 7
Default

Thank you very much, ausjulius! I appreciate the insights into the usage of the sword-dao.
OakenStaff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2022, 05:01 PM   #6
Interested Party
Member
 
Interested Party's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Eastern Sierra
Posts: 345
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausjulius View Post

watcht his video you can see naga, husa and more burmese styles swrods bing used all at the same time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjM7IUd5jIo

Really interesting information. Thanks ausjulius. Do you know what this festival is celebrating?

the reason for the single bevel is hard to say 100% there is a number of single beveled knife and sword making cultures in this world.. there is 4 reaosns generally..
1- for cutting or splitting banboo and springy plants,
2- for working and levelling wood
3- for shaving or slicing or scraping mateirals closely.
4- no reason just asthetic

I would adda fifth reason. I have read that the beveled edge is more economical to construct without having to chisel into the iron to set the steel or making a complicated series of welds to fully sandwich and support the steel. I had read that is why the the Japanese (mentiioned below) used it.

the single bevel on the naga swords probably comes form them using it to clear close to the ground strubs and bamboo and to slip slivers of bamboo. it will bite and not skip up.. if you use the same shape of bevel to cut a large tree you will hate it.. but for springy items it works well as it bites in better than a double bevel.


sdome other cultures that use single beveled knives and sords are -
the mainland taiwanese aboriginal groups.
the japanesse for some swords, most spears and most knives and tools.
some part sof china,, especially around fujian mostly on kitchen knives and billhooks. although soem swords with be single beveled too
the buryat mongols.. for some knives only,
the yakutians for everyting including swords, glaives, spears ect. soem swords are quite massive but still single beveled..
the nenets for some knvies.
komi poeple for some knives.
the eskimo.
the Athabaskan people of alaska and canada for daggers and ulus.. their daggers are all one beveled on one side.
mongur people- for belt knives only
balinese for most knives and some swords.
peopel of lombok (sasak) people for some knives
nagas for swords swords other tools
the dayaks for most small knives and many swords ,.
all vasayan ethinc gorups in the philippines.




the most common example fo a european militaryt sword with a single bevel is the bazaar Austrian M1869 sabre.
ther eis also game wardens swords and military pioneers hangers that are heavy single beveled bladed tools for the 18th and 19th century. these again work great to cut steaks and to split and level wood. and are probably influenced by billhooks fo this tyle.. austria and russia had a love on such off blade profiles. the russian empire even issued them to game wardens.

For European style tools I have only used it on broad axes, shaping hatchets, sloyd knives. sickles, scythes, and chisels. This makes sense why some pioneer swords would be constructed that way as they were theoretically shaping tools and harvesting springy materials. It would not be fun to be a lefthanded pioneer! American broad axes are made so the head can be flipped to make them lefty friendly.

single bevel knives in genera seem strange to westeners. i do wonder if there is more european examples
Me to. For agricultural purposes a bill hook could give a really clean cut with a bevel edge and run less risk of nicking the bark below the branch. There are some central american machetes made for harvesting that have a chisel edge as well.
Interested Party is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2022, 05:02 PM   #7
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,810
Default

This topic has been discussed several times previously on the forum and some of the confusion around the various types of Kachin swords.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=26277
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=6724
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2022, 10:31 AM   #8
ausjulius
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: musorian territory
Posts: 410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons View Post
Fantastic. If that happened where I live the authorities would be shivering with outrage fear and angst, so many people peacefully carrying weapons. The UK is torn between lining up all the weapons like knives and swords after bad things happen and telling them not to do it again, while ignoring what makes the bad people do bad things .
haha so true. yeah its weird, in china for example with its oppressive laws relating to weapons and such ethnic gorups even then its a mix of oppression or apathy. even in tibet natives still make crossbows or muskets or openly carry swords and long knives in isloated areas. there is a sword festival among the dai (thai related group) people in china still every year.
many of these ethnic groups still make these items to trade among eachother. in india too - the hornbill festival is full of weapons, guns, swords, ect. there is some other smaller ethnic festivals in india in the north east where native costume and weapons are still seen and are not just tourist items.
all these little ethnic groups sort of overlap in territory and historically fell under the burmese or tibetians or other larger groups influence and so there is layers of influence. 4 or 5 ethnic groups might have overlapping territory. blurry lines. i suppose its not so odd, i mean historically one ethnic group , especialy trading ones might assume the weapons of other groups as they like them.
generally we have an opinion that ethnigraphic weaponry solidly defines the ethnic gorup it is found among, this is strong in our minds as collectors as almost all ethnographic weapons we collect are items used as cultural identifiers of the group native to it (most of the time). but if you look at european swords for example in history they were mostly not ethospecific. or weapons in the middle east there is many that cross over some from far afeild.
adoption of other cultures weapons can be so extencive that it ultimatly makes the native styles extinct
ausjulius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2022, 10:10 AM   #9
Peter Dekker
Member
 
Peter Dekker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kingdom of the Netherlands
Posts: 63
Default Of Jingpo make

[Edit; was rambling about another type of sword.]

As for the single edge bevel, it is interesting to note that this edge bevel is seen also on swords of headhunters of Taiwan, and the Dayak headhunters of Borneo. It seems that they may have a shared origin and, indeed perhaps indeed help with head-taking, something I have no experience with myself.

Last edited by Peter Dekker; 6th October 2022 at 09:56 PM. Reason: Mistaken thread subject
Peter Dekker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2022, 04:40 AM   #10
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,810
Default

I would add another reason why the single bevel may be preferred to a more traditional saber grind. The single bevel may be easier to maintain and keep sharpened. A file usually can keep a single bevel very sharp with little effort. The V-grind, however, requires a bit more work and skill.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2022, 03:33 PM   #11
ausjulius
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: musorian territory
Posts: 410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I would add another reason why the single bevel may be preferred to a more traditional saber grind. The single bevel may be easier to maintain and keep sharpened. A file usually can keep a single bevel very sharp with little effort. The V-grind, however, requires a bit more work and skill.
it is much harder to sharpen maintain and use the single beveled blades than a normal double bevel.
ausjulius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2022, 03:34 PM   #12
ausjulius
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: musorian territory
Posts: 410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dekker View Post
[Edit; was rambling about another type of sword.]

As for the single edge bevel, it is interesting to note that this edge bevel is seen also on swords of headhunters of Taiwan, and the Dayak headhunters of Borneo. It seems that they may have a shared origin and, indeed perhaps indeed help with head-taking, something I have no experience with myself.
yeah they are all similar cultures.... but they all have separated before the age of iron i think and single bevels seem to have appeared with steel. id say its coincidence as none of these groups have any regular trade or contact.
ausjulius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2022, 06:11 AM   #13
RobT
Member
 
RobT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 417
Default Single Bevel AKA Chisel Grind

Ausjulius,

As a woodworker for many years, I find it difficult to accept your contention that, "it is much harder to sharpen maintain and use the single beveled blades than a normal double bevel". Chisels and planes are routinely used and maintained in woodworking. In fact, the single bevel (AKA chisel grind) is used in woodworking far more often than the double bevel. The key to maintaining a sharp chisel, plane or draw knife is to make absolutely certain that the edge of the flat side is absolutely flat. Once that is done, it is simply a matter of making sure that the beveled side meets the flat side at the appropriate angle. There is an abundance of online information about how to get this done for Western as well as Eastern chisels and planes. I will also add that a chisel grind on a knife or short sword allows it to be used as a draw knife which makes it more versatile than a double bevel knife.

Sincerely,
RobT
RobT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2022, 05:11 PM   #14
kronckew
Member
 
kronckew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Room 101, Glos. UK
Posts: 4,121
Default

I agree with RobT.

Japanese single bevel knives are 'handed', usually right, to produce a fine 90 cut, the angled surface pushed the cut-off bit out of the way to the left and the cook craftsman can more easily see and control the cut.

My Taiwan knives have right-handed single bevels and are easy to sharpen the angled bevel side, then fine stone &/or strop the flat side to remove the burr.
kronckew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2022, 10:16 AM   #15
ausjulius
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: musorian territory
Posts: 410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT View Post
Ausjulius,

As a woodworker for many years, I find it difficult to accept your contention that, "it is much harder to sharpen maintain and use the single beveled blades than a normal double bevel". Chisels and planes are routinely used and maintained in woodworking. In fact, the single bevel (AKA chisel grind) is used in woodworking far more often than the double bevel. The key to maintaining a sharp chisel, plane or draw knife is to make absolutely certain that the edge of the flat side is absolutely flat. Once that is done, it is simply a matter of making sure that the beveled side meets the flat side at the appropriate angle. There is an abundance of online information about how to get this done for Western as well as Eastern chisels and planes. I will also add that a chisel grind on a knife or short sword allows it to be used as a draw knife which makes it more versatile than a double bevel knife.

Sincerely,
RobT
it is much harder to produce and maintain an single bevel on any item than a double bevel,
this is not my optinon ,
it is just how it works.
you need to keep a single bevel very precice and flat to produce a good effective cut and to sharpen it if on either side even a small secondary bevel develps it will ruin the cutting features of the blade.

a double venel can be lopsided, multi beveled even almost blunt and stull cut. it can cut wood flesh.. ect..
a single bevel once nolonger keen and true becomes totally useless

there is many reaons for this,

it is why you can take a simple machete or parang that is blunt and still swoosh it though foliage or even wood,
if i take a blunt bolo and try this it will just punch off , bind or chip the wood.

this is not at all complicated to observe.
if you are still confused by this.. take a hammer, a slug of ore and a small stone anvil , forge a single beveled true and flat blade of r a single beven,.,. use a hand scraper to true the flat side and plane the angled beven to a razor edge, quench it .. it is a great deal of work to do it well

now do the same thing with a wedge shaped blade adn you can forge without any scraping to a thin edge, rub it unhardened on a stone and then quench it and it will work as good as a finely finished blade.


the single bevelled blades are carefully made with several specialised scraping tools to produce very flat surfaces.
in places where single bevels are common like japan these blades are gorund on machines now
in others places like the philippines and bali they are not unusable and the principals of them are even becomming vague the blades slowly transition into double beveled blades that are asymetrical.. due to lazy low skileld smiths.. very low prices and apathetic customers..
most bolis form cebu or negros ect are almost unusable form the market and even after 1 hour of grinding are sitll just as bad.
the old bolos arer true and flat and crisp like a machine made them..
all scraped for hours carefully by hand before quenching.
you can not just carelessly sharpen a single beveled tool and expect a good effect.
ausjulius is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
naga sword-dao, sword dao

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.