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Old 28th May 2021, 04:00 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default Adya Katti for comment

A nice Adya Katti from the Coorg/Malabar Coast region of India.
Comments welcome.
Stu
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Old 7th June 2021, 12:28 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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No takers I guess, so what I can say is,

The 'ayudha kathi' (Sk=weapon; Drav. =knife/sword) is a chopper knife used by the Kodava people (Coorgs) of SW India near Malabar coast. These people have long tradition as warriors who are agricultural in everyday life. They have a turbulent history with neighboring groups and the British in early 19th c. which finally resulted in violent uprisings in 1884. Apparently huge volumes of these traditional and distinctive knives were confiscated by the British and dumped at sea....according to record, 17,295 of them...give or take a few.

With this fact, it seems dealers have typically heralded these as extremely rare, however I doubt that the population of these knives simply ended there.

This form is with the leaf type pommel, and these were often worn in the small of the back in an apparatus called a todunga. In this form they are regarded as a prestigious weapon and worn in a status or ceremonial dress manner.
The type of these with simple handle without the leaf pommel is regarded as a 'war knife', and is simply carried not worn in the apparatus.

As these were also used agriculturally, it seems likely this example is more of that demeanor, but still with the distinctive (and deadly) character of the ayda katti.
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Old 7th June 2021, 01:34 AM   #3
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Thanks Jim for your comments. I must admit I was a little surprised that there had not been more replies but then perhaps the interest in the "agricultural" nature of these "weapons" is not among our Members.
Stu
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Old 7th June 2021, 03:24 AM   #4
Ian
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Hi Stu,

The adya katti is uncommon but not rare. They are still worn by Coorgi men on ceremonial occasions, along with the traditional knife (pichangatti). I have read (can't remember where) that at Coorgi weddings it is customary that the groom and some of his family ritually cut down corn stalks with the adya katti as a gift to the bride's party. The use of this "tool" as a weapon is well documented by Edgerton and others.

The blade form is similar to the so-called "Moplah/Malabar chopper" (Muslim version) and the "Mysore chopper" (Hindu version). Geographically the distribution of these knives corresponds mainly to the western and central areas of the State of Karnataka in southern India. The Muslim (Moplah) form occurred along the Malabar coast from roughly Mangalore to Goa, and the Mysore version further inland around the old capital of Mysore.

The Coorgi have been a fiercely independent group and celebrated warriors for centuries. Some have risen to high ranks in the modern Indian Armed Forces. Their origins are somewhat obscure, with some believing that they arose from remnants of the army of Alexander the Great, staying behind after Alexander left and marrying into the local tribal groups. I'm not aware of any scientific evidence to support that idea.

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Ian.
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Old 7th June 2021, 04:53 AM   #5
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Hi Stu,
I admit I dont know a great deal on these, but I hate it when a thread just goes unanswered. While these indeed are known to have been used in the agricultural sense, they are certainly formidable enough to serve as weapons as called upon......in fact throughout ethnographic cultural spheres, this is often the case.
Ian, outstanding insights on these, thank you. It sounds almost like these Coorg's were much like the Gurkha's, who were also warriors who rose through the ranks in the Indian and British armies.

It seems that in discussions on these some time ago, there were cases of these being painted red, or to that effect. I wonder what that significance was.
Couldnt find anything in notes.
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Old 7th June 2021, 05:43 AM   #6
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A couple of attachments.....The Coorg Flag and a Coorg Warrior.
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Old 7th June 2021, 05:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1 View Post
A couple of attachments.....The Coorg Flag and a Coorg Warrior.

OK, that guy looks pretty serious!!! agricultural or not, those knives look bad!
The guns they used it seems Ive seen talked about a lot as well, in that 'dumping' in 1884 they got well over 7000 of these guns.
The flag is great, crossed ayda katti and pichangetti........those knives are interesting as well.
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Old 7th June 2021, 06:22 AM   #8
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Here's another chopper from the same general area with a plain wooden handle.


http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...97&postcount=1
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Old 7th June 2021, 11:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
OK, that guy looks pretty serious!!! agricultural or not, those knives look bad!
The guns they used it seems Ive seen talked about a lot as well, in that 'dumping' in 1884 they got well over 7000 of these guns.
The flag is great, crossed ayda katti and pichangetti........those knives are interesting as well.
So the Brits dumped guns as well!! That just might explain why today there are IMHO significantly fewer Coorg muskets available for sale or in auctions in comparison to the number of Toradors offered. Obviously the same rules did not apply in other regions of India.
Stu
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Old 7th June 2021, 06:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1 View Post
So the Brits dumped guns as well!! That just might explain why today there are IMHO significantly fewer Coorg muskets available for sale or in auctions in comparison to the number of Toradors offered. Obviously the same rules did not apply in other regions of India.
Stu

Yup! a tragic travesty! The Brits did however retain select items as souvenirs or for posterity, much as in the Tanjore debacle 1870s as described by Walhouse (the original source used by Egerton, Oldman et al in many cases).

At Tanjore, the armory in Tamil India, it was dismantled and the multitudes of huge volumes of Indian arms were basically destroyed. Other than key items of interest or higher quality arms, most were reduced to scrap by the Brits.
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