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Old 24th July 2016, 04:54 AM   #31
Jim McDougall
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Ibrahiim,
The horsehead (in India termed 'hayamukhi') is a popular motif, it seems most often found on dagger hilts from Jaipur and Rajasthan (Pant,1980, C, CCXXIII, CCI ). While Rajput favor would be presumed, this form was also known to be used by Mughals in richly carved jade, nephrite and crystal.
A full length sword with horsehead hilt and ganga yumuni (chevron) blade is also found dated 1750 from Jaipur.

It seems that the crossing of well known dagger form hilts and longer or full length sword blades is not unusual, in fact the lighter profile of this hilt with the knuckleguard brings to mind the Indian bichwa and chilanum.

The presence of the tunkou on this is notable, and would seem indeed to recall Central Asian and perhaps Ottoman influence. We have seen that the tunkou feature is well diffused through Turkic spheres, it is not as commonly seen in this style in Afghanistan and India, though similar koftgari applications are of course known.

The tunkou it seems according to scholars such as David Nicolle and Philip Tom, was indeed most likely intended for securing the sword in its scabbard. In the case of numbers of Chinese sword and others with the feature on the edge rather than back near the guard, it is presumed to have acted as an added ricasso for finger protection.

In most cases, swords without the tunkou seem to rely on the langet for placement and securing the sword in its scabbard.

This particular horsehead sword does seem to resemble those bring discussed with knuckleguard and recurved terminal as well as tunkou, and I would be inclined to agree with North India, Afghan regions.
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Old 24th July 2016, 10:44 AM   #32
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Hello Jim,

Thanks a lot for bearing with us and your additional thoughts!

Quote:
The presence of the tunkou on this is notable, and would seem indeed to recall Central Asian and perhaps Ottoman influence. We have seen that the tunkou feature is well diffused through Turkic spheres, it is not as commonly seen in this style in Afghanistan and India, though similar koftgari applications are of course known.
BTW, is there any scholarly study linking the koftgari with the real tunkou-like elements?

Quote:
The tunkou it seems according to scholars such as David Nicolle and Philip Tom, was indeed most likely intended for securing the sword in its scabbard. In the case of numbers of Chinese sword and others with the feature on the edge rather than back near the guard, it is presumed to have acted as an added ricasso for finger protection.
I agree that this may be the reason for the original and later Chinese take on this (with the main element along the cutting edge). The ricasso of Indian blades will pretty much fulfil the same functions though.

I can also see that thickening the blade along the edge may help to make an easier fitting scabbard and, especially, help avoiding wear from heavy use.

However, I don't see any advantage for scabbard construction if pretty much only the back of the sword blade is thickened. For wootz blades as in the other thread this feature certainly is important to securely attach the hilt (short of functional alternatives found in Indian swords).


Quote:
In most cases, swords without the tunkou seem to rely on the langet for placement and securing the sword in its scabbard.
The langet is certainly another good approach. However, a global comparison shows the majority of swords without any dedicated "locking" mechanism and good workmanship seems to go a long way in crafting scabbards with excellent fit and secure carrying/wear as well as nice draw characteristics.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 24th July 2016, 02:03 PM   #33
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Tunkou was created for a particular function explained above.
Subsequently, it became a purely decorative element, largely presenting as just a decorated triangular (mostly) part of the root of the blade.
The technique of decoration varied from place to place and koftgari was used for that purpose in the places where koftgari was a popular decorative technique in general. Some examples of tunkou used magnificent combinations of gold inlay, gems etc: see yataghans of Bayazet and Suleiman. Some had massive tri-dimensional plates: Greek for example. Cheap Turkish yataghan had just an outline of tunkou scraped into the body of the blade. North African Yataghans often carried miniature crenellated round all-metal plates. And you are right: the "Indian ricasso" was quite likely a distant descendant of the original nomadic wide and blunt root.

The "orientation " of tunkou also changed: originally , the long arm of it went along the edge, but already in the 14 century we can see it going along the back of the blade.
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Old 24th July 2016, 03:20 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Ibrahiim,
The horsehead (in India termed 'hayamukhi') is a popular motif, it seems most often found on dagger hilts from Jaipur and Rajasthan (Pant,1980, C, CCXXIII, CCI ). While Rajput favor would be presumed, this form was also known to be used by Mughals in richly carved jade, nephrite and crystal.
A full length sword with horsehead hilt and ganga yumuni (chevron) blade is also found dated 1750 from Jaipur.

It seems that the crossing of well known dagger form hilts and longer or full length sword blades is not unusual, in fact the lighter profile of this hilt with the knuckleguard brings to mind the Indian bichwa and chilanum.

The presence of the tunkou on this is notable, and would seem indeed to recall Central Asian and perhaps Ottoman influence. We have seen that the tunkou feature is well diffused through Turkic spheres, it is not as commonly seen in this style in Afghanistan and India, though similar koftgari applications are of course known.

The tunkou it seems according to scholars such as David Nicolle and Philip Tom, was indeed most likely intended for securing the sword in its scabbard. In the case of numbers of Chinese sword and others with the feature on the edge rather than back near the guard, it is presumed to have acted as an added ricasso for finger protection.

In most cases, swords without the tunkou seem to rely on the langet for placement and securing the sword in its scabbard.

This particular horsehead sword does seem to resemble those bring discussed with knuckleguard and recurved terminal as well as tunkou, and I would be inclined to agree with North India, Afghan regions.
Salaams Jim and thank you for the summary...It is interesting that the blades so far shown before the horses head were short or shorter than a cavalry weapon though no evidence exists that they were shortened blades...The Horses head or 'hayamukhi' which means horses face in Sanskrit...is certainly a long cavalry blade..and is possibly an inch or two shorter at the tip seemingly through wear.

What is remarkable about the hayamukhi is that all pointers seem to tick the box of "cavalry"... The Tunkou, the blade length, the knuckle guard, and of course the horses head itself...all characteristics of a cavalry weapon.

It may be early days yet to distinguish which area or areas this weapon was used in... and in what capacity. I suspect for India that the Mughal court style of shorter blade and ornate Neophrite / Crystal or other highly bling hilt form is possible especially as Jehangir was an avid hilt designer. The advent of a fighting weapon could easily be attributed to the warrior class or Rajput whilst continued reference to Afghanistan for these swords cannot be ignored.
Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 24th July 2016, 05:55 PM   #35
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Ibrahiim,
I think you are veering too much off into the fantasy land.
We have only recently realized that there is an Indian sword pattern we had no idea about. We still have divergent opinions whether it is North or South Indian. We have no idea of its name. Even our dedicated "indologists" are mum about any even circumstantial descriptions in the literature. In short, we have several very real examples, but no information.

Let' s take a deep breath and wait for some.

It will come, sooner or later. This forum has long memory: Kai posted the very first example in 2005, and it took us 11 years of silence to recognize that it was not a fluke.
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Old 24th July 2016, 06:43 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Ibrahiim,
I think you are veering too much off into the fantasy land.
We have only recently realized that there is an Indian sword pattern we had no idea about. We still have divergent opinions whether it is North or South Indian. We have no idea of its name. Even our dedicated "indologists" are mum about any even circumstantial descriptions in the literature. In short, we have several very real examples, but no information.

Let' s take a deep breath and wait for some.

It will come, sooner or later. This forum has long memory: Kai posted the very first example in 2005, and it took us 11 years of silence to recognize that it was not a fluke.
On the contrary Ariel; I think a lot of the content places Forum on the same page... We have realized the Indian style and the Afghanistan type... We have joined the form to Chinese influence and we know the Turkic Mongolian link...

I see no fantasy land here... and if this form has been swimming about for 11 years do we not owe it a better look?... I think what you mean is that the scent went cold 11 years ago...but you have to admit it aint cold now!!

Granted we have no name yet... and the puzzle looks drawn out potentially across several countries which is understandable considering the development and influence over time...

As to Northern or Southern Indian the pointer indicates Northern with accents of Afghanistan loud and clear... Indian Court Swords may have sprung up in other Indian regions independently ...The Cavalry clues seem clearly of Northern regions...influenced probably from the Ottomans..

Putting on the hand brake is not the way we work...From a cautious start up there are now several more examples to consider.. It develops reasonably. Clues lead us on... Get digging !!

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Old 24th July 2016, 11:29 PM   #37
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By pure fluke I note that at http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...d=1#post203680 there is a more modern style of Afghan sword with a very similar gooseneck finial at the top of the knuckleguard . This is very similar to the Afghan Pulouir which in turn is similar to the sword being discussed here. This leads me to suggest that the style of weapon we are looking at in this thread may, in fact, originate in that region. Afghanistan.
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Old 25th July 2016, 12:05 AM   #38
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I found another sword hilt to comply with the design being looked at. In this example it appears I think, as Moghul form but with a broken knuckle guard and it is a Birdhead with knuckle guard and Tunkou...

Illustrated as a museum exhibit it reads; Quote"Indian sword hilt from the collection of Arms and Armour in the Prince of Wales Museum, now known as Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghrahalaya, Mumbai India.'' Unquote.

See https://www.pinterest.com/pin/397372367093427700/
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Old 25th July 2016, 12:35 AM   #39
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Wow!!!

Up until now, all examples were very modest, kinda " village-like".
This one is high class.
Man, this pattern was not only for "unwashed masses":-)
Fascinating.
Many thanks.
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Old 25th July 2016, 03:46 AM   #40
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I will second that WOW!!
It sure looks like bringing this subject sword type up again has really panned out!
Thank you guys!
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Old 25th July 2016, 09:13 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I will second that WOW!!
It sure looks like bringing this subject sword type up again has really panned out!
Thank you guys!

Thank You Jim... and also thanks to Ariel. I thought to compose a quick baseline of where I think we are in regard to this weapon; Looking across the broad Bukharan connection and bearing in mind tribal flow and the Chinese linkages it seems to me that the transmission and influence is from the Bukharan sphere touching Afghanistan, India and Turkey for a variety of reasons but that the sword is in fact not of any of the nations where it has appeared.

The linkage with Mughal swords for the Turkish market is through the Ottoman preference in Bling form Mughal hilts from such centres affected by Jahangir and other Indian rulers thus a purely fashionable weapon to wear at Court...

It can be seen that no two swords shown as examples in basic form have the same construction in the hilt with dramatic differences in how the knuckle guard is fixed, leaving me to believe that these were never a commonly turned out, professional sword workshop item....more an accidental hybrid. This and the fact that actually there are only a few available to compare suggests the weapon was more a chance encounter with a forge master than a common user item.

Whilst not saying out loud that the subject may be an innocent red herring or chasing wild geese, I find topics like these fascinating as far as they go...and once in a while "tilting at windmills" is no bad thing but I think for now the topic may be somewhat exhausted and therefor as far as this, as yet, nameless sword is concerned, we are on hold, though always ready to take up the pen should fresh evidence surface.

Here is a very interesting note that I also applied to another Indian thread ..This links the influence of Mughal Court swords lavishly done in Jade and Nephrite with added precious stones in pure Jahangir "Bling" form to Ottoman fashion;
Please see https://books.google.com.om/books?i...20hilts&f=false

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Old 26th July 2016, 08:34 PM   #42
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Default I point to Bukhara.

If I may round off by indicating where I mean by Bukhara...below. The map on the right illustrating the vast network of silk road "tributaries" ...
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Old 16th August 2016, 01:59 AM   #43
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I stumbled upon this at http://www.aljantiques.com/a-bronze-...h-century.html Just the hilt... Amazing!!
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Old 16th August 2016, 02:30 AM   #44
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Indeed.

Looks very South Indian to me.
Perhaps I might have been wrong insisting on Nortwest Frontier? :-)
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Old 16th August 2016, 04:25 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Indeed.

Looks very South Indian to me.
Perhaps I might have been wrong insisting on Nortwest Frontier? :-)

On a specific area I wouldn't like to say...It does seem to lend itself to the Shashka blade... however, it seems to me that any number of sword making schools could present a similar hilt... I think that is what makes Indian sword style so difficult to crack... and we have to date only a handful of examples... but the Tunkou and knuckle guard are a fascinating combination.
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Old 16th August 2016, 05:18 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Indeed.

Looks very South Indian to me.
Perhaps I might have been wrong insisting on Nortwest Frontier? :-)

Not too sure Ariel....it seems there have long been somewhat unclear and indeterminate in many cases ties between the Northwest and the Deccan.
It does not seem hard to imagine cross diffusion , making as Ibrahiim notes, pretty tough classification challenges.
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Old 14th October 2016, 06:48 PM   #47
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When it rains, it pours...

Two more. No doubt: we are talking about a real , but heretofore non-described pattern
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Old 15th October 2016, 10:43 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
When it rains, it pours...

Two more. No doubt: we are talking about a real , but heretofore non-described pattern
I only see one weapon as the other is at #1 ...
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Old 15th October 2016, 01:32 PM   #49
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Black handle, white handle... :-)
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Old 15th October 2016, 05:02 PM   #50
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This is an intriguing scenario, these compellingly similar sabres sans guard and with the 'swans neck' type knuckleguard, along with vestigial tunkou.
However it begs the question, are these effectively a 'form' or simply a number of cross influenced variant examples.

The cases of swords which are seemingly a particular form except certain components are missing, may be intended as such, or possibly examples with have lost these components.

We have seen shamshirs and various 'Ottoman bulbous hilt' sabres which have no crossguard and have asked, were there occasions where individuals preferred a sword without a crossguard? As clearly many Central Asian sabres such as shashka have been in notable favor and use without guard, would that character be chosen in altering other sword forms? Why?

We have seen the cases of tulwars with the characteristic disc pommel missing, and asked, was it deliberately removed, or simply broken or lost?
It has seemed there have been numbers of such tulwars in Afghan regions and suggestions that these discs impaired the swordsmans hand in its use.

These sabres add another page to these curious anomalies, but in their case they are clearly made in their form deliberately. The vestigial tunkou seems to me a clear nod toward Ottoman influences; the swans neck guard reflects northern India tulwars of Rajasthan and of course Afghan paluoars; and the hilts themselves the shashka and like Central Asian types.

Rather than a distinct form of sword type, this seems more a case of variant which has occurred in some number and reflecting compiled influences. It will require more instances of examples with regional provenance to establish enough consistency to declare a unique category .

Obviously, an intriguing conundrum and interesting type worthy of continued research.
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Old 16th October 2016, 04:01 PM   #51
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TRY THIS!!

Deccan
sword
from
Vijayanagar

An unusual and rare form of South Indian sword from the Vijayanagar Empire Karnataka. The long sword blade fullered and slightly curved, possibly of European manufacture, a small makers stamp visible near the forte. Long steel blade mounts with fretted and pierced borders, the hilt of 'pistol grip' shape, steel furniture chiselled with geometric decoration(worn) and brass inlay, the ivory grips showing the great age of this sword. Dating to the 17th century.

(THE TECHNIQUE IN ENGINEERING THE KNUCKLE GUARD TO THE HILT SIMILAR TO #38 AND #43 ABOVE)

For more pictures see http://www.ashokaarts.com/shop/rare-...om-vijayanagar

For The Vijayanagar Empire SEE https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayanagara_Empire
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Old 16th October 2016, 05:21 PM   #52
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Well done Ibrahiim!!!
Somehow does the faceted bolster remind you of a 'Khyber knife' (Siliwar) ??
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Old 16th October 2016, 05:52 PM   #53
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Continued research= Ibrahiim!!!
Noticed in your last entry, then revisited your post #43.......compelling!!!
In 43, this example is intriguing as it clearly has the 'sinha' or lion head which we associate with the hilt of the kastane. While the 17th century date is in my opinion somewhat optimistic as we remain unclear on the earliest occurrence of the sinha hilt on the kastane, this coupled with the example from Karnataka, does seem to place these in Deccani context.

The diplomatic and general tribal ties between the Deccan and northern India (Afghan) regions are well established, and as seen with certain hilt features such as with the paluoar, the cross influences between these regions also seem understandable.

Is it possible that the sinha/lion head became vestigially stylized in the knob like pommel of these northern versions? We might tenuously observe that line defining the lower outline of the 'knob' being almost a jaw line! in considering such zoomorphic context.

Also found in Pant (1980, p.113, fig. 293) the tulwar hilt known as 'Marwari'. In Pant's 'system' of hilt classifications, this one is claimed to be similar overall to the 'Delhishahi' and 'Aurengzebi' forms except in the case of the knuckleguard.
In the Marwari hilt, there is a distinctly represented swans head which has a dramatic turn back form.
While Marwar was a highly commercial region in Rajasthan, it would seem that its commerce would be well known in northern areas of India (incl Afghan regions).
These Marwar hilts, in addition to the turn back swans neck, had the knuckleguard with split or cut in the center.

I would note the 'Afghan military sword' which has its distinctive split guard also with turn back of this style, and similar to that seen on these curious hilts of OP.

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Old 17th October 2016, 02:27 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Continued research= Ibrahiim!!!
Noticed in your last entry, then revisited your post #43.......compelling!!!
In 43, this example is intriguing as it clearly has the 'sinha' or lion head which we associate with the hilt of the kastane. While the 17th century date is in my opinion somewhat optimistic as we remain unclear on the earliest occurrence of the sinha hilt on the kastane, this coupled with the example from Karnataka, does seem to place these in Deccani context.

The diplomatic and general tribal ties between the Deccan and northern India (Afghan) regions are well established, and as seen with certain hilt features such as with the paluoar, the cross influences between these regions also seem understandable.

Is it possible that the sinha/lion head became vestigially stylized in the knob like pommel of these northern versions? We might tenuously observe that line defining the lower outline of the 'knob' being almost a jaw line! in considering such zoomorphic context.

Also found in Pant (1980, p.113, fig. 293) the tulwar hilt known as 'Marwari'. In Pant's 'system' of hilt classifications, this one is claimed to be similar overall to the 'Delhishahi' and 'Aurengzebi' forms except in the case of the knuckleguard.
In the Marwari hilt, there is a distinctly represented swans head which has a dramatic turn back form.
While Marwar was a highly commercial region in Rajasthan, it would seem that its commerce would be well known in northern areas of India (incl Afghan regions).
These Marwar hilts, in addition to the turn back swans neck, had the knuckleguard with split or cut in the center.

I would note the 'Afghan military sword' which has its distinctive split guard also with turn back of this style, and similar to that seen on these curious hilts of OP.
Hello Jim, indeed the hilt at #43 is interesting since it is Southern Indian from Tanjore. I am not sure we are looking at one form or several splinters of one form. It seems every court sword producer could and did make a variety of bling variants although in the Southern style there seems to be a constant in the way the knuckle guard joined the hilt...It does almost appear to be a zoomorphic, perhaps Yali form, or I thought possibly elephant apparently breathing out the knuckleguard and this is mirrored or at least similar in the way the Kastane is engineered.

I have identified several southern form weapons curiously similar in appearance to the shashqa and with the same join engineering knuckle guard to hilt...The trade proof is apparent across strata although one could be forgiven for making it up !! The Deccan was instrumental in the Poulouar form and coincidentally the Central Asian Bukharan exodus caused by the Russians in 1920 may have also pushed the Shashqa into Afghan areas thus fusing or influencing hilt style...Eastern style may also have entered Southern Indian design from the many trips by the Chinese to the region when Tipu Sultan was in power. Being awash with mercenaries from everywhere (including Central Asia) it need not be surprising that hybrids and variants sprang up in the Deccan.

Notwithstanding that confusion I am aware that two of the weapons although similar are called different names... The one is a bird head but the other is a pistol grip...therefor neither are technically Shashqa...because of the shape of the hilts and because they have knuckle guards. Could they both be court swords? This would possibly place them in the category ("Bling") Court Swords ...Southern India.
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Old 17th October 2016, 04:18 PM   #55
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Superb comparisons!
I think what is most interesting here is becoming aware of the distinct link between the Afghan northwest and the Deccan, which may well account for the connection in weapon forms and styling in many cases.

Kurnool in India, now the State of Anhdra Pradesh, is situated in central India in proximity with the key locations of Hyderabad, Mysore, Bijapur, Adoni which are prevalent in Indian history. Our awareness of the Deccan has been remarkably advanced in recent times through the tenacity of the study of Indian arms scholars who have been able to define many arms within that designation.

Kurnool was once ruled by the Vijayanagara kings and later Pathan with Mughal rule through Aurengazeb from 1686. The incursions and subsequent rule of Pathans and the Afghan character of Kurnool as a princely state in the Deccan is reflected in virtually all of its rulers titled 'Khan'. This is of course the Turkic title used in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

The conduit between this Deccani state and Afghan regions to the northwest was Rajasthan in a loose geopolitical chart which would note the Mughal rule combined with Afghan elements. This may well account for the long stated instances of arms from the siege of Adoni removed to Bikaner in Rajasthan (1689), as well as the fact that Tipu Sultan of Mysore spoke Urdu, a language from the northwest, and his father ruled Hyderabad .

These are some of the factors which we may consider as we examine the curious similarities of these sabres with knuckleguard, shashka profile hilts and tunkou with Deccani attributed examples.

I must admit my understanding of the complex connections and history of these regions is admittedly not the strongest, and I would beg for corrections and input in that regard. However, I felt it important to bring these to attention here in the thread for further review.
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Old 17th October 2016, 07:18 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi

.... the Central Asian Bukharan exodus caused by the Russians in 1920 may have also pushed the Shashqa into Afghan areas thus fusing or influencing hilt style... Court Swords ...Southern India.
Undoubtedly the influx of the so-called : "basmatch" fighters from Central Asia into Afghanistan brought with it a quantity of local weapons.

But even before that, and for centuries, the border between the two was symbolic only. The entire North Afghanistan was and still is populated by Uzbeks and Tajiks, entire families happily resided both here and there, and caravans crossed Pyandj back and forth as often than Greyhound buses between Michigan and Ohio:-)

The so-called "Afghani military pseudoshashkas" appeared well before Russian Civil War and the ensuing communist takeover of Central Asia, and the "Bukharan pseudoshashkas" even earlier.

The above examples are even older.

I am just trying to hammer in the idea that we are talking about a distinct pattern and not a hodge-podge of random features accidentally thrown together, and Ibrahiim's examples just increase the critical mass above which that conclusion will be inescapable.

Clearly, this sword pattern existed in the South, but the inspiration must have come from the North ( tunkou). I suspect we are seeing here actual examples from both locations, but just do not have enough information on how to separate their individual origins...

We will, eventually. We have witnessed enough examples of total mysteries that were eventually solved in a span of 2-3 days. Remember Baluch/Sindh sabers with a peculiar pommel and wire-wrapped langet? :-)))
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Old 18th October 2016, 01:48 AM   #57
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Well noted Ariel, and it seems pretty clear that swords of this type certainly date much farther back than these geopolitical events of the 20th century.
We have been discussing the weapons of Central Asia for so many years now, and your knowledge on these and the history of these regions has been quite nearly legion here, so your input is extremely important.

I think however, that the inclusion of numbers of weapons types and from various contexts with similar key features is helpful in investigating the many possibilities which present themselves in these conundrums. The examples Ibrahiim has been presenting give us good perspective as we consider many potential scenarios.
Not all discovery in such matters is entirely empirical, as was well expressed by Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi;
" ...discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen,
and thinking what nobody else has thought".

I know that many times over the years, I have been taken to task for many of my ideas and theories in similar queries in discussions, often seen as fanciful or 'fantasy'. However I believe in testing every possibility regardless, and have always welcomed supported rebuttal which would remove them as required from material compiled toward effective resolution in these queries.

Indeed, some of our 'mysteries' here have been solved in a few days, many took years, and you and I have been here through most all of them! I often marvel at how much has been accomplished here in learning on these arms, and it is exciting to keep going.

We indeed will conquer this one as well.
On another note, on the Baluch/Sindh sabres.....which were these ?
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Old 18th October 2016, 12:13 PM   #58
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In considering the Zoomorphic Elephant head and trunk forming the knuckleguard and how it is joined to the hilt ...I propose that the sword may be linked to those directly involved in the war elephant role... The sword is lightweight but effective perhaps as a secondary weapon thus it may be an Archers sword... or that of a pike-man seen on the elephants back... An Elephant Crew members sword !

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi; 18th October 2016 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 18th October 2016, 04:17 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Well noted Ariel, and it seems pretty clear that swords of this type certainly date much farther back than these geopolitical events of the 20th century.
We have been discussing the weapons of Central Asia for so many years now, and your knowledge on these and the history of these regions has been quite nearly legion here, so your input is extremely important.

I think however, that the inclusion of numbers of weapons types and from various contexts with similar key features is helpful in investigating the many possibilities which present themselves in these conundrums. The examples Ibrahiim has been presenting give us good perspective as we consider many potential scenarios.
Not all discovery in such matters is entirely empirical, as was well expressed by Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi;
" ...discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen,
and thinking what nobody else has thought".

I know that many times over the years, I have been taken to task for many of my ideas and theories in similar queries in discussions, often seen as fanciful or 'fantasy'. However I believe in testing every possibility regardless, and have always welcomed supported rebuttal which would remove them as required from material compiled toward effective resolution in these queries.

Indeed, some of our 'mysteries' here have been solved in a few days, many took years, and you and I have been here through most all of them! I often marvel at how much has been accomplished here in learning on these arms, and it is exciting to keep going.

We indeed will conquer this one as well.
On another note, on the Baluch/Sindh sabres.....which were these ?
Hello Jim, Sindh Hyderabad ... I was just looking for the same detail ....Please see http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=21555
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Old 18th October 2016, 06:10 PM   #60
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Thank you Ibrahiim for that link! Now I recall these interesting sabres which were in my view after rereading the posts and evidence, clearly from the Baluch-Sind regions and probably Hyderabad. It has always been confusing that there is a Hyderabad in these northern (now Pakistan) regions.....as well as the notable part of the Deccan further south.
Many references denote 'Hyderabad' without specifying which is meant.

For me a most telling feature in these Baluch-Sind sabres is the ring or loop in the pommel. As noted in the discussion, these are as far as known, not an affectation on Arab swords. Interesting comparison was pointing out the groups of rings present on Omani khanjhar scabbards,

Returning to the original topic, again it is most interesting to see the wider spectrum of these type sabres, which seem to have been prevalent quite extensively in the south, that is Deccan. However, there appear to be some compelling similarities in hilts further south, which have features, , many zoomorphic, even as far as those featured on the familiar kastane.

Zoomorphics in ethnographic weapons are of course often highly stylized, and debate on what particular creature is represented are often the case with western perceptions.

Regarding the elephant as such a feature intended in these hilts is as far as I can imagine, not likely. Primarily the elephant is represented zoomorphically only in the regions of Gujerat and Bhuj in notable degree. I believe that representation had to do more with regal or dynastic leitmotif with the elephant in rather exalted standing.
Zoomorphic features were not intended as insignia denoting weapons to certain groups of military or other functions in any notable instance I am aware of.
While the 'gooseneck' feature did represent the swan in cases where the head was represented fully, and the serpentine Makara or dragon head as well.....the elephant trunk I don't believe was a part of such motif.
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