Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
This is indeed a most interesting topic brought up by Jens, the terminology applied to these weapons, and how semantics and transliteration have undoubtedly confounded the proper terms for many of them. I think the idea of variation in terms used for katars with curved blades as opposed to those with the typical straight blades seems quite plausible.
I think the term 'katara' has a much more general application, though even that idea is vaguely applied. In regions of what is now Nuristan, the Kalash carry a dagger with hilt similar to the khanjhar (#6) shown here, without the closed knuckleguard, and these are termed locally 'katara'.
I have always considered interesting that the Persian 'quaddara' and the Omani 'kattara' seem to have thier terms so closely associated to the term for these daggers.
The term katar it would seem, and I emphasize I am no linguist, possibly to be diminutive of the kattara term?
Then there is the much discussed application of the term jhamdhar or jemadhar as argued by Pant to be the correct term for the 'katar'. He claims that the term became misapplied inadvertantly by Egerton in his work.
I always find discussions on the katar fascinating as it is truly one of the anomolies of ethnographic edged weapons, not only in its origins and development, but as shown here, even the term it is called by.
I do hope others will share thier observations as well.
All best regards,