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CharlesS 29th November 2021 04:34 PM

Hoping For Some Help Identifying the Origins of this SE Asian Highlands Weapon
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I hesitate to use the word 'dha' or 'daab' here, but I am hoping someone can help me with identifying the origins of this most unusual, but very efficient, weapon that I believe is from the highlands of mainland SE Asia. Note the unique rattan bands between the white metal bands and the corded grip with its wire stitching.

The total length is 40.5in., with a blade of 14.5in.

Ian 30th November 2021 01:27 AM

Hi Charles:

This is an unusual item. It's more in the nature of a short pole arm/axe than a sword. Some of the materials look familiar. The short "hilt" is wrapped with cord in a manner that I have seen on old central and northern Thai swords, and more recently on swords from southern Yunnan, including those of the Lisu, as well as montagnard pieces. I have a very elegant early Rattanakosin daab with similar knotted cord work. The bands of white metal (silver?, copper alloy/brass?, tin?) along the shaft are non-specific and don't help me place this piece. The small disk guard is consistent with Thai, Lao, Cambodian, and Montagnard work, as well as southern Yunnan. The blade is clearly laminated, appears to be old, and again of a non-specific shape that is found widely in mainland SE Asia.

It is possible that this is a farm implement or tool converted to an ornate weapon. I am reminded of the Thai meed-prah, which is an everyday tool with a longish pole that is used mainly to clear vegetation and brush, but is also found "dressed up" as a weapon. There are several blade styles for meed-prah. PUFF made reference to these here.

I'm afraid I cannot be more specific. Hopefully, others will be able to recognize it.


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