Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Adya Katti for comment (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=27008)

kahnjar1 28th May 2021 04:00 AM

Adya Katti for comment
 
4 Attachment(s)
A nice Adya Katti from the Coorg/Malabar Coast region of India.
Comments welcome.
Stu

Jim McDougall 7th June 2021 12:28 AM

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.

kahnjar1 7th June 2021 01:34 AM

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

Ian 7th June 2021 03:24 AM

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.

Regards,

Ian.

Jim McDougall 7th June 2021 04:53 AM

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.

kahnjar1 7th June 2021 05:43 AM

2 Attachment(s)
A couple of attachments.....The Coorg Flag and a Coorg Warrior.

Jim McDougall 7th June 2021 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kahnjar1 (Post 263282)
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.

Ian 7th June 2021 06:22 AM

Here's another chopper from the same general area with a plain wooden handle.


http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...97&postcount=1

kahnjar1 7th June 2021 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall (Post 263283)
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

Jim McDougall 7th June 2021 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kahnjar1 (Post 263291)
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.

BANDOOK 20th August 2021 01:32 PM

One of the few in my collection
 
5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall (Post 263297)
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.

Hi Stu
here is an unusual Adya Katti from my collection with a serrated blade
regards
Rajesh

Bob A 20th August 2021 05:53 PM

I must have missed the original post, apologies.

I'd been given to understand that the ayda katti was rare, but I've seen a half-dozen for sale over the last several years. Most of those had more ornate hilts than the one posted above. So I'd agree with "uncommon, rather than rare." I don't know if the fancier examples were preserved because of their design elements over the plainer ones, or if they are seen more often because the marketplace fancies them.

What actually is rare is the belt attachment which permits hands-free carry. I've only seen one come onto the market, and one picture from a museum.

SidJ 27th August 2021 11:58 AM

One of my favourite edged weapons. I'd be interested in any that may be available for sale.
Thanks
Sid

Kubur 9th September 2021 10:16 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi guys,
I missed this one.
You have nice Adya Katti!
Here is mine but I think that I have a Moplah.
Very heavy and sharp, aouch!
:)


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