Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Indian Katar ,tourist maybe ? (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=25467)

chiefheadknocker 8th December 2019 10:16 AM

Indian Katar ,tourist maybe ?
 
4 Attachment(s)
This is the first katar ive bought , i dont know anything about them , it looks like it has some age, but could it be a tourist piece ,the scabbard is quite fancy which makes me think it could be made for the tourist market , quite large at 43 cm, though its narrow at 6.5 cm

Henk 8th December 2019 02:43 PM

I think you bought yourself a very nice katar. Congrats on this one.
I don't think this is for the tourist market. If you would etch it i wouldn't be surprised it shows wootz.
Lets wait what the more knowledgeable members will say about this, in my eyes, beauty.

mahratt 8th December 2019 03:09 PM

Good katar. My congratulations.
It's just that katars of this form are quite common.

Jens Nordlunde 8th December 2019 03:34 PM

If it is a tourist katar, then it is an old tourist katar, and it could, maybe, be from Bundi.
You write that it is 43 cm, but how long is the blade?
A width between the side guards of 6.5 cm is narrow, but not unusual.
Please show what the side guards look like, and at the same time give us a close up of the hilt base and the cross bars. Two animals are shown at the hilt base, what are they? They could be fish, but are they?

Kubur 8th December 2019 03:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mahratt
Good katar. My congratulations.
It's just that katars of this form are quite common.

I agree but the scabbard is very nice and if it's a tourist piece i will buy it!
;)

chiefheadknocker 8th December 2019 05:13 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
If it is a tourist katar, then it is an old tourist katar, and it could, maybe, be from Bundi.
You write that it is 43 cm, but how long is the blade?
A width between the side guards of 6.5 cm is narrow, but not unusual.
Please show what the side guards look like, and at the same time give us a close up of the hilt base and the cross bars. Two animals are shown at the hilt base, what are they? They could be fish, but are they?

Thanks for your reply ,the blade is 25 cm long ,im not sure what animals on the hilt , remind me of wild boar ? ive attached a couple more pics

ariel 8th December 2019 05:29 PM

Per Elgood, katars in the 19th century were made in quantities, but for tourist/ souvenir purposes only. The era of face-to-face battles was over......
Everybody got a proverbial Maxim gun.

mahratt 8th December 2019 05:39 PM

chiefheadknocker, I think no one can say for sure whether your katar was made before 1857 (then it could be used for battle), or it was made in the late 19th century as an item for tourists.

Kubur 8th December 2019 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mahratt
chiefheadknocker, I think no one can say for sure whether your katar was made before 1857 (then it could be used for battle), or it was made in the late 19th century as an item for tourists.

Not only that
but if you remove all the weapons not used in battle, and classify them in tourist items then you will have to remove 70% if not more of the weapons from ethno forum...

ariel 8th December 2019 10:11 PM

Kubur,
You are partially correct: the role of bladed weapons shrank markedly with the introduction of firearms.
But short-bladed weapons suffered the biggest blow. Swords/ sabers were still used on the battlefield for a long while, although more and more as rank weapons. But Cossack cavalry units were still active as recently as WW2.

Military tactics shifted from close quarter melee to artillery bombardment. Perhaps, the only regulation short-bladed weapon left in international arsenals were bayonets. Of the ethnic “knives” the only truly survived one that comes to mind is Kukri. The more primitive societies kept them longer, the ones striving to modernity got rid of them earlier. Thus, to put a defined date of the “Judgement Day” for short-bladed weapons ( 1857? 1865? etc)is naive to put it mildly, but 19- early 20 century is a a good approximation if we speak of the world-wide military history.

Katar was a quintessential melee weapon, and in Greater India it likely went the way of Dodo together with bichwa, khanjarli and Bagh-nakh. All of them continued their existence as exotic souvenirs often marked and sold as antiques.

And you are likely correct: by the end of the 19 century more than 90% of the weapons we are discussing here ceased to exist as battlefield implements. They were so rare and unneeded for regular use, that the most widely used “weapon” during WWI trench melees was... a shovel.

mahratt 9th December 2019 04:03 AM

I am surprised that some forum participants are not aware of the events that took place in India in 1857 - 1859. Those events after which the colonial authorities in India began to prohibit the carrying and storage of weapons by Hindus. So the years 1857-1859 in India can be considered the conditional border of the termination of the use of edged weapons by the local population.

ariel 9th December 2019 02:41 PM

I am absolutely certain that every participant on this Forum is very well aware of the Sepoy Rebellion, aka Great Mutiny, or India’s First War of Independence:-)


But it had nothing to do with the demise of Katar as a weapon. On the contrary, if anything, the post-war British-inspired revitalization of local production of the old-style weapons by the workshops in the princely states delayed its disappearance. The author of the previous comment is well advised to consult books on the Marlborough House and Sandringham collections. A great number of weapons gifted by the Rajahs to the Prince of Wales in 1875-6 were newly made. Also, textual parts of Elgood’s books on Jaipur and Jodhpur Arsenals may be extremely informative. I would strongly advise careful reading of those sources before making rash and naive statements that on top of everything else have no relation to the topic of this discussion.

Bladed weapons, like most other traditions, do not appear or disappear overnight or as a result of a single incident; it is always a gradual but inexorable process. The book by Kirill Rivkin on the evolution of saber analyzes it in great detail and needs to be studied carefully.

Jens Nordlunde 9th December 2019 04:39 PM

Thank you for showing the details.
If it is from Bundi, two fish at the hilt base would make sence, as they, the former rulers of Delhi, were Hindu's, belonging to the Hara subclan of the Chauhans.


Thank you Ariel for 'pushing' the discussion back on trail:-).

Kubur 9th December 2019 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde

Thank you Ariel for 'pushing' the discussion back on trail:-).

Well actually it was Ariel who put it off road with some general comments on touristic katar...
;)

I don't think it's fair to compare Elgood with his amazing books full of details, notes and well grounded litterature and Rivkin 's last book grounded partially on opinions a bit like on this forum... It's not the same league and not the same topic...

mahratt 9th December 2019 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ariel
But it had nothing to do with the demise of Katar as a weapon. On the contrary, if anything, the post-war British-inspired revitalization of local production of the old-style weapons by the workshops in the princely states delayed its disappearance. The author of the previous comment is well advised to consult books on the Marlborough House and Sandringham collections. A great number of weapons gifted by the Rajahs to the Prince of Wales in 1875-6 were newly made. Also, textual parts of Elgood’s books on Jaipur and Jodhpur Arsenals may be extremely informative. I would strongly advise careful reading of those sources before making rash and naive statements that on top of everything else have no relation to the topic of this discussion.

I wonder how the weapons made for the Prince of Wales and other "collectors" are associated with the use of katar in real battles?))) Nobody argues with what the kathars did for Europeans and Maharajas after the sepoy rebellion) But maybe you know the fact that the prince of Wales or someone from the Maharajas in the late 19th century fought using katar? ;) Unfortunately, this fact is not known to me. But you, as the forum patriarch, undoubtedly know better than me. So I held my breath and got ready to listen to you)

mahratt 9th December 2019 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kubur
I don't think it's fair to compare Elgood with his amazing books full of details, notes and well grounded litterature and Rivkin 's last book grounded partially on opinions a bit like on this forum... It's not the same league and not the same topic...

In the Russian language there is an expression "hand washes a hand" (from the Latin expression "Manus manum lavat"). Its meaning is that friends will always praise each other ;)

ariel 9th December 2019 08:21 PM

I do not wish to engage in this type of discussion.
If anybody here wants to open a separate topic addressing pros and cons of various books on the subject, I shall be happy to add my 2 cents worth.

Provided, of course, that I had been able to read and comprehend them in their entirety.

Kubur 10th December 2019 02:55 AM

Please don't be mistaken
I'm following your posts, Ariel, and i like or agree with some of them.
BUT Rivkin, with all my respect, has nothing to do with this katar.
I think it's an on-going discussion between Maratt and you.
As the Indian weapon forum guru Jens said let's come back to the topic.
:D

ALEX 10th December 2019 08:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kubur
Please don't be mistaken
I'm following your posts, Ariel, and i like or agree with some of them.
BUT Rivkin, with all my respect, has nothing to do with this katar.
I think it's an on-going discussion between Maratt and you.
As the Indian weapon forum guru Jens said let's come back to the topic.
:D

I disagree with your earlier comparison between R. Elgood and K. Rivkin as well as the above comment. Both authors are experienced researchers in their field of study, and present valuable material and analysis. What Ariel mentioned about Mr. Rivkin's book was not about a particular weapon, but about analysis of evolution/development of a weapon in general. K. Rivkin's book follows that approach, as should anyone studying and/or researching.
Are we on the same topic:)

ariel 14th December 2019 02:32 PM

Precisely!
To fully understand and, more importantly, to critique Rivkin’s books one needs to be able to have fluent command of English to actually read and comprehend them from cover to cover instead of looking at the pictures. I am sure Kubur has it, but some other persons finding faults with them do not. And this is a pity and a shame.

David R 14th December 2019 05:47 PM

As I understand it, Katar daggers were more of a civil weapon than a battlefield weapon, as in fact most daggers are. When swords and spears are on the field a dagger is a last resort used in desperation, or to give a coup de grace to the fallen.

I have also read of them being used in some parts of India to shed blood when making a binding contract.....

In this case I think the posted weapon is a decent example of the real thing, tourist stuff tends to be cheap and flashy

There are actually a fair few of them posted on this site.

Jim McDougall 15th December 2019 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ALEX
I disagree with your earlier comparison between R. Elgood and K. Rivkin as well as the above comment. Both authors are experienced researchers in their field of study, and present valuable material and analysis. What Ariel mentioned about Mr. Rivkin's book was not about a particular weapon, but about analysis of evolution/development of a weapon in general. K. Rivkin's book follows that approach, as should anyone studying and/or researching.
Are we on the same topic:)


Brilliantly said Alex :)

Jim McDougall 15th December 2019 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David R
As I understand it, Katar daggers were more of a civil weapon than a battlefield weapon, as in fact most daggers are. When swords and spears are on the field a dagger is a last resort used in desperation, or to give a coup de grace to the fallen.

I have also read of them being used in some parts of India to shed blood when making a binding contract.....

In this case I think the posted weapon is a decent example of the real thing, tourist stuff tends to be cheap and flashy

There are actually a fair few of them posted on this site.


I agree. The katar was it seems far more a courtly weapon than one used in battle. Of course, representations of these kinds of events in art often depict katars present because the images typically focus on key individuals of the period, usually rulers or nobility.

Daggers in general carry a utilitarian premise, but like katars, often are seen present in battle scene images. The coup de grace notion is I think mostly a chivalrous and romanticized image, much as the left hand dagger especially the 'sword breaker' was in degree a romantic depiction rather than actual usage. The actual events were typically far less dynamic than artists and writers characteristically portrayed them.

Very good note on the katar being a symbolic device in certain instances in western India, I believe the Kattees of Gujerat, who saw the weapon as an image of honor, and sealed binding agreement on oaths set on them.
It was Jens' research that found this (in Egerton) as he found coins depicting katars as sort of symbols of state, as well as on blades in the same manner.

The reference to the katar as a battle weapon, or its demise is it seems to me rather moot, as it has been well noted in its courtly capacity as well as being a traditional weapon. Much as the sword, even after its effective obsolescence, these weapons carried forward as traditional and symbolic icons faithfully as representations culturally recognized.

One thing I would note here on edged weapons in general, while in many cultures as inert traditional symbols and accoutrements, in many places they remained in use into more recent times. In some cases, they of course are still used as weapons in one degree or another.

It would be too far off topic to carry that into detail here, but in return to the katar in discussion, it appears a genuine piece of early 19th c. if not somewhat earlier and of course with a replacement scabbard (very nicely done some time ago) as is typically the case with most ethnographic edged weapons of age.

The 'tourist' appellation is in my view typically overused and misplaced . In many cultures traditional weapons remained in use for wear in many events and purposes into recent and even modern times. The case of 'souvenir' items is more properly regarded as items made outside the traditional parameters and often almost fanciful in character, as noted .

chiefheadknocker 15th December 2019 06:18 PM

Thanks for all your replies, its been interesting reading your information :) brilliant


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