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Old 6th June 2022, 03:23 PM   #1
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Default Elephant Goad, Ankus?

This is what I believe to be an Indian Elephant Goad, even though I guess it could be Indonesian; maybe the crocodile is a hint to its origin.
It looks like something may have broken off the front at some time?
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Old 6th June 2022, 07:57 PM   #2
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Makara?
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Old 7th June 2022, 12:32 AM   #3
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Interesting theory; I had to look the name "Makara," up to understand your reference.
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Old 7th June 2022, 12:56 AM   #4
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Indian ones usually have a steel haft with a spike that is scrwed inside. Also elephant motif.---bbjw
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Old 7th June 2022, 09:00 AM   #5
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I think interested party is spot on. It must be some form of trishula used in religious festivals, shame it is broken.
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Old 7th June 2022, 03:14 PM   #6
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I'm not sure about the trishula reference; isn't that a 3 pronged trident?
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Old 7th June 2022, 03:52 PM   #7
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Some form of.
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Old 7th June 2022, 05:25 PM   #8
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I'm not sure about the trishula reference; isn't that a 3 pronged trident?
and the 3 tines pointing up?
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Old 13th June 2022, 12:55 PM   #9
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Ankus for sure. I don't see anything Indian, but there are some Buddhist art features of Southeast Asia.
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Old 13th June 2022, 03:08 PM   #10
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Could it be a pangolin?
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Old 13th June 2022, 03:56 PM   #11
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Could it be a pangolin?
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Anything, I think. This is a late item. All semantic connections are already lost.
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Old 13th June 2022, 06:27 PM   #12
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Just does not look strong enough.
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Old 13th June 2022, 06:35 PM   #13
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Just does not look strong enough.
Let's talk more boldly - it looks somewhat souvenir. Too flimsy for an item to be used to control an elephant.
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Old 14th June 2022, 04:18 AM   #14
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It may be a souvenir item, probably 19th century, but flimsy it is not. It looks as if this has been repaired & reinforced afterward, indicating that this was a working item.
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Old 14th June 2022, 01:20 PM   #15
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It may be a souvenir item, probably 19th century, but flimsy it is not. It looks as if this has been repaired & reinforced afterward, indicating that this was a working item.
Hello. Do you know the principle of using the ankus? The hook must be sharp so that the elephant feels through the thick skin the pricks that the mahout (the person who controls the elephant) inflicts.
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Old 14th June 2022, 02:25 PM   #16
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Could it be a pangolin?
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Pangolin....I always forget about them. Yes I believe it could be that.
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Old 14th June 2022, 02:39 PM   #17
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Hello back. Yes, I am aware of how the goad is used; if you look closely you can see that the tip has been broken(probably from misuse). As I am sure that you are also aware, often the Elephant and the rider have a bond, and a mere nudge or prod from the ankus is enough to direct the animal, much as spurs to a horse.
I also acknowledge that my goad(if that is what it is), may have been ceremonial and not for everyday use.
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Old 14th June 2022, 02:46 PM   #18
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Pangolin....I always forget about them. Yes I believe it could be that.
Guys, I am curious, I have never heard of a weapon/implement called a pangolin. As far as I have known this term applies to an animal known as a scaly anteater.

These are from sub Saharan Africa and while I believe their scaled hides are used as armor in certain native cultures, I have not heard of a weapon by this name.
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Old 14th June 2022, 02:49 PM   #19
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The pangolin attribution is a good one, however, for me, the bulbous nose doesn't quite fit the animal's profile which has a more tapered nose. Let me clarify; the bulbous nose of my creature as opposed to that of the pangolin.

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Old 15th June 2022, 12:11 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Guys, I am curious, I have never heard of a weapon/implement called a pangolin. As far as I have known this term applies to an animal known as a scaly anteater.

These are from sub Saharan Africa and while I believe their scaled hides are used as armor in certain native cultures, I have not heard of a weapon by this name.
They're talking about the decorated curly bit on the goad in the shape of one of those.
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Old 15th June 2022, 06:30 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Guys, I am curious, I have never heard of a weapon/implement called a pangolin. As far as I have known this term applies to an animal known as a scaly anteater.

These are from sub Saharan Africa and while I believe their scaled hides are used as armor in certain native cultures, I have not heard of a weapon by this name.
Hello Jim.
One of the pangolin species lives in India - Manis crassicaudata. In India, armor was sometimes made from its horny scales.

But I have a question for everyone discussing the possible image of a pangolin on an Ankus. First, let's try to remember if the pangolin was a sacred animal in India? And are any of his artistic images or images in sculptural compositions known?
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Old 15th June 2022, 01:13 PM   #22
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Hello Jim.
One of the pangolin species lives in India - Manis crassicaudata. In India, armor was sometimes made from its horny scales.

But I have a question for everyone discussing the possible image of a pangolin on an Ankus. First, let's try to remember if the pangolin was a sacred animal in India? And are any of his artistic images or images in sculptural compositions known?
Thank you Dima. I had no idea they were there as well, and it makes sense that their scales would make good armor.
I apparently misunderstood the earlier part of the discussion as pertains to the image depicted in the decoration rather than the entire weapon.

Well noted on the animal depicted, and it makes sense that there would be a deity type orientation or sacred significance in order to be featured in the motif. There has always been a bit of confusion it seems about the makara and yali as mythical creatures in the Indian pantheon, when and where they were used, and exactly what kind of creatures they were. I believe that they are in effect a combination of forms including crocodile etc.

I had not thought of the pangolin as sacred in a theological sense despite its hide and scales being important in making armor.
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Old 15th June 2022, 01:47 PM   #23
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Comp acts again:-(

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Old 15th June 2022, 01:55 PM   #24
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The form and the proportions of that gizmo are those of a garden variety ankus. Nothing else.
Any discussions of a pangolin , whether it was or is a sacred animal in India miss the point. Nobody rides a pangolin.
Similarly, the question whether it is big enough to inflict some pain to an elephant is mistaken: trained elephant responds to the slightest cues from the mahout and pain is carefully avoided, otherwise it will only provoke the creature. In Thailand we had elephant ride near Chiang Mai, I spoke with the mahout and he showed me how he guided the creature with very slight touches. The spear at the end is for killing the elephant if it goes berserk for some reason: a stab just below ( or more precisely, caudally) the skull transsects the spinal cord and causes immediate paralysis. My mahout knew it theoretically, but he never heard of such occurences.

The size of this ankus in question may ( not will !) provide some ideas about the origin. African elephant is the biggest , at ~10 feet tall at the shoulders, Asian ( Indian), ~9 feet tall, Borneo ~8 feet , and the smallest Sumatran one between 7-8 feet tall. There used to be pygmy elephants on smaller islans ( Malta, Crete etc.) and the most recent one on Flores island (<6 feet, and Flores humans <5 feet tall) but they are all extinct. This is a very well known to any educated biologist phenomenon of “island dwarfism” due to restricted habitat and limited food resources.

One can scour the internet and check sizes of ankuses in India and compare them with the current one : if the latter is obviously smaller , one can have a point for its Indonesian origin. I am not very optimistic about this approach: the size of the ankus likely depends more on the size of the mahout:-), but this ankus is so simple and village-made, that there are no ethnic cues as to its origin.
Just an ankus, recent or contemporary
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Old 15th June 2022, 07:21 PM   #25
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Just for my own edification what do consider recent vintage;5 years, 50 years,100 years old? Also, how did you determine that it is contemporary; have you seen other similar examples around?
The wear, repairs, and pitting would indicate some age to me. The workmanship as well; an example is that the legs are pinned on and not simply brazed, which would have been much easier.
Is it a stunning work of art, no, however it was probably produced by a small village blacksmith, who certainly had a degree of skill.
As an afterthought, it is 18" tall & 5 " at its widest.
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Old 15th June 2022, 10:45 PM   #26
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We all want our thingies to be really old and at the same time in a good shape.:-)
I do not know and, AFAIK, nobody can guess the age of this ankus.
They were used 500 years ago and continue to be used as we speak..
They are not involved in heavy jobs, just casual irritation of elephantís hide, so they can stay in an almost pristine shape almost indefinitely. They are almost indestructible. In a hot and humid surrounding they may just get patinated.
Thatís my limit of guessing.
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Old 16th June 2022, 08:57 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Well noted on the animal depicted, and it makes sense that there would be a deity type orientation or sacred significance in order to be featured in the motif. There has always been a bit of confusion it seems about the makara and yali as mythical creatures in the Indian pantheon, when and where they were used, and exactly what kind of creatures they were. I believe that they are in effect a combination of forms including crocodile etc.

I had not thought of the pangolin as sacred in a theological sense despite its hide and scales being important in making armor.
Jim this thread talks about Indonesian pangolin beliefs culminating at post #12.http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...light=pangolin
Whether this animal is a makara, a pangolin, or a crocodile is debatable and maybe it was left ambiguous by the artist.
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