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Old 28th May 2021, 04:00 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default Adya Katti for comment

A nice Adya Katti from the Coorg/Malabar Coast region of India.
Comments welcome.
Stu
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Old 7th June 2021, 12:28 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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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.
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Old 7th June 2021, 01:34 AM   #3
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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
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Old 7th June 2021, 03:24 AM   #4
Ian
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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.

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Ian.
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Old 7th June 2021, 04:53 AM   #5
Jim McDougall
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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.
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Old 7th June 2021, 05:43 AM   #6
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A couple of attachments.....The Coorg Flag and a Coorg Warrior.
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