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Old 28th October 2021, 09:31 PM   #1
drac2k
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Default Another Naga Dao/Axe

I just added another Naga Dao to my collection( I don't have any of the unusual shaped blades). This one is longer than my others, measuring 33" long, with a blade that measures 3.5" wide & 9.5" long.
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Old 29th October 2021, 02:30 AM   #2
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Here is mine. Rattan is in excellent shape, and might be relatively new.
But the blade is interesting: first time I see damascus structure.
Any thoughts?
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Old 29th October 2021, 02:39 AM   #3
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Did you find that in a thrift store in Santa Barbara? I might have seen it. Not my area of interest, but a very fine find.
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Old 29th October 2021, 04:19 AM   #4
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Got it from e-bay about 30 years ago, the seller was from Indiana.
Never seen damascus Dao before or after that.
Not my area of interest either:-)
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Old 30th October 2021, 02:25 PM   #5
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I have read that from the later 19thC on a lot of the blades were forged from a stolen Tea Plantation spade split down the middle to make two blades. Done because the steel was a lot better quality than they could make themselves, and this is why the blade shape is as it is. Still used in the traditional manner by the local tribesmen though.

If this is the actual case, then the odder shapes and laminated blades will be the earlier, from before the introduction of tea planting in the area.... and a real prize.
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Old 30th October 2021, 03:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel View Post
Here is mine. Rattan is in excellent shape, and might be relatively new.
But the blade is interesting: first time I see damascus structure.
Any thoughts?
Hello Ariel,

What you have is a Kachin dao and not a Naga dao. It seems that Naga used them but they are still Kachin.
The lamination is in most cases a hairpin lamination but I think to remember to have seen them with other laminations.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 31st October 2021, 03:30 AM   #7
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Good to know about the laminations being on older blades; even though you can not tell by the pictures, mine does.
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Old 1st November 2021, 10:39 PM   #8
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You might be right. But the blade on mine had been cleaned ( see area bu the handle). Your handle does show age, and mine does not. But as I said, the handle on mine ( especially the rattan) looks new-ish: organic parts tend to rot and be replaced.

I have read the same info about the source of blades as mentioned by David ( was it in Rawson?). I have never thought about the laminations being used for dating, but it sounds interesting and intriguing.
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Old 2nd November 2021, 04:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
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... I have read the same info about the source of blades as mentioned by David ( was it in Rawson?). ...
Yes, that was from Rawson. He showed an example in his book. I think Rawson attributes the steel to stolen hoe blades. British tea plantations in Assam and neighboring areas began in the 18th C. These areas are generally considered "iron-poor" so a lot of recycling of old iron/steel occurred, and many weapons were imported from neighboring and distant tribal groups, including the Burmese, Shan, Kachin/Lisu and Achang.
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Old 2nd November 2021, 03:08 PM   #10
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Any comments on my Dao? I feel that my post has been visited by a cuckoo bird, LOL.
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Old 2nd November 2021, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
Any comments on my Dao? I feel that my post has been visited by a cuckoo bird, LOL.
Most comments have been about your Dao with side references to Dao in general. Truly there is not that much that can be said about about a generic example of a generic weapon.
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Old 2nd November 2021, 03:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
Any comments on my Dao? I feel that my post has been visited by a cuckoo bird, LOL.
Its a nice dao, I particularly like the red-dyed rattan and goat hair. These Naga/Assam daos come in different varieties and yours is a good example of its type.
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Old 2nd November 2021, 03:55 PM   #13
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Thanks, Colin. There seems to be a significant variation in the length of the handles on these; is there any particular reason for this?
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Old 2nd November 2021, 06:20 PM   #14
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Thanks, Colin. There seems to be a significant variation in the length of the handles on these; is there any particular reason for this?
Presumably, if the blade length was shorter (maybe due to iron availability), a longer handle would be required to get a better swing at the target...

It could also be just a matter of style tradition within that particular tribal group; it should be remembered that tribal peoples in the historic period were often very conservative regarding their material culture.
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Old 24th November 2021, 07:10 PM   #15
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Default And Another One.

It seems that things tend to come in bunches; here is another Naga Dao that recently became available to me. It is different from the previous one listed in that it has a ridge across the blade on one side; maybe vestiges of a repurposed tool.
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Old 24th November 2021, 07:16 PM   #16
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OOOPS, please disregard the top 2 pictures as they go to another post. Our Posting Department Head would be severely disciplined, however since she has threatened to quit on numerous occasions, I better let this one go!
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Old 24th November 2021, 09:40 PM   #17
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OOOPS, please disregard the top 2 pictures as they go to another post.
You can edit the post within 24h and remove specific attachments.
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