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The Gods Must Be Crazy

Discussion in 'Sword Discussion' started by horseclover, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    A Festivus for the rest of us caused an adoption of a decorative oversized Burmese dha. Having spent some due diligence in reading, these work out to be not unlike a dreamcatcher, or medicine wheel. The blade overlays are not koftgari but rather a method unique to southeast Asian technique. These more common themed examples have less care to the margins. i don't know yet whether this one is plated or other alloy sheet but it is a big one. Such the deal, I thought.
    43175606_1895245180524469_8854695733543043072_n.jpg p46768_95467_1538495587.jpg p46768_95468_1538495596.jpg p46768_95469_1538495596.jpg p46768_95470_1538495597.jpg p46768_95471_1538495597.jpg p46768_95472_1538495597.jpg p46768_95473_1538495598.jpg p46768_95474_1538495598.jpg p46768_95475_1538495606.jpg

    A sibling. The butterflies apparently capturing nats or something along that line. I've not got all the mythology down yet.

    In some further reading https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/533927.pdf
    Nat Worship among the Burmese.
    The Burmese have a curious idea of what we call the soul. Una-
    ble to understand the rather abstract and complicated system of the
    elevation of the mind on the Path of Truth, as taught by the Bud-
    dhist philosophers, they have given a form to the immortal part of
    our being, and they call it Leip-bya, the exact translation of which
    is butterfly-spirit. They say that when a man is asleep his Leip-bya
    is wandering around, sometimes very far from his body, and that it
    returns when he wakes again. Thus dreams are explained by the
    various good or bad encounters made by the Leip-bya when it is
    wandering about. When a man falls really sick, the Burmese pre-
    tend that his Leip-bya has been swallowed or captured by a bad
    Nat, and if the medicines of the doctor (ze'thama) are of no avail, the
    ceremony of the Leip-bya ko takes place immediately. Offerings of
    the most tempting sort are laid down by the family of the stricken
    man at the shrine of the Nat of the village. He is humbly re-
    quested in long prayers to consent to eat the good fruits, the excel-
    lent fish, the sweet honey, provided humbly for him, and in exchange
    to let the Leip-bya of the sick man alone. If he accepts the bargain
    the man is cured, and his Leip-bya returns to his body; if he dies it
    is because the Nat has swallowed honey, fruits, offerings, Leip-bya,
    and all; and he is freely cursed by the family, until another case of
    grave sickness arises, when another ceremony of Leip-bya ko takes
    place in the same manner.
    The Burmese believe that it is extremely dangerous to awaken
    anybody suddenly, for fear his Leip-bya may have no time to return,
    in which case death is sure to follow immediately. A foreign tourist
    could never prevail, unless with extreme difficulty, on a Burmese to
    awaken him in the morning from his slumber, by the fear that his
    Leip-bya might be wandering too far from his body, and have no time
    to regain its quarters if he were suddenly awakened. I tried myself,
    on many occasions, to break that strange prejudice among my own
    servants; but I saw them so half-hearted and low-spirited in obeying
    my orders that I gave up my efforts, fearing that if I felt sick the
    poor fellows would believe really my Leip-bya gone for good. I
    simply bought, in a Mandalay bazaar, an unprejudiced alarm-clock,
    to awaken me in time when I had to start early in the morning.
    The priests say vainly that the belief in the Nats incapacitates a
    man for obtaining the Niebban.1 Their advice is useless. Nothing
    is more remarkable than the tenacity which characterizes the sur-
    vival of these doctrines and strange beliefs of old. At the brightest
    hours of Buddhism, even at the epochs of its most fervent revivals,
    the Nat-worship is never entirely eradicated, but simply sleeping.

    When a grave, contagious disease appears in a city or a village, the
    figure of a beloo, or evil monster, is roughly painted on a water-pot,
    and at the end of the day the pot is broken in pieces by the stroke
    of a dah, or native sword.

    This thing is huge in proportion and weighted far beyond useful parameters. I'll have to get some in house pictures of it up with some comparisons but I'm glad I had no misconceptions when I scarfed it up. The grip, at its widest diameter about three inches and the overall length in the scabbard 48" This thing would need an entire community to lug around. It is more the girth of the grip making it ridiculous to consider a weapon but I had no illusions that it was made for war, or general use.

    The scabbard is covered in plated brass sheet in six main segments. Each with a butterfly on each side, for a dozen of them all told. The hilt, I just don't know but extremely heavy. If that is sheet on wood, it must be some really dense stuff. I'll have to do some trepanning or something to find out. The blade's spine close to 3/8" thick at the guard, not tapering a great deal. I'll check out hardness a bit and the edge is actually more than butter knife sharp, in a good convex grind.

    I'm not sure where my head was but my eclectic and rational thoughts, while seeming in conflict, tugged with the reality that sold prices for these are generally much more than it was priced at.


    There were a couple of "The Gods Must Be Crazy" movies, good fun
    DocJD, Mecha and JJHollowman like this.
  2. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Solid gold hilt.
  3. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    Might be a hunk of brass, I haven't done more than rack it for now. One is noted to have an iron grip core. It was about $50 shipping across the country. and longer than their regular rifle boxes.

  4. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    It looks so small in the pics, I can't wait to see the proportion photos if it's that huge!
  5. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    Well, you can get an idea of girth from that first photo and the sabre grip next to it. I'll work on it soon.
  6. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Oh crap I didn't even see it in there 'till now.
  7. horseclover

    horseclover Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 21, 2000
    Some quick comparative shots with the walloon, an axe and some knobs. The walloon 's blade is roughly 35". The specifications for that elsewhere. The grip appears to be the same construction of brass sheet on wood with silver plating.

    GC DSC00288.JPG DSC00303.JPG DSC00307.JPG
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    DocJD likes this.
  8. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    It's like a giant cartoon sword. An interesting addition to the collection.
  9. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    :) I endorse this concept . I may be Burmese . It has always been dangerous to wake me , except very gently, with the aroma of coffee .

    I find the sword strangely attractive also ! ;)
    Mecha likes this.

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