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Unique and intersting Ethnic and Indigenous blade patterns, please read.

Oct 8, 1998
So I put a thread up a while ago about these sorts of blades.

I have a large list, do any of you have pictures?

Do you know of any other patterns?

What do I and others need to know about these?

Give me a history lesson.

In short I want every shred of information I can get about these and other patterns.

Adya katti
Ice Axe
Cane Knives
Corn Knives
Tramotina bladed things

I want to hear of anything that is off the beaten track but worthy of more consideration.

Heck even include American small knife shapes.

Swept Points

Marion David Poff aka Eye, one can msg me at mdpoff@hotmail.com

Check out the blinking story, an online pleasure. I also revise my page daily.


Um ... first off, when you add "please read" to a header it makes it look like spam; many people automatically skip anything with that in the header. When you think about it, if putting "please read" in the header made people more likely to read it every post would have it...

Second, the question sounds a little like "please tell me about knives."
On the other hand it just might stimulate some posts ... I know we have members from all over the world and others who've traveled over much of the world, and I'd love to see more posts on the kinds of blades that might seem very ordinary and uninteresting to you where you live, but to the rest of us they're exotic and interesting.

Here in Massachusetts I have to go way back in time to find any exotic indigenous knives -- back to the stone age. Natives hereabouts used to use ulus a lot, chipped to rough shape out of a kind of slate and then ground. The slate was a fairly soft stone and must have needed sharpening on a sandstone hone pretty frequently. They used them for everything, it seems -- a half-moon blade, all belly, like a leather-worker's knife. Women used them a great deal but apparently only men made them.

Tomahawks were used for fighting. A stone tomahawk was more of a hammer than a hatchet and some of them didn't have any edge at all. Even those that did have an edge weren't very sharp; they crushed more than cut. Steel tomahawks were popular as soon as they became available and they were hatchets, not hammers. The most popular design used a tapered handle, thicker at the head end, and you could slip the head off and use it for whittling and such like a knife.

Steel knives rapidly replaced stone, too. The natives made leather sheaths for them that covered the whole handle. They weren't concerned about fast draw -- they didn't have the idea that whoever drew first was the one who started the fight, so whenever an argument started the participants would take weapons in hand long before it moved from the talking stage to the fighting stage.

In the old days knives and other tools were often bought without handles, by the immigrants as well as the natives. Everybody wanted to make their own handles to fit their own hands. They weren't fancy shapes, no finger grooves or anything like that, just a plain straight handle, but fitted to the user's hand. Sometimes they were carved for decoration and better grip, more or less artistically according to the owner's ability -- many are crude rough carvings, a few are real works of art.

-Cougar Allen :{)
An afterthought -- stone tomahawk heads were usually inserted in a split in the handle and lashed on, sometimes with tree pitch glue too, but sometimes a native would split a branch of a living tree and force a tomahawk head into the split. He'd come back maybe a year later and the branch would have grown around the head, molding itself to it.

I've sometimes wondered how often it was still there when he came back for it and how often someone else found it first. I suppose he wouldn't mind risking that; chipped stone tools didn't take long to make and he could have inserted a half dozen of them in live branches scattered around the woods figuring they wouldn't all be found. I can only speculate; for all I know maybe no one who found it would have taken someone else's tomahawk.

-Cougar Allen :{)
Cougar, I have heard of war clubs being made by tying a knot in a sapling and letting it grow into a hard mass. I've been wanting to try this out for a long time, but I don't tend to stay in one area long enough to give it time to grow much.

They make plastic molds you can put on young vegatables to make them grow into assorted shapes, including whimsical faces. For that matter, that's how they get the pear into the winebottle, they put the bottle over the young fruit. That's probably how they get ships in a bottle too. But that's got nothing to do with the topic at hand.

If you want to find the origins of bowies look to the European sax. This "Sandbar" mythology is attractive, but the pattern is actualy real, real old.

Yeah, sax as in Saxon. Many of those ancient European tribes were named for their weapons, another would be the Franks, named for their francesca, a throwing axe.

Kukri's have their roots in the Bronze Age Mediterranian. Variously known as kopis, marchione, or espada falcata. The Greeks of the later empire used them.

The sword of the ancient Greek heros would have been the leaf-bladed xiphos, forerunner of the smatchet.

The clip, drop, and spear points have their roots in the Old World as well. All of these points can be seen on the sax, additionaly drop, clip, and spear points can be seen on many swords, like the falchion, backsword, and saber. They are all cut and thrust points, and will beat out a tanto at thrusting any day. They are also very common in many other cultures, becuase they work.

It is rummored that the sheepsfoot point was developed so sailor didn't hurt themselves while working in the rigging, or anyone else while on deck.
I have an old Polish Army fixed blade. It comes with a handy double edged handle.
I'm half Polish and must live with this.
Other than that I have an old semi-clip point dagger with a long curving shell handle that acts as a forearm brace and a silver oval guard. It has a mahagony sheath banded with silver. It appears to from someplace like India and was my grandads. Have no idea what it is.
Regarding Tramontina: they dominate the Brazilian market and have probably the biggest plant in the world, where they are able to produce tons and tons of pure junk. I don´t sell their stuff in my store.
Best regards

Ivan Campos
Stray...double edge handle...hee hee hee. I had to read it twice.

Possible history on the sheepsfoot blade....

History has said that some Captains would confiscate all knives of the sailors and break the tips off, then return them, in order to keep the sailors from stabbing each other while fighting, or drunk.

Could this have been the predecessor to the sheepsfoot? Unknown. I know if a Captain broke the tip off one of my knives, I wouldn't be a very happy sailor!

[This message has been edited by tobii3 (edited 03 August 1999).]
Stray, can we see a pic?

Hmm, it could be a katar, khanjal, or a khukri.
A couple of sites you ought to check out...

This is a very good info-source type of site set up by a history and weapons enthusiast. It's not all about Viking swords; there's an "ethnic swords" section in there. One of the entries is even about my replica Indonesian Iron Age sword.

And www.invis.com/kriscutlery/

This is the site of a company that produces really plain-looking but really tough usable swords and knives. They are based in the Phillipines and have a Phillipino weapons section including many of the names you mention, and others.
Hey, Marion, 3 quotes for you:

Si vis pacem, para bellum. (If you wish peace, prepare for war.) Flavius Vegetius Renatus

One should not inquire too deeply into the making of laws or sausages. Otto von Bismarck

The gods made cats so men could stroke a tiger. Chinese proverb.

Walk in the Light,