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Arms and Armour (Traditional Weapons of India)
Arms and Armour (Traditional Weapons of India)
Description
From The Jacket
A soldier values his sword almost as much as his life and a Rajput’s most powerful and binding oath was by his sovereign’s throne (‘gadi ki an) or by his arms (‘ya sil ki an’) or by his sword and shield (‘dhal talwar ki an’). Akbar’s swords had names and ranks assigned to them and these were sent by rotation each night to his bed chamber: This book traces the development of the weapons of the Indian warrior, from the earliest to modern times, and also provides illustrations of a wide variety of the arms and armour discussed.

About The Author
E. Jaiwant Paul worked with Hindustan Laver and them was the Director of Brooke Bond for several years. Later he lived in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, heading the National Mineral Water Co. Apart from collection weapons, he has been a keen cricketer and tennis player. His lifelong interest in arms and armour springs from the fact that his father as well as his grandfather served in the Princely States, where swords and daggers were part of everyday attire. He lives in Delhi and is on the board of directors of several companies including MAA Bozell. He is married and has two daughters.

Introduction
Traditionally man has had a deep, almost instinctive, reverence and love for his weapons. He holds them sacred and invests them with a sort of divine power. He treasures and preserves them, and armourers embellish them with priceless gems, gold and silver. In some countries arms were laid in graves with their masters and weapons of war were sacrificially deposited in hallowed spots. Even today the Rajputs and Marathas, the two races who through history have risen to defend the honour of this country, bring out their weapons on the festival of Dussehra and worship them in an elaborate ritual. Stressing the great value placed on arms, it was once observed, what greater thing can a king own than the ormour which protects his body during combat? The reasons for this instinctive venerations and esteem are varied. Man may feel a deep attachment towards a weapons which has saved his life and which accompanies and protects him. Arms also signify the risking of one’s life for the protection of one’s country, ideals, culture and honour. But other than these, arms are also a test of courage and a demonstration of strength, manhood, pride, virtue, victory, justice and freedom.

Arms may also signify the ultimate and supreme sacrifice as well as the involvement of life with death. This twin involvement of arms with life and death is symbolized by kings of yore going into battle in magnificent array, clad in beauteous armour and marked by the royal chattri or umbrella, knowing full well that their glittering attire could just as easily be transformed into a shroud. But this panoply, this exuberance was an essential element not only in the celebration of life but also in man’s defiance of death.

Weapons have always intrigued mankind, because mankind has always been intrigued by war. Centuries ago it was said.

War is a joyous thing. you love your comrades so and when you know your quarrel is just and your blood is fighting well, tears rise to your eyes and out of that arises such pleasure and delight. Can anyone who has tasted that pleasure fear death.

The aesthetic appreciation of a well made weapon is greatly amplified by holding it and when possible, by using it. The sword firmly held in the hand becomes an extension of the arm. It becomes one with the body. You feel its strength and authority for the sword has the power of life and death.

In his Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, first published in 1829, Col. James Tod describes the karga shapna or the worship of the sword. In Mewar this rite is performed during the Navratri festival, when the Mother Goddess is worshipped over a period of nine days. The Weapon worshipped was the khanda, the Rajput straight sword.

On the first day the khanda is removed from the hall of arms (awadsala), and having received the homage of the Kishenpolr (gate of Kishen). Here it is delivered to the raj jogi at the temple of Devi, the altar. The nakaras or grand kettledrums, about 8 to 10 feet in diameter, signal from the tripol, the assemblage of the chiefs and their retainers, for the Rana and his cavalcade to proceed directly to the spot where a buffalo is sacrificed in honour of the war horse. Thence the procession moves to the temple of Devi where the Rana seats himself next to the raj jogi and presents him two pieces of silver and a coconut, performs homage to the sword and returns to the palace.

On the fourth day a buffalo is sacrificed by the Rana’s own hand. The narrative goes on to say that on the ninth day, at three in the afternoon, the nakaras having sounded thrice, the whole state insignia, under a select band, bring home the sword. When its arrival is announced the Rana advances and receives it with all due homage from the hands of the raj jogi, who is presented with a khelat. The elephants and horses again receive homage and the sword, the shield and the spear are worshipped within the palace.

the tenth day is Dussehra, which is deemed by the Rajputs to be fortunate for warlike enterprises. The day commences with a visit from the prince or chieftain to his spiritual guide. Tents and carpets are prepared at the choughan (polo ground) where the artillery is sent; in the afternoon, the Rana, his chiefs and their relatives repair to the ‘field of mars’ with all the state insignia, the nakaras sounding in the rear while the Rana takes muster of his troops amidst displays of horsemanship.

It is worth mentioning that the worship of the sword (asi) and the horse (aswa) have given the name to the continent of Asia.

The most powerful oath of the Rajput, is by his sovereign’s throne (gadi ki an) or by his arms (ya sil ji an) as suiting the action to the word, he puts his hand on his girdle: dhal, talwar ki an (by my sword and shield). The shield is deemed the only fit salver on which to present gifts, and accordingly, at a Rajput court shawls, brocades, scarves and jewels are always spread before the guest on bucklers or shields.

In Rajsthan today, Rajputs form a minority and there are several other races living side by side, including a large proportion of tribals like the Bhils. The Rajput nobility has been sad decline for over a century and is only a feeble shadow of its ancestors. However, in sharp contrast, their spirit and robustness is very much alive in the Rajput farmers, who are a major asset to the army and join in large number.

Interestingly and at the same time surprisingly, swords and daggers from India present a diversity and a range probably unparalleled anywhere in the world. In comparison, European swords are far more conservative. India is a heterogenous country and these variations in the shape, from and style of the Indian sword have evolved over centuries and are the outcome of the martial, cultural and historical traditions of the regions to which very belong.

However, it must be conceded that the dating of weapons is a problematic area. One can judge the age of the weapon by the form and quality of the blade as well as the style of decoration. For instance, on good quality pieces of the sixteenth century the pattern of embellishment is clear and restrained, while later styles tend to become fussy and cover more of the weapon. But dating can be erroneous because styles and fashions were copied at later times in some regions of the country when they had been abandoned in others. Many swords continued in use long after a new style had been introduced, and many remained in production. All this suggests that dating of weapons must be general rather than specific.

Contents

Introduction7
Early and Medieval History of the Sword17
The Last Five Centuries41
Daggers65
The Blade and the Hilt77
Maces, Spears, Battle Axes and Other Weapons 91
Armour103
Decoration of Weapons131

Arms and Armour (Traditional Weapons of India)

Item Code:
IDC392
Cover:
Hardcover
Publisher:
Roli Books
ISBN:
8174363408
Size:
9.4” X 9.4”
Pages:
144 (Illustrated Throughout in B/W and Color)
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From The Jacket
A soldier values his sword almost as much as his life and a Rajput’s most powerful and binding oath was by his sovereign’s throne (‘gadi ki an) or by his arms (‘ya sil ki an’) or by his sword and shield (‘dhal talwar ki an’). Akbar’s swords had names and ranks assigned to them and these were sent by rotation each night to his bed chamber: This book traces the development of the weapons of the Indian warrior, from the earliest to modern times, and also provides illustrations of a wide variety of the arms and armour discussed.

About The Author
E. Jaiwant Paul worked with Hindustan Laver and them was the Director of Brooke Bond for several years. Later he lived in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, heading the National Mineral Water Co. Apart from collection weapons, he has been a keen cricketer and tennis player. His lifelong interest in arms and armour springs from the fact that his father as well as his grandfather served in the Princely States, where swords and daggers were part of everyday attire. He lives in Delhi and is on the board of directors of several companies including MAA Bozell. He is married and has two daughters.

Introduction
Traditionally man has had a deep, almost instinctive, reverence and love for his weapons. He holds them sacred and invests them with a sort of divine power. He treasures and preserves them, and armourers embellish them with priceless gems, gold and silver. In some countries arms were laid in graves with their masters and weapons of war were sacrificially deposited in hallowed spots. Even today the Rajputs and Marathas, the two races who through history have risen to defend the honour of this country, bring out their weapons on the festival of Dussehra and worship them in an elaborate ritual. Stressing the great value placed on arms, it was once observed, what greater thing can a king own than the ormour which protects his body during combat? The reasons for this instinctive venerations and esteem are varied. Man may feel a deep attachment towards a weapons which has saved his life and which accompanies and protects him. Arms also signify the risking of one’s life for the protection of one’s country, ideals, culture and honour. But other than these, arms are also a test of courage and a demonstration of strength, manhood, pride, virtue, victory, justice and freedom.

Arms may also signify the ultimate and supreme sacrifice as well as the involvement of life with death. This twin involvement of arms with life and death is symbolized by kings of yore going into battle in magnificent array, clad in beauteous armour and marked by the royal chattri or umbrella, knowing full well that their glittering attire could just as easily be transformed into a shroud. But this panoply, this exuberance was an essential element not only in the celebration of life but also in man’s defiance of death.

Weapons have always intrigued mankind, because mankind has always been intrigued by war. Centuries ago it was said.

War is a joyous thing. you love your comrades so and when you know your quarrel is just and your blood is fighting well, tears rise to your eyes and out of that arises such pleasure and delight. Can anyone who has tasted that pleasure fear death.

The aesthetic appreciation of a well made weapon is greatly amplified by holding it and when possible, by using it. The sword firmly held in the hand becomes an extension of the arm. It becomes one with the body. You feel its strength and authority for the sword has the power of life and death.

In his Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, first published in 1829, Col. James Tod describes the karga shapna or the worship of the sword. In Mewar this rite is performed during the Navratri festival, when the Mother Goddess is worshipped over a period of nine days. The Weapon worshipped was the khanda, the Rajput straight sword.

On the first day the khanda is removed from the hall of arms (awadsala), and having received the homage of the Kishenpolr (gate of Kishen). Here it is delivered to the raj jogi at the temple of Devi, the altar. The nakaras or grand kettledrums, about 8 to 10 feet in diameter, signal from the tripol, the assemblage of the chiefs and their retainers, for the Rana and his cavalcade to proceed directly to the spot where a buffalo is sacrificed in honour of the war horse. Thence the procession moves to the temple of Devi where the Rana seats himself next to the raj jogi and presents him two pieces of silver and a coconut, performs homage to the sword and returns to the palace.

On the fourth day a buffalo is sacrificed by the Rana’s own hand. The narrative goes on to say that on the ninth day, at three in the afternoon, the nakaras having sounded thrice, the whole state insignia, under a select band, bring home the sword. When its arrival is announced the Rana advances and receives it with all due homage from the hands of the raj jogi, who is presented with a khelat. The elephants and horses again receive homage and the sword, the shield and the spear are worshipped within the palace.

the tenth day is Dussehra, which is deemed by the Rajputs to be fortunate for warlike enterprises. The day commences with a visit from the prince or chieftain to his spiritual guide. Tents and carpets are prepared at the choughan (polo ground) where the artillery is sent; in the afternoon, the Rana, his chiefs and their relatives repair to the ‘field of mars’ with all the state insignia, the nakaras sounding in the rear while the Rana takes muster of his troops amidst displays of horsemanship.

It is worth mentioning that the worship of the sword (asi) and the horse (aswa) have given the name to the continent of Asia.

The most powerful oath of the Rajput, is by his sovereign’s throne (gadi ki an) or by his arms (ya sil ji an) as suiting the action to the word, he puts his hand on his girdle: dhal, talwar ki an (by my sword and shield). The shield is deemed the only fit salver on which to present gifts, and accordingly, at a Rajput court shawls, brocades, scarves and jewels are always spread before the guest on bucklers or shields.

In Rajsthan today, Rajputs form a minority and there are several other races living side by side, including a large proportion of tribals like the Bhils. The Rajput nobility has been sad decline for over a century and is only a feeble shadow of its ancestors. However, in sharp contrast, their spirit and robustness is very much alive in the Rajput farmers, who are a major asset to the army and join in large number.

Interestingly and at the same time surprisingly, swords and daggers from India present a diversity and a range probably unparalleled anywhere in the world. In comparison, European swords are far more conservative. India is a heterogenous country and these variations in the shape, from and style of the Indian sword have evolved over centuries and are the outcome of the martial, cultural and historical traditions of the regions to which very belong.

However, it must be conceded that the dating of weapons is a problematic area. One can judge the age of the weapon by the form and quality of the blade as well as the style of decoration. For instance, on good quality pieces of the sixteenth century the pattern of embellishment is clear and restrained, while later styles tend to become fussy and cover more of the weapon. But dating can be erroneous because styles and fashions were copied at later times in some regions of the country when they had been abandoned in others. Many swords continued in use long after a new style had been introduced, and many remained in production. All this suggests that dating of weapons must be general rather than specific.

Contents

Introduction7
Early and Medieval History of the Sword17
The Last Five Centuries41
Daggers65
The Blade and the Hilt77
Maces, Spears, Battle Axes and Other Weapons 91
Armour103
Decoration of Weapons131
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