Indo-Persian Katar or "punch dagger" C. 1700's. Exceptionally strong blade with thickened point for piercing mail armor. Ornamented grip and side bars with detailed cut out work make this both an art piece and weapon.
The katar originated in Tamil Nadu where its original name was kattari; later altered to katar in North India. Use of the katar spread throughout India and became a status symbol. Rajput, Sikh and Mughal nobles were often portrayed wearing a katar; both for self-defense and a symbol of wealth and position. Upper-class Mughals were reputed to hunt tigers with katars as a sign of bravery and martial skill. The blade is in line with the user's arm, and an attack was a direct punching thrust. This allowed the fighter to put their whole weight into a thrust. Typical targets were the head and upper body, similar to modern boxing. The attacker was required to be agile enough to dodge the opponent's attacks and strike quickly and at least one fighting style focused on fighting with two katars, one in each hand.
Overall length 15 inches. Moderate pitting associated with great age. Details of construction and condition may be seen in closeup photos. Fixed price US domestic shipping, packing and insurance.
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