Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1799 Sikh ghorchurra
Subjectghorchurra sardar armored cavalry
Culture: Sikh Punjabi
Setting: Sikh empire, Punjab late 18th-mid 19thc


* Coe/Connolly/Harding/Harris/Larocca/Richardson/North/Spring/Wilkinson p196 (Frederick Wilkinson, "India and Southeast Asia" p186-203)
"One weapon which appears to be unique to India is the katar or punch dagger which, in some respects, resembles the pata for it is gripped in the same fashion, the blade becoming an extension of the arm. The hilt consists of two bars or flattened arms which spring from the base of the blade and join with two parallel bars which are gripped by the hand. The katar of northern India has a blade which is wide at the hilt and tapers fairly quickly to the point. In most cases the blade thickens at the point, giving the extra strength needed to punch through the metal rings of an enemy's coat of mail.  [CONTRA Arts of the Muslim knight 2008 p143.]  Some katars have wide blades engraved with a variety of themes, and some have a central rib, but many are quite plain. ... A variant form is the scissors katar, which has an outer hollow blade which divides down the centre; this is opened by squeezing together the two central holding bars to expose a third inner blade. The katar could well be the descendant of the maustika mentioned in the arsenal list of Abdul Fazl."

* Richardson/Bennett 2015 p29
"The katar, with its transverse grips, was unique to India, and was to be found across most of the sub-continent. It was fitted with a variety of blades, ranging from narrow wavy blades preferred in the south to short, straight and broad blades in the north, multiple blades, as well as novelties such as the 'scissors' katar, in which squeezing the grips together causes an outer set of blades to open like scissors, and even multiple daggers in which one or even two little katar were housed inside the outer dagger."

* Fryer 1969 p86
"Katar  An Indian dagger designed for thrusting. It consists of tapered blade (the tip often reinforced for piercing chain mail) with a hilt formed of two parallel bars connected by two or more crossbars. Occasionally a knuckle guard is fitted. Blades are found with 'scissors' action, serrated edges or are even forked."


* Stone 1934 p352
"The Indo-Persian knife generally known by this name [khanjar] ... was very popular in India and Persia and is apt to be more highly decorated than any other form of knife from this region. The blades are generally fine forgings of watered steel, sometimes finely carved; and the hilts are of ivory, jade or some other hard stone, frequently set with jewels. The scabbards are often mounted to match the hilts."

* Withers/Capwell 2010 p228
"Khanjar is the general Arabic term for dagger. Often, however, the term is used by collectors to describe a body of daggers with curved, double-edged blades from India, mostly with jade hilts, and from Persia, frequently with walrus ivory or steel hilts."

​* Fryer 1969 p86
"Khanjar  An Indo-Persian dagger, with slightly recurved blade often of finely Damascus steel. The hilt, generally of 'pistol grip' shape, was usually of jade, carved or inset with gems."