Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1829 Khasi warrior
Subject: tribal warrior
Culture: Khasi
Setting: Assam 19thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

​* Rawson 1968 p62
"The Khasis are a Mon-Khmer speaking people, ironworkers, who now inhabit the Khasi hills to the south of the Brahmaputra valley.  At some period in their history they pushed into the hills from the east, pressing the Garos, an indigenous people related to the people of the plains."

* Heath/Perry 1999 p


​* Rawson 1968 p62-63
"The Khasi Dao is a very interesting weapon, in the form of a long, forward-angled blade, the reverse edge of which often shows a double concave curve, with a long, slender hilt made of iron that has two pairs of quillons set about a foot apart, and a pommel in the form of a fishtail loop. This Dao is not at the present day a practical weapon, but is used for ceremonial purposes. Its distribution is, however, not confined to the Khasi country, and must at one time have been very extensive.  Old and ancestral versions of it are preserved today among the Ao and Lhota Nagas, the Mikirs, and the Bodo.  The territory covered by this distribution runs from the upper end of the southern fringes of the Brahmaputra valley to the lower end, and extends some little distance into the hills.  This evidence, taken in conjunction with the fact that the Daos of the Garos, though now elaborated far beyond the bounds of practical possibility, and the dancing Daos of the Kabui, to the south of the Khasi hills, are probably derived from a very similar form, suggests that this long Dao, called by the Aos Noklang, was originally, at some remote date, a plains weapon.  The forward-angled form of the blade seems to relate it to other weapons indigenous to the continent of India.  It is therefore likely that a form of sword like the Noklang was the sword of the indigenous population of the Eastern Indian plains in the period preceding the adoption of the leaf-bladed form in early medieval times."

* Royal Armouries Museum > Oriental Gallery
"The arms of the Khasis are quite distinctive. In their culture the old Indian two-handed sword, which in antiquity was common throughout the subcontinent, survived."

* Heath/Perry 1999 p


* Heath/Perry 1999 p