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This is a Khasi sword, which handles more like a polearm in some respect or a Nagamaki. The handle is all steel covered in leather and much thicker than a conventional tang so gives it balance. The Khasis are a tribe from the Indian state of Meghalaya near Burma. Due to its length this sword can deliver brutal shearing blows and thrusts as well as delivering more elaborate swordplay such as quickly changing the angle of attack either before or after binding the opponent's weapon. It can even be used as a staff. The double crossguard is a superb feature, which affords multiple benefits, so much so that it is surprising that it was never tried elsewhere in the world. The long double hilt is very cleanly and solidly assembled, with no flaws in its simple leather wrap. The hand forged from EN45 steel blade comes sharpened. The blade also has an scimitar shape, making it identifiably Asian. I find this last detail one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts of the weapon. The point of the weapon is also well formed.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE KHASIS OF THE KHASI HILLS:
1. They are one of the world's only matrilineal societies (children get the mother's name, all property goes to the women).
2. It is the wettest place on Earth - with an annual rainfall of almost 12 meters, yes METERS - 11,871 millimeters.
3. They are predominantly Christian.
4. Their written language was first transcribed by a Welsh missionary in the 1830's - their entire written (Latin script) language is based on Welsh phonetic transcription, there is only one other language that has this - Welsh.
5. Prior to British conquest they had always remained independent from the rest of India, being the terror of the Muslim Bengalis to the south. The British East India Company took three years to conquer them.
6. Of the 29 states in India, theirs is the only one without an airport or railway connection.
7. Their #1 sport is archery, which they place bets upon.
8. They have many mysterious ancient standing stones scattered amongst their homeland. Their tribal religion is mono-theistic and has many Druidic parallels.
9. Most of India's highest waterfalls are found in their small state.
10. Under British rule, the Khasi tribe was put under an extreme form of divide-and-rule, and split up into 25 semi-independent disarmed states, the smallest of these "kingdoms" was Nonglewai, which in 1901 had a population of 169.
11. The Khasis went on to form an important part of THE ASSAM RIFLES, who were employed as shock troops within British India putting down distant rebellions. In 1944 they were thrown against the Japanese Army invading from Burma - and defeated them.