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Bich'hwa
Type Dagger
Place of origin India

A bich'hwa (alt. bichwa) is a doubly-curved (S-shaped) double-bladed dagger with a loop hilt of Indian origin. They were fashioned in the style of horn daggers, which retained the shape of the buffalo horns from which they were made. It is named for its resemblance to the sting of a scorpion, for which the Hindi name is bichwa.

Construction and Usage

Bich'hwa's were constructed to be used either right-or left-handed, as a loop with a knuckle guard replaces the hilt of a regular dagger.

Many bich'hwas are double-bladed or forked.

A bich'hwa was often combined with a bagh nakh, either with the claws being added to the hilt of the bich'hwa, or the blade being added to one of the finger loops of the bagh nakh. The former type tended to be larger than the latter.

Historical context

A bich'hwa was used by Shivaji to kill Afzal Khan during the battle of Pratapgarh (November 30, 1659); a major event in the Maratha annexation of the Mughal empire.

References

  • George Cameron Stone:A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armor in All Countries and In All Times (1934)







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