Katar , Katara, push dagger, “the tongue of death”. Mughal. India. 19th c.

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Katar , Katara, push dagger.
“the tongue of death”.
19th c.

An important tool of the hunt indigenous to South Asia - the katar - or push dagger.
This deadly weapon is grasped at the crosspieces in the clenched fist, and used to stab prey (human or animal) at exceptionally close quarters.
Royal members of the Mughal and Rajput courts were expected to use the katar in the hunts for powerful animals such as crocodiles or tigers, displaying the courage required to battle fearsome quarry in close quarters.
Although often sheathed the katar was more than mere decoration - it was worn only by those qualified to use it. Known as “the tongue of death”, the dagger and its wearer were held in high regard and afforded sober respect.

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