13. March 2021 18:03
by Rene Pallesen

My Burmese Dha swords

13. March 2021 18:03 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Back in the late 90's I visited Laos. In the northern corner of Laos I acquired two old swords from
Back in the late 90's I visited Laos. In the northern corner of Laos I acquired two old swords from a local.

Through some forums I have tried to find out as much as I can about them and this is what I have been told:

  • The swords are of a Burmese style called Dha (Means sword in Burmese).
  • They are of museum worthy pieces
  • I should NOT EVER attempt to restore them. This would degrade their value significantly.
  • The flower script design on the swords are reserved for the rulers and officers of those days.
  • အဲဒီဓားတွေကငါတို့ရဲ့ဗမာဓားတွေပဲလာအိုဆိုတာအရင်ကဇင်းမယ်လို့ခေါ်တယ်အင်းဝခေတ်မှာမြန်မာတွေတက်သိမ်းခဲ့တဲ့နိုင်ငံပဲဓားကိုငှက်ကြီးတောင်ဓားလို့ခေါ်တယ်ဓားကဓားကောင်းပဲ အခုငါပြတဲ့ဓားဟာလည်းသမိုင်းဝင်ဓားပဲငှက်ကြီးတောင်ဓားပေါ့ (Translation: These swords are our Burmese swords. Laos was formerly called Zin Mae, a country that was conquered by the Burmese during the Inwa period. The sword is called the Sword of the Bird. The sword is a good sword.).
  • It's a Ngat kyee daung Dah the sword that was once used by Burmese warriors and Thai during the dark age of Konbaung (1765–1767).
  • This Burmese Empire was destroyed during the English colonized to the East and totally wiped out by the English cannons kind of like a scene from the last samurai movie in the end! They were like charging to the enemy where they were being shot at.
  • These are also antique pieces in a good state of preservation! Swords, even if they are in such good condition, belong in the museum. You have to take a look at the Malaysia Sword Museum! They are great specimen
  • One would have to analyze the material metal wood winding fibers would certainly be very interesting! You don't see such a bundle every day
  • The handle on the smaller sword is made from wound rattan fibres.
  • The larger sword is made from silver and wound silver threading (I believe it is the typical not so pure silver/tin that was used).
This means that it is likely that the swords are up towards 250 years old and that the long one belonged to someone of a high status.

The area they are from is a place that has been ravaged by war for several hundred years right from the wards beween Burma and Siam (Thailand), conquer by the English empire, the Second World War, the Chinese civil war through to the Laos Civil/Vietnam war.

It is highly likely that the swords have seen some action. Although a bit rusty, the swords are still very sharp. Given that the blade on the longer sword is narrower at the hilt it is likely that it has been sharpened several times through history. Again this probably means that it had a practical use/purpose and wasn't just for display.

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