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Michael Curl

Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 487

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jun, 2011 9:04 pm    Post subject: Thai weapons and armor         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I don't know anything about Thai weapons and armor, except that there is a sword called a Dha.

Please post with any info, or books, etc, that discuss Thai weapons and armor. (No modern weapons)

I would like to learn as much as I can.

E Pluribus Unum
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Timo Nieminen

Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,504

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jun, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The quick summary is: spear, bow, sword, and elephant.

For 19th century stuff, there is Ian Heath's Burma and Indo-China.

Egerton (as in the "standard" Indian and Oriental Arms and Armour) has a section (Group V) which includes Siam in the section title, but he only says that Siamese arms are like the Burmese arms (which are described, but almost completely unillustrated). There is another Egerton, An Illustrated Handbook of Indian Arms and Those of Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Malaya with Thailand in the title, but I don't know how much content it has. (AFAIK, these various Egertons are just different editions.)

Thai warfare is described in Ancient South-East Asian Warfare. This is an oldish book, and has been criticised for over-extrapolating from Toraja practice (i.e., tribal practice). One important point comes across, and it's that either (a) Thai warfare was like ancient Indian warfare, or (b) Thai literary tradition was to described Thai warfare following descriptions in Indian epics. This is text, not pictures (I don't remember if there were any illustrations at all).

The Armies of Angkor might be of interest. It's about Khmer arms and armies, but there was a lot in common with Thailand (or at least, the kingdoms where Thailand is now). A lot of drawings, based on sculpture (sculpture is about the best resource available, so this isn't bad).

Finally, Southeast Asian Warfare, 1300-1900 might have something of interest. It's expensive, academic, and not a picture book. I haven't read or even looked at this book. Perhaps worth checking if in a nearby university library or available via interlibrary loan.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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