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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jun, 2011 2:10 pm    Post subject: Coral weapons?         Reply with quote

Hello all,

Did anyone anywhere ever make weapons out of coral? I know that coral has been used in Europe and other places for decoration, and sometimes as part of a weapon. But did anyone ever make the weapon part out of coral?

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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
Joined: 04 Feb 2006

Posts: 207

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jun, 2011 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe as part of a club or something on some Caribbean or pacific islands, but it probably wasn't very common.
Coral is calcium carbonate, aka limestone. It's pretty soft and brittle. It would be prone to shatter upon impact, which could make for a nasty wound but probably wouldn't last for too many uses.
That's not to say it couldn't be used.[/i]
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jun, 2011 4:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some types of coral would make nasty caltrops. Carribean fortifications were sometimes made of coral and a mortar made of sand and molasses.
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jun, 2011 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Then it sounds like it definitely would not be used for weapons.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2011 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: Coral weapons?         Reply with quote

Yes, you're right, Michael.
Corals cannot be made into weapons because they can easily break like a twig, rendering them unsuitable.

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although coral has presumably never been used for the business end of a weapon, it has been used in the ornate construction of hilts. Here is a ludicrous idea... What if native peoples somehow grew cultures of stinging corals on the end of sticks, and when battle was upon them drew them from their marine habitats to sting the heck out of opponents. Laughing Out Loud
If the battle was short enough they might even be able to get them back into the water soon enough.
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2011 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lol, probably not a good avenue of research. Though useful for me, the reason I posted this article in the first place was for help with underwater cultures in an rpg I made.
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jul, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Coral has been used as weapons.

The ancient Tongarevans (from Perhyn Atoll in the Cook Islands) used chunks of coral as projectiles, which they threw by hand, i imagine not unlike a baseball.

They also used a fibrous mushroom called Poerare in the manufacture of their weapons. This mushroom, also known as Kana in it's dried form, only grows on coral.

The dried Poerare was used as a sandpaper for smoothing the weapons, which included throwing spears (To) which averaged 10 feet long, Truncheons (Motumotu), Heavy Clubs (Korare) used only by men, and special spear-breaking oar-shaped clubs (Tamutu), used only by women. Eek!

They would be shaped with tools, sanded to ideal shape with the skin from a stingray's tail, and finished to smooth (polished?) with the Poerare mushroom. The weapons were also often beautifully carved. The points of stingray tails are said to have often been used as spearheads.

It all sounds to me like something an underwater culture could possibly do as well...

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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