sword

Nandaka temple sword with a blade that curves at the end, then juts of at a right angle. There are 3 pierced holes along the blade that may once have held rattles. There are two rattles remaining on the pommel. The grip itself is made of wood. The section at either side of the top of the blade has decorative fretwork detail.

Nandaka or Vishnu’s sword, south-west India. Kinked ritual blade with holes for the attachment of dangling rattles. Bell pommel with dangling rattles attached. Wooden handle. The guard looks to be early, but such swords are difficult to date. Nandaka swords were worshiped in south-west India as the vessel within which the goddess Bhagavati resides. Their blades are thin and adorned with rattles because they are required to vibrate on the temple floor, thus indicating that they have been inhabited by the goddess. They are not used to perform sacrifices. In Kerala they continue to serve a ritual purpose.

Collection Information

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