Using whatever skills and resources they had, man built tools that would slash, smash, pierce, and tear their enemies. Every nation had weapons that made their armies unique. Today when we talk about ancient weapons we immediately think swords, spears, bows, and axes. But I find interest in weapons that strike me as out of the norm. This list is an assortment of weapons that have designs, backgrounds, or usages that I find rather out of the ordinary.
10| The Maori Mere Club
Used by the Māori tribes of New Zealand, this simple-looking yet solid club was built from nephrite jade To the Māori, the mere was a very spiritual weapon. They named their mere clubs and passed them down through generations. They even believed that the clubs contained a Mana (spiritual force) of their own.
9| Shoalin Hook Swords
The Chinese hook swords were wielded by the normally passive Shoalin monks of northern China. Beautifully and artistically designed, the blades were curved into a hook shape at the end. The crescent shaped guards were excellent at blocking blows as well as slashing enemies who got too close. The blades saw most of their usage from civilians, as the Chinese military did not use them in any of their armies.
8| The Azande Kpinga
The Kpinga was a throwing knife that was used by experienced warriors of the Azande tribe. The Zande people were residents of Nubia, a region in Africa composed of northern Sudan and southern Egypt. The was up to 22 inches long and had three blades that extended from the center. The blade closest to the handle is in the shape of a man’s genitals, and represented the masculine power of its owner.
7| The Aztec Macuahuitl
The Macuahuitl was basically a large, sword-shaped piece of wood with razor-sharp pieces of obsidian embedded in the sides. Since the Macuahuitl lacked a sharp point, it couldn’t be used as a stabbing weapon; however the jagged rows of obsidian gave the weapon a vicious tearing power that could cut deep lacerations in the enemy.
6| Ancient Roman Scissors
This rather odd-looking weapon was used in the arenas by the gladiators of the ancient Roman Empire. Interestingly enough, the gladiators who wielded the scissor in combat were also known as Scissors. The metal casing at the bottom formed a long tube that covered the gladiator’s arm, allowing the weapon to easily block, parry, as well as counterattack. Made from hardened steel, the scissor measured up to one and a half feet long.
5| The Indian Chakram
Unlike the frisbee, the Chakram was often thrown vertically rather than horizontally. The deadly circle of metal was up to a foot in diameter. It’s extremely sharp edge ensured that the Chakram could slice off arms and legs with ease. This weapon originated from India, where it was used extensively by the high ranking Indian Sikhs.
4| The Chinese Chu Ko Nu
The Chu Ko Nu was basically an ancestor to the automatic rifle. The wooden case on the top of the crossbow held 10 crossbow bolts which fell into place when the rectangular lever on the back was pulled back after firing a bolt. One interesting fact is that the Chu Ko Nu last saw its use in the Sino-Japanese wars of 1894-1895, years after the rise of firearms. The crossbow could fire on average a total of 10 bolts within 15 seconds.
3| The Japanese Tekko Kage
The Tekko kage’s conspicuous iron “hand” at the end had sharp claw-like nails that would impale flesh, and then tear it off from the body. The sheer weight of the Tekko Kage was enough to kill the opponent, but the claws made it even deadlier. When wielded by a professional, it could be used to pull mounted soldiers off their horse. But the main use of the Tekko Kage was to pull off the shields of enemies, leaving them exposed to the clawed hand of iron
2| The Indian Katar
This Indian weapon gave its owner the claws of wolverine, minus the strength and cutting power of adamantium. The katar at first glance has a single blade, however when a trigger on the h-shaped handle was activated, the blade would split into three, one on the middle and one on each side. The three blades not only made the weapon more effective at stabbing and slashing, but they also intimidated and/or startled the opponent.
1| The Chinese Nest Of Bees
The first place is taken by the nest of bees, or flying fire. Basically it was a wooden container filled with tubes in the shape of a hexagon. Inside each of the tubes was a rocket propelled arrow. The rockets launched the arrows with more power and range then that of a traditional bow. Up to 32 arrows could be launched from a nest at once.