Rare early South Indian war or sacrificial scythe 'Matchu'
A very early Chopper or Scythe 'Matchu' for war or sacrifice from South India. The steel blade chiselled with a grotesque monster face at the base of the blade, and with decoration along the back edges, inlaid brass strips along the spine. The original wooden handle mounted with iron. These scythes or cleavers could have been used both for warfare and for ceremonial sacrificial duties. These cleavers feature in R.Elgoods 'Hindu Arms and
Ritual', in which he discusses the different names given to these implements 'veecharooval, kongaval'- Egerton, vettu katti - Malayalam language, larkan - Madurai. 17th century or earlier.