Military Weapons of China</ font color>
Goose Quill Sabre.
Ancient Chinese military weapons sometimes have close similarities, making them difficult to categorise. This is the case with the Liuyedao and Yanmaodao. The main distinguishing factor of the Yanmaodao is the blade. It is straight until the last quarter, where it curves to a point.
Yanmaodao were used as weapons during the Ming dynasty and up to the mid Qing. They were made in large numbers as a standard military issue and were very similar to the earlier Zhibeidao.
It is not surprising, given the large number of these swords, that they are still being found today. Collectors enjoy them as part of a cherished treasure and martial artists use them to train with. Yanmaodao means Goose Quill knife. They were named to describe the blade shape. The goose quill sabre sometimes had silk cord grip wrapping. They sometimes had hardwood grips. They have been found with circular dished steel guards that were sometimes inlaid with gold or silver. The more elaborate decoration usually indicates they were owned by a person of high standing rather than a common soldier.
The grips of these dao were most commonly straight. This is the saber that handles most like a jian. It was a good thrusting weapon but also a powerful cutter. The curve of the blade began right at the point where a cut had the biggest impact for the lowest vibration. This was opposite the point on the other edge of the blade where the sharpened backedge began.
For more on the differences between Willow Leaf and Goose Quill sabres, see what Philip Tom wrote on the GRTC Forum. There is an excellent comparison picture on that thread, showing both Luiyedao and Yanmaodao.
Leave Military Weapons: Yanmaodao and return to Chinese Swords
Return to chinese Swords Guide Home