Hunting elephant with a SWORD!

Discussion in 'Humorous Jokes, Stories or Pictures' started by observe, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. observe

    observe CONTRIBUTOR AH Fanatic

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    Hunting Elephant with a sword!

    I came across this interesting old hunting story by Sir S.W. Baker where he described how the Hamran Arab sword hunters
    of old [+_ 1850 ?] hunted elephant in northern Ethiopia [?] with a big and very sharp sword.

    Baker was an eye witness to this extraordinary hunting technique!

    [The sword was maybe something like this cold steel Samshir by the time frame and look of it on the painting?]

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    Just imagine, cutting the tendons and hind foot of a charging elephant as it passes you!
    If you have ever seen an elephant in real life, you would be in awe of its sheer size -
    - and then to ambush an enraged and charging one with only a sword???

    wow!

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  2. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Amazing !
     
  3. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Sir Baker recorded the successful (probably a lot of failed attempts prior, I would imagine) slaying of an Elephant with this style sword.... :samurai::wacky::wacky:
     
  4. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    +1 :wacky::wacky:
     
  5. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    I am trying not to be "that guy" but,( I really like edged weapons, so here goes ) the drawing shows a two handed sword with a straight blade, a lot like the Scotish Claymore or even one of the multitude of english hand and a half swords, which would fall into the timeframe this was suppose to have taken place, i.e.surplus blades from Europe. Notice there is no curve to the blade, and to cut Elephant hide, even with a razor sharp edge would require a heavy blade (unless weilded by a giant) . My guess would be more Claymore like. The Japanese had specially designed Katana's for taking horses down during combat, but again the picture deplicts a straight blade not curved. Regardless, I would have nothing to do with it, Unless,,, I was starving to death anyway.
     
  6. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    i read the book describing this quite a while ago. it was interesting reading, and i also a the time thought they had a screw loose.:loopy:
     
  7. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Im guessing we wont be seeing any safaris of this sort offered anytime soon lol
     
  8. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    i dont know, how about we buy one of the big swords cold steel make and get one of the cowboys from the usa(texas most likely as the rabbits there are probably bigger than elephants);) and put him on a horse and point him in the right direction. we of course will observe from a sensible distance.....:whistling::laughing:
     
  9. observe

    observe CONTRIBUTOR AH Fanatic

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    i'm tending to agree with what one of my friend said about this,and that we must maybe just read it with just a little pinch of salt?

    I'm somewhat dubtfull about the accuracy of this testimony.

    The author emphasize on how the elephant is fast, almost as fast as the mare (Arabian mare?). Still, taher "gets close to the elephant in two or three bounds" from the rear. Yes, this man jumps faster than a mare runs. And almost while jumping, he can swing his sword so fast that the elephant doesn't leave his reach. And almost while jumping and swinging his sword ligthning fast, he manages to get enough power to cut through one of the thickest skin of the animal kingdom (elephants were formerly classified as "pachydermata", meaning "thick skin" in Greek), and bury it into the bone of the moving leg.

    To me, it sounds like typical 19th century exoticism.
    I consider this testimony unreliable, and the events related potentially fictionnal: too unrealistic.


    do you think this was a 'once-off' happening or an established hunting tegnique?
     
  10. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    Sorry, observe, but your friend sounds just like the man with a good theoretical knowledge of aerodynamics could prove that a bumblebee was too heavy to fly. It has become very fashionable to pooh-pooh or dismiss as fiction things we can not imagine ourselves doing. As far as I know, Sam Baker was a good observer, and has seen enough interesting things traveling Africa (with his wife, BTW, both were keen big game hunters and naturalists), that he did not have to invent tall stories to make his reports interesting.
    The sword does indeed look like a claymore or one of the huge bihanders the "Landsknechte" used in the Thirty-Year-War. There are enough believable accounts of such swords shearing through metal armor and deep into the body beneath. The hamstrings, after all, are pretty close to the surface, so the cut is realistically possible. Granted, they would not have done it with the elephant galloping flat out in a straight line, but an excellent team of riders can make the elephant swerve and turn, creating a moment where the swordsman, horse and hind leg are all reasonably stationary.
    So, yes, I believe they did it, and I believe they did it on a reasonably regular basis. Not very often, probably, but it sounds like one of these manhood rituals in which members of a warrior tribe prove their prowess - like Masai moran killing lions with just a spear and shield. Men would have died on those hunts, but the danger would only have made it more attractive to aspiring local heroes.
    Oh, and whoever drew the picture had definitely seen an elephant. The strange proportioning seems to have been a Victorian trait, as the horses are drawn in the same manner (the black in the foreground looks like a typical Victorian rocking horse or a jumping cat). but too many details like the hairs along the spine, the tail, shape of ears, position of tusks etc are correct to have been drawn from a description.
    My two cents, of course, and it all comes down to belief. I tend to believe Sam Baker. As they say: "Life is stranger than fiction".
     
  11. observe

    observe CONTRIBUTOR AH Fanatic

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    timbear,you've got some convincing points there! tx

    well, i think hunting an elephant with a sword is then maybe on par with killing a bear [ka-bar] with a knife ?

    images.jpg

    'elephant' hunting on a lighter note...[ lol] ;)


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