Language: Hindi
Source: Secondary reference material

Description

Mala (माला) is the Hindi word for garland or necklace. In arms and armor it is used to refer to the lap weld often seen on talwar swords, in particular Rajput talwar made of wootz steel.

This was due to the fact that it was hard to make large billets of wootz needed to make talwar that are generally thicker and thus use more material than the average Persian shamshir. But even on those, lap welds were common on the base so they did not need to make the tang out of precious wootz.

The novice may frown upon the practice, and fear for its strength. But seasoned collectors will know that this is actually quite common and the welds were seen as auspicious:

"The bands created by the lap-welds are known in Rajasthan as "mala", plural "male", meaning "garlands" or "necklaces" and are considered auspicious." 1

-Robert Elgood, 2017

 

Talwar with lap weld

A talwar with wootz blade with mala lap weld. The hilt is of Delhi style and decorated with true inlay in silver.
Listed at www.mandarinmansion.com.

 

The presence of welds on wootz blades also shows that the steel could indeed be brought to welding temperature without losing the crystalline structure.

 

Notes
1. Robert Elgood; Rajput Arms & Armour, Niyogi Books, New Delhi, 2017. Volume 1. Page 190.

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