Language: Manchu
Origin of term: Classical literature

 

Niru

Description

Niru in Manchu means arrow, in particular, a type of broadhead. 

Niru was also used in the Manchu military, where it was the name of a company of up to 300 men under one of the Eight Banners. The name may have derived off the fact that commanders were bestowed special "command arrows". These were oversized arrows that were an emblem of rank and authority. A company commander, equivalent to "captain" of such a company was also called niru.

Most niru were hunting arrows. Their wide heads did more damage to an unprotected target but had limited penetrative power through protection. Some special narrower niru were in use in the military as well, those were primarily used for close distance fighting.

In Chinese, such arrows were called pī jiàn (披箭) or the more archaic pī jiàn (鈚箭) used in the Qianlong period Huangchao Liqi Tushi (皇朝禮器圖式), or "Illustrated Regulations on the Ceremonial Paraphernalia of the Dynasty".

Manchu Niru arrow

Manchu niru arrowhead A late 17th / early 18th century Manchu arrow of the niru type. Personal collection.

 

References

Tongwen Guanghui Quanshu (同文廣彚全書) or "Enlarged and complete dictionary"
A Qing imperial dictionary in Chinese and Manchu of 1704. Each entry double checked and approved by the Kangxi emperor.

Wuti Qingwen Jian (五體清文鑑) or "Five languages compendium"
A Qing imperial dictionary in Manchu, Mongolian, Uighur, Tibetan and Chinese of 1766. Published under the Qianlong emperor.

Huangchao Liqi Tushi (皇朝禮器圖式), or "Illustrated Regulations on the Ceremonial Paraphernalia of the Dynasty", Palace Edition of 1766 (British Library, 15300.e.1). By Pu Jiang et al., eds. This version is based on a manuscript of 1759.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

A fine Chinese straightsword blade, of typical Qing form with a rather wide profile.

€5000,-

A rather well-made example of its type.

€1500,-

Used to move imperial orders from the emperor’s quarters to the recipient.

Price on request

Introduction The Manchu rulers of the Qing dyna

€475,-

Made of heavy silk with gilt copper alloy mounts.

€2000,-

With heavy pierced silver mounts in with archaic dragon designs.

€1600,-
ARTICLE
Making a Chinese rattan shield
Ever since I acquired an antique Chinese tengpai
Read the article
ARTICLE
Chinese long sabers of the Qing dynasty
In the late Ming dynasty, Chinese coasts were raided by Japanese pi...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Qing dynasty saber mounts, fangshi & yuanshi
Among sabers of the Qing dynasty, we encounter two basic types of m...
Read the article
ARTICLE
Markings on Chinese swords
Most markings are found on military edged weapons, usually in the f...
Read the article