Language: Hindi
Source: Lord Egerton of Tatton


Tonngya is the name of an axe used by tribal aborigines of central India, mainly the Gond people. According to Forsyth, who spells it as tongiá, the Bygas also used this axe but had them made by the Agurias, "who seem to be a section of the Gonds".1

Egerton gives the native name as pharetri, quoting Forsyth who uses a different spelling, pharchia.2

Stone omits pharetri in his Glossary and lists them as bullova instead.He does list a tongia which he describes as the axe of the Bygas, who obtain their axes from a hill people called Agurias, "who seem to be a section of the Gonds".4


A bullova from the George Cameron Stone collection.
Now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Accession number 36.25.1813

A number of these axes were presented to King Edward VII, when Prince of Wales, during his tour of India in 1875-76. See among others Royal Collection Trust, accession number: RCIN 37658

Also see, Royal Armories, Leeds, accession number: XVIC.20

1. James Forsyth, The highlands of central India: notes on their forests and wild tribes, natural history, and sports. Chapman and Hall, London, 1889. Page 374.
2. See: Lord Egerton of Tatton; Indian and Oriental Arms and Armour. Dover Publications; Revised edition, 2002. Page 78. Forsyth, page 470.
3. See: Stone, George C.; A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor: in All Countries and in All Times. (Reprint) Jack Brussel, New York, 1961. Page 155.
3. Ibid. Page 622. Stone doesn't mention it, but he got that sentence from James Forsyth, see note 1.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

All steel Indian forward curved mace.


Made of brass and bronze, now deeply patinated.


With wootz blade and the jade hilt set with small rubies.


Fine Indian kard with gilt copper alloy hilt, decorated with chiseled flowers.


Peculiar shield with catching hook, used by the Santali people of Bengal.


An enigmatic type of axe, this one probably from tribal north India.