Language: Burmese
Source: Period account

Da̱hmjaun (ဓားမြှောင်) is the name for a Burmese dagger.

In old colonial writings and among collectors today it is often spelled dha hmyuang.1

It consists of the words:

Da (ဓားမြှောင်); Knife, chopper, sword. And hmjaun (မြှောင်); 1. Be alongside; get alongside; stay alongside. 2. Depend on.

A fine dha hmyuang

A fine Burmese dha hmyuang with carved ivory hilt.


Historical mentions

"I had neither knife, spoon, nor fork, so fingers had to do duty for all three, aided by a knife lent me by a Burman; these knives of theirs have a blade about six inches long, are very sharp, and are used alike for domestic purposes or for stabbing each other in a row." 1

-Colonel Fitz William Thomas Pollok, 1879


Notes to historical mentions
1. Colonel Fitz William Thomas Pollok; Sport in British Burmah, Assam, and the Cassyah and Jyntiah hills. Chapman and Hall, London. 1879. Volume 1. Page 54.


Other Burmese da types

Da (ဓား); Knife; chopper; sword; dah.

Da̱lwe (ဓားလွယ်); Sword in scabbard slung from the shoulder.

Da̱ma (ဓားမ); Chopper; knife with a broad blade.

Da̱mau (ဓားမောက်); Knife with a broad blade and curved point.

Hnge' kji daun (ငှက်ကြီးတောင်); A kind of long sword.

Lin gin (လင်းကင်); Machete-like sword with a crescent-shaped tip. A.k.a. "linkin dha".

Shan da (ရှမ်းဓား); Shan light sword with pointed blade.

Than lje (သန်လျက်); Double edged sword. Also: Four-edged dagger which forms part of the Myanmar regalia.2


Further reading

Glossary article: dha / da (ဓား).
Article: A Burmese da glossary


1. E.N. Bell I.C.S.; A Monograph on Iron and Steel Work in Burma. Rangoon, Superintendent, Government Printing Burma, 1907. Also see Robert Hales; Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime's Passion, England, 2013. Pages 148-149.
2. Terms taken from Adoniram Judson; Judson's Burmese-English dictionary, revised and enlarged by Robert C. Stevenson. Government Printing, Rangoon, Burma, 1893. Available on and Myanmar-English Dictionary by the Myanmar Language Commission. 1993. A useful online source is the SEAlang Library Burmese Dictionary Resources. All transcriptions are thus in the MLC Transcription System.

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Made of a beautiful piece of black zitan hardwood, carved in a spiral, topped with a silver knob.


On a sturdy, user-grade blade with temper line.


An unusual cross-cultural mix, blending Burmese, Japanese and Indian parts.


Presented by the local Dai nobility to a British customs officer in 1936.


Entirely clad in silver and with a differentially heat treated blade.


Somewhat worn but once very high-quality, with great sculptural qualities and remains of silver "true…