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Slingers in India (Read 3066 times)
David Morningstar
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Slingers in India
Apr 21st, 2009 at 2:54pm
 
From http://www.ncsaindia.org/satpuda/yawalAug2004.doc

Quote:
I was on a 10-day visit to Maharashtra’s Yawal Sanctuary in May 2004. This wild forest in the Jalgaon district is a jewel in the crown of northern Maharashtra’s Khandesh region.

...

When challenged by the sanctuary staff, the encroachers first resorted to bribery, and when this failed, violence, injuring several staff members. The Pawaryas are skilled with the gophan, a stone throwing sling with a range of 200 m., with which they can cause grievous injuries.

     Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Ajay Pillariseth, winner of the prestigious Kailash Sankhala fellowship, has recently been posted here and has started training Yawal’s staff to record bird populations and nests and track tiger and leopard movements. And ACF B.D. Wagh is training the local Barela villagers to use the gophan and bow and arrow, to protect themselves and their forest from Pawarya encroachers from M.P.



200 metres!  Shocked
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David Morningstar
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Re: Slingers in India
Reply #1 - Apr 21st, 2009 at 2:59pm
 
http://gymkhana.iitb.ac.in/~gra/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=grawinter2008_camp

Quote:
The venue of this year’s GRA winter camp was Jhabua district in Madhya Pradesh. Jhabua is the westernmost district of MP, bordering Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is a predominantly tribal district with Bhil, Bhilala and Patalia tribes constituting more than 87% of the population.

...

After dinner, we enthusiastically explored some of the common Bhil weapons used for hunting in the earlier times- sword, bow & arrows and gophan. Gophan is a unique Bhil weapon and looks similar to a catapult that is swung several times around before launching the projectile (usually stone).




Unique, you say?  Grin

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David Morningstar
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Re: Slingers in India
Reply #2 - Apr 21st, 2009 at 3:03pm
 
http://www.narmada.org/samachar/29.may.2001.html

Quote:
C. RAMMANOHAR REDDY details the
sequence of events at Mehndikheda, Madhya Pradesh, where four persons were
killed after a move to recover timber went out of control.

...

On April 2 the Government team of a few hundred was met by equally
numerous adivasis protestors at Mehndikheda. The district administration
says the adivasis were armed. Some of them perhaps were - with gophans
(stone slings) and tir kamti (bows and arrows). But in the event it was
the local people who died in the face-off. Three adivasis and a non-tribal
living in the area were killed by police bullets.

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Thearos
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Re: Slingers in India
Reply #3 - Apr 21st, 2009 at 3:27pm
 
I wonder which language "gophan" is in.
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David Morningstar
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Re: Slingers in India
Reply #4 - Apr 21st, 2009 at 4:30pm
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhya_Pradesh

The predominant language is Hindi, but there are local dialects. However, I would expect a Hindi word to be used in general reportage.

Here is another one picked up by Google. Its about an Indian movie 'Lagaan':

http://www.screenindia.com/old/20011221/rmara.html

Quote:
Ashutosh said that his frequent visits to Kolhapur and adjacent beautiful scenery and rustic atmosphere inspired him to create similar rustic scenes and atmosphere in Lagaan. A farmer protecting his crops by throwing stones through gophan is a particular scene found in rural Maharashtra. This scene gave Lagaan, a gophan player-cum-good bowler. The team of the rustic eleven in Lagaan is thus chosen from various traits and characters which can be seen in rural Indian panorama.

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Thearos
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Re: Slingers in India
Reply #5 - Apr 21st, 2009 at 5:25pm
 
So it's an Indo-europaean word for sling ? Just curious
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: Slingers in India
Reply #6 - Apr 23rd, 2009 at 12:46pm
 
interesting.
Looks like they were mainly used for scaring birds from crops.

So is there any culture that hasn't - at some point - had a history of sling usage ?
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Re: Slingers in India
Reply #7 - Apr 23rd, 2009 at 2:01pm
 
Curious Aardvark wrote on Apr 23rd, 2009 at 12:46pm:
So is there any culture that hasn't - at some point - had a history of sling usage ?

The one with the didgeridoo. Apparently they are incompatible except on this forum. Smiley
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Timothy Potter
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Re: Slingers in India
Reply #8 - Apr 23rd, 2009 at 11:52pm
 
The American Museum of Natural History has a sling from India in their collection.
Here's a link to the collection search page of the museum.

http://anthro.amnh.org/anthro_coll.shtml

Just click the picture of Asia, and search for "sling." The Indian sling is on the thrid page of results, bottom-left.

-Timothy Potter
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