Afghani lohar war pick

length: 13 1/2"
head: 6 1/8"
head width: 1 3/8"
cutting edge: 5 1/2"
weight: 8 oz

A "lohar", or war pick/war axe used by Bannochi warriors from the Khyber Pass region of Afghanistan. Tradition dictated that each male member of the Bannochi was to individually make and decorate their own lohar under the supervision of a master weaponsmith, and the patterns and decorations were different on each one. The lohar is a sturdy and viscious little weapon, and is quite hard to find. The hardwood grip on this example is newer than the shaft and head, which most likely dates from the early 1800's.

more information recently shared by J.M., an antique expert buddy:
" On the 'lohar'axe from India: The Bannuchi were an Afghan tribe who were situated in Bannu, Northwest Frontier Province (Derajat Division) along with several other Pathan tribes. The term 'lohar' refers to an Indo-Aryan language or dialect but more importantly the term refers to a community of itinerant blacksmiths and tinkerers of these regions. Note the similarity of these axes to the 'zaghnal' war axes of India, and consider the possibility of these 'lohar' being interpretations of those war axes of India. It is interesting to note the similarity to the crow or raven head type throwing knives of Africa, similarly hafted weapons.The diffusion of weapon forms knows no geographic boundaries, and trade was a tenacious vehicle that had no sense of distance or time."