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Vajra-Mushti: A Lost Heritage of Wrestling

Vajra-musti refers to a knuckleduster-like weapon and also a form of Indian wrestling in which that weapon is used. The weapon is sometimes also called Indra-mukti which means Indra's fist. Usually the vajra-musti is made up of ivory or buffalo horn. It looks like a knuckleduster that is slightly pointed at the sides.

The variation used for warfare had long blades protruding from each end, and an elaborate bladed knuckle. The first mention of vajra-musti comes from the Manasollasa of Chalukya King Someswara III during 1124–1138; although, it is not undisputed. As the matches of Vajra-mushti were patronized by royal people and wrestlers thus it received high regard. During the colonial period, the Jyesti clan became known as Jetti. At this time the Jetti of Baroda are recorded as practicing naki ka kusti, a form of wrestling with bagh nakh; however, due to lack of facilities and appreciation, they have lost the family tradition of wrestling.

This sport resembles with malla-yuddha. On the day of a match of Vajra-mushti, the combatants' heads are shaved, only a small tuft of hair is left to which neem leaves are tied for good luck. During the match the right arm, holding the vajra-musti, is held to the side next to the waist. The match continues till one competitor submits, gets disarmed, or is otherwise unable to continue.

Content: Wikipedia. Org

By: Anita Aishvarya

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