Himalyan Imports Villager Tarwar by "Bura" I have to say that when I first held my Himalayan Imports Tarwar I was a bit disappointed. Given the veil of mystique that wraps itself around the sword tighter than guilt on a Catholic it isnt hard. When I first unsheathed the Tarwar and thrust it towards the Heavens there was no angelically masculine choir to declare me as He Man, Master of the Universe. My cat didnt grow to the size of a small bear with teeth sized to put my newfound He-Manhood to shame. Every heroic pose ended the same; with dismal failure. No amount of sweat, tears, or physical exertion could bring on a magical change in either my cat or myself. Im still me, and as my Grandmother would say, my cat still looks like a Holstein. So far I have not gained any Ninja powers (be it Mall or otherwise), women still fail to flock to my fold, and those e-mails in my Spam Folder, like Sirens, still beckon me in my sleep. What did I gain by purchasing my first sword? Well, so far I would say that its limited to a small dent in my ceiling. Yet fear not fair reader! If sympathy pains have not rendered you unconscious I bid thee read on. For this tale may yet end happily. The first thing about this review I will note is that this particular Tarwar is a villager model. A villager model differs from Himalayan Imports standard offerings in two important ways. The first is that Microsoft word incessantly underlines the word Tarwar in red, and like zombies and that paperclip, nothing short of Divine Intervention will make it go away for good. The second difference is that while the fit is still high quality, the finish of the villager models isnt nearly as high. The blade and handle are not polished, the solder lines arent cleaned up as well, and the application of the laha (laha is a native resin used as an epoxy) isnt as well done as it is on the standard offerings. A villager model is also cheaper than the standard offering; so it really is up to the buyers preference. As I mentioned earlier the fit on this Tarwar certainly is not lacking in any way. The fit on the Tarwar is actually better than the fit on my Chiruwa Ang Khola Khukuris. One thing that surprised me was the very defined forward balance. This is a blade meant for slashing, cutting, and chopping; and you can see it in the design and feel it in your hand. So often with swords you hear about balance, but I havent often heard much about how theyre balanced. The Tarwar has a nice solid feel in hand, and I can comfortably hold it in either one hand or two. While it certainly would be possible to use it as a one handed weapon, its not something that I would be inclined to do without a lot of practice and a good bit more strength. It is certainly doable to wield it with one hand, but its much more responsive and less fatiguing when you use two hands. Im a little torn on what to think because the Tarwar certainly isnt a very large sword, I consider it just right for a one handed blade, but it needs two hands to use effectively. So for right now it isnt a positive or a negative aspect; just an undetermined. You can see the by the Kami marks just above the brass guard that this Villager Tarwar was made by Bura (the crescent moon and eight rayed orb); the Master Kami of the HI shop. The two marks above his personal markings stand for the shop itself IIRC. The laha attaching the guard spills up onto the blade a little bit and there is also some exposed laha between the handle and the bolster. The solder line on the bolster itself is smoothed off and neat, but the solder that between the bolster and the guard hasnt received any special attention. I dont know if this is standard practice or if its specific to the villager model. The one thing that did surprise me is the lack of the initials U.B.. I think that it is marked, but in Nepalese (is that the correct language?). It has the four marks on the left side of the blade near the bolster (Kami markings and BirGorkha factory markings), two on the right side near the bolster (Uncle Bill?), and two on the right side further up the spine (Himalayan Imports). If the U.B. is indeed in a different tongue I have to say that I think I prefer it that way. I understand the reason, but the Roman characters always look out of place to me. The handle is made of Satisal wood and is a nice deep milk chocolate brown. It has two sets of two rings carved into the middle of it where it bulges out. The bolster, butt cap, and keeper all fit extremely well and look good. I would like to oil the handle, but I dont know if I want to darken it. So thats a debate for another day I suppose. If I could find a cute X-Ray technician to take out to dinner in exchange for a favor I would love to get an X-Ray of the Tarwars tang. I know that its a full-length tang because its peened over the keeper. However, I would also like to see exactly how thick it is and how much it tapers. This is probably the most controversial part of the Tarwar I will cover, so I will do everyone a favor and keep it brief. Rat tail tang! (Runs and ducks for cover.*) (*Note: There should be a winky smiley here, but since it counts as an image I cannot insert one without getting rid of the relevant ones.) The blade itself is interesting. Sighting down the top its very straight; though slight inconsistencies in the fullers can give it the illusion of wandering. What is much more fascinating is that this particular Tarwar has an s shape to the blade. Starting at the bolster the spine has a slight upward curve that dips before going into a more pronounced upward curve over the last third of the blade. The beginning curve is only noticeable when you sight down the side of the blade and I dont think it was intentional. The Tarwars width stays very consistent throughout the first two thirds of the blade and then it widens slightly as the spine begins to arch upwards. Shallow fullers run the length of the blade from the spine to the beginning of the edge. The Tarwar didnt arrive very sharp; though the edge profile seems decent. Once I get better at using a belt sander Ill probably regrind the edge in a few places.