The word chakram is derived from the sanskrit word, chakra
, literally meaning round, circle, or wheel. The Oxford English Dictionary describes a chakram as a quoit
, or a metal or stone disk thrown in the greek or roman fashion of the discus
. Very little information is available about Chakrams, and Bret Ryan Rudnick of Harvard, after doing extensive research on the subject (http://www.whoosh.org/issue8/rudnick6.html
) found that the best source of information on the Chakram comes from a monograph published in 1880 by The Honourable Wilbraham Egerton, M.A., M.P., titled "An Illustrated Handbook of Indian Arms". Chakrams are thrown weapons, either hurled or twirled around on a finger and released like a frisbee
. The chakram can be thrown effectively at a target up to 50 meters away, while a few really well constructed ancient chakrams can be thrown straight up to 100 meters and further. A clipped and straightened chakram would resemble an airfoil, like the wing of an airplane. They were often worn as part of a warriors armor, for decorative purposes. As a result, many chakrams still in existance tend towards the highly ornate and impractical. It was used by trained footman in the Sikh
military up until the 19th century. However, it was never a common weapon around the world, and was rarely even found in the works of fantasy.
Uncommon, that is, until Xena Warrior Princess
hit the scene. The Aerobie
by Superflight Inc.
is basically a rubber and plastic chakram, for those who fantasize about nailing someone in the cubicle across the hall with a mighty chakram while emulating Xena's war-cry.