Maces of the Ming Dynasty

The proper Chinese name for mace is Gu Duo (骨朵), which is a corruption of Gua Zhun (胍肫), meaning big belly or flower bud. It is also known as Chui (錘, can be written as 鎚, meaning hammer), the later term is more common in modern usage.

Suan To Gu Duo (蒜頭骨朵, lit. 'Garlic mace')
Ming Dynasty Mace
Drawing of a Suan Tou Gu Duo, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Suan Tou Gu Duo refers to a non-spiked Chinese mace. It is named after its garlic-shaped mace head.

Ji Li Gu Duo (蒺藜骨朵, lit. 'Puncturevine mace')
Ming Dynasty Morning Star
Drawing of a Ji Li Gu Duo, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Ji Li Gu Duo refers to a spiked mace, or morning star. It is rarer than standard mace.

Flanged Mace
A pair of late Yuan/early Ming period flanged maces discovered at the tomb of  Ming general Kang Mao Cai (康茂才).
Chinese flanged mace is even rarer than Ji Li Gu Duo. Most likely introduced by the Mongols, it shows very clear influence of Indo-Persian Shashpar mace.

Fei Chui (飛鎚, lit. 'Flying hammer')
Ming Dynasty Meteor Hammer
Drawing of a Liu Xing Chui, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Also known as Liu Xing Chui (流星鎚, meteor hammer), this weapon is essentially two mace heads connected by a rope or chain. While Fei Chui is very similar to bolas, and can be used as such, it is usually used like a retrievable sling.

Ceremonial mace
Chinese Ceremonial Mace
Two ceremonial maces, from 'San Cai Tu Hui (《三才圖會》)'.
Ceremonial mace, often with exaggerated and hollowed mace head, is known as Jin Gua Chui (金瓜錘, lit. 'Golden gourd hammer' or 'Pumpkin hammer'). It can be divided into Li Gua (立瓜, standing gourd) and Wo Gua (臥瓜, crouching gourd), depending on the mace head orientation.


  1. Any dimensions for these weapons? I've seen some in artwork which seem to be short enough to be use single handed, but suspect some may have been larger two handed articles.

  2. @clibinarium

    Most Chinese (and maces from other cultures, for that matter) maces that I am aware of are one-handed.

    Two handed blunt weapons come in the form of Lang Ya Bang (狼牙棒, Wolf's tooth club), and Shu (殳, a mace-spear from Chinese bronze age, no longer used during Ming).

  3. It was probably the Lang Ya Bang I was thinking of.

  4. @clibinarium

    Lang Ya Bang is not too common though, and it looks more like a spiked baseball bat than a mace.

  5. @Clibinarium
    Two-handed maces exist. Recently found the photo of a Jin Dynasty silver mace, and some murals with guards holding two-handed maces.