14 March 2016

Gou Lian (鈎鐮)

Ming Dynasty Pole Hook
Drawing of a Gou Lian, from 'Ji Xiao Xin Shu (《紀效新書》)'.
Gou Lian (鈎鐮, lit. 'Hook sickle') is a type of long polearm designed for naval use. It is basically a sharpened hook mounted on a one zhang five chi bamboo pole, comparable in length to some Chang Qiang (長鎗). Gou Lian was used to hook enemy warship or cut off enemy cordage, as well as scooping up dead bodies from the water. Due to its softer bamboo shaft and heavier weight of the hook, it is unsuitable for land use.

A variant with wooden shaft, known as Ti Gou (提鈎, lit. 'Lifting hook'), was used in siege defence.

This weapon is related to (and sometimes its name is used interchangeably with) Gou Lian Qiang (鈎鐮鎗), although its hook is much larger.

Bing Lu (《兵錄》) variant
Ming Chinese hooked spear
Variant design of Gou Lian, from 'Bing Lu (《兵錄》)'.
Gou Lian from Bing Lu has an additional hook and a spike. It also replace its bamboo shaft with a (presumably) shorter and more sturdy shaft, and thus can be used on land.

It bears some resemblance to European fauchard.


  1. I remember the painting Kangwo Tujuan or Wako Zukan depicted wolf troops wielding a type of hooked polearm that is shaped like a scorpion's tail. Is that weapon related to the Gou Lian?

    1. Yes, it probably is.

      The wolf troop version is sometimes dubbed Xie Zi Wei (蝎子尾, scorpion tail). Although I have no idea if that is the actual name for the weapon, it does look the part.


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