13 September 2017

Zhua Zu Sha Ma Feng Lian (撾足殺馬風鐮)

Drawing of a Zhua Zu Sha Ma Feng Lian, from 'San Cai Tu Hui (《三才圖會》)'.
Zhua Zu Sha Ma Feng Lian (撾足殺馬風鐮, lit. 'Foot-catching, horse-killing wind sickle') is a simple yet vicious trap designed for anti-cavalry warfare. It consists of a small wooden hexagonal or rounded hoop with twelve inward-pointing nails made of iron or bamboo, tethered to a sharp sickle blade with a rope.

Zhua Zu Sha Ma Feng Lian works on a similar principle as Apache foot snare, although unlike the Native American trap it does not immobilise its victim. Instead, the spikes on Zhua Zu Sha Ma Feng Lian simply bite onto the leg of its victim, causing the injured and spooked horse to buck frantically as it tries to shake off the trap. This in turn causes the tethered sickle blade to be swung around wildly, potentially injuring or even killing nearby horses and riders.

It is usually deployed together with Di Yong Qiang (地湧鎗).


  1. Question, It says octagonal or rounded hoop, yet the depiction shows a hexagon. Is this a typo? Or is the illustration different to the description?

    1. Oh man, can't believe I get that mixed up. Thanks for pointing out the error!


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