The Nagyka, nagaika, or nagayka (Russian: нага́йка; pronounced [nʌˈɡajkə]) is a short, thick whip with round cross-section used by Cossacks of Russia, borrowed from Nogai people, hence the original name "nogaika", or "Nogai's whip". It is also called камча, kamcha from the Turkic word "kamci" for "whip". The latter word is also used for short whips of Central Asian origin.
The nagyka was made out of leather strips by braiding. It was possible to have piece of metal at the tip of the whip.
The main purpose of a nagyka was to urge a horse. A metal piece was used for defense against wolves. According to Vladimir Dahl's "Explanatory Dictionary of the Live Great Russian language", this nagayka was called volkoboy (волкобой, "wolf-slayer"). It was also used as a weapon in combat when other weapons were not available or as a left hand weapon with sabre. Nagaykas were never listed among the weaponry, at the same time there existed a traditional form of hunting, when the chased animal (fox, wolf, etc.) was killed by a nagyka. The three-tailed, metal-weighted nagaika was also used as throwing weapon for fowling, similarly to the bolas.
In modern times the descriptions of the military use of nagyka tend to be mythologized, and it the past the prime and predominant use was to drive horse. At the same time nagyka was known to be used against unarmed people, e.g., for corporal punishment or to disperse public disorders (e.g., during Russian Revolutions), so that a cossack with nagayka has become a symbol of tsarist oppression.
- "Nagayka", construction and technique (an excerpt from the book Г. Э. Адамович, Р. И. Федин "Владение холодным оружием (казачьи техники)") (Russian)
- "Вольная станица" design and kinds (Russian)
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