|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2010)|
|Place of origin||South India|
The urumi (curling blade) is a long sword made of flexible steel, sharp enough to cut into flesh, but flexible enough to be rolled into a tight coil. Originating in South India, it was most popular in the North Malabar Coast of Kerala and is often mentioned in the ballads of the region.
In kalaripayat, the urumi is always the last weapon taught because of the danger it poses to the wielder. The weapon is called urumi in northern kalaripayattu and chuttuval in the southern style. The word chuttuval is derived from the Malayalam words chuttu (coil/spin) and vaal (sword).
The sword is a flexible band of steel three-quarters to one inch in width, and long enough to reach from the fingertip of one hand to the finger tip of the other hand when the hands are held outstretched (usually about four or five and a half feet). It has a small handle with a cover. Often there are multiple belts on a single handle, which makes it more dangerous to the opponents and wielders alike. In modern times it is often made from used band-saw blades and packing bands..
Agility and skill are more important to master the weapon rather than strength or aggression. Twirling and controlling the urumi is a difficult and dangerous art, and is therefore taught only to the best. Incorrect use can result in the flexible sword wounding its wielder, and great concentration is required during use, even by experts. The urumi is most useful against multiple opponents.
When not in use, the urumi is worn around the waist like a belt. Since women often wore belts it was a convenient weapon for them to carry. Unniyarcha, one of the heroines of the ballads of the northern Malabar coast, was said to have been adept at wielding the urumi. It was also a good weapon for duels since thrusting with the point of the sword was not permitted in duels in South India.
Media Appearances 
- The urumi made an appearance as Emperor Ashoka's secondary weapon in the 2001 Hindi film Asoka. Shah Rukh Khan as Ashoka used it early in the film to fight off rebels from Taxila, and menacingly wielded it once more while facing his former comrade Bhima.
- The kalaripayat exponent Silat of the manga series Berserk also uses the urumi as one of his weapons.
- In the anime and manga Rurouni Kenshin, sword collector Sawagejō Chō uses a long single-bladed urumi against Kenshin which was disguised as a belt.
- Indian players in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties can hire urumi swordsmen and even an urumi mansabdar from their home city. The unit is unavailable to other civilizations.
- The sword is used in the novel The Last Oracle written by James Rollins. In the novel some of the characters are saved in a battle by Dalit tribe people living in the Punjab.
- The coiled sword served as the Rajput Warrior's medium range weapon in the season 2 episode "Roman Centurion vs. Rajput Warrior" on the show Deadliest Warrior.
- In the 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Roxanne "Roxy" Richter used a weapon similar to a coiled sword.
- Urumi was chosen as the film title for an Indian film depicting attrocities of the Portuguese in India and a failed assassination attempt on Vasco da Gama.
- Urumi was used by the famous Indian actor Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran in one of his films Rickshawkaran (1971) where he fights with the same.
- In the Soul series, one of the characters, Ivy, uses a weapon very similar to the Urumi of her own invention; she calls it a whip sword.
- In Fairy Tail series episode 6, one of the dark guild mage used urumi
- In Inuyasha series, the character Jakotsu uses a blade that acts & works in a manner somewhat similar to an urumi.
- Signum of Lyrical Nanoha wields a magical Urumi that can also convert into a bow, in which she names it Levantine.