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Author Topic:   Two Kampilan And A Question
Rick
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posted 04-08-2002 12:23     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi All
I've just added two Kampilan to my collection. One of them is quite unusual; I thought I'd share the pictures and pose a question or two. both swords are about the same overall length 39", and both blades are about the same length 29".

The first question is: has anyone seen this variant style of hilt, and to which tribe would it be attributed.


The large guard seems to be a sand casting, both guards are of Brass.
The tip of the blade seems fairly standard.

[IMG]

The more traditional Kampilan is a little lighter and I would guess quite a bit older judging from the wear on the carvings.

The tip of the blade shows Dyak influence.

Would anyone care to venture a guess as to which tribe made this sword. My guess would be Maranao; my reasons for this attribution would lie in the style of the carving. Some Maranao authorities espouse the interpretation of the Kampilan's hilt to represent the tail of the Swiftlet (the birds nest soup bird). To my eye the carvings are much more featherlike rather than representing the teeth of a croc or Naga figure. The guard on this sword also suggests (to me) the swept wings of a bird in flight whereas other kampilan hilts do not.
Final question, can we with any certainty attribute different styles of Kampilan to individual tribes?

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 04-08-2002).]

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VANDOO
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posted 04-08-2002 16:09     Click Here to See the Profile for VANDOO   Click Here to Email VANDOO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
FIRSTLY CONGRADULATIONS ON YOUR KAMPILIANS. I HAD NOT HEARD THE IDEA OF THE HILT REPRESENTING A BIRDS TAIL BEFORE BUT I SEE NO REASON THAT IT COULDN'T BE. MOST SOCIETYS HAVE MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF ANIMAL AS A SYMBOL OR TOTEM. THE SWIFT HAS ITS OWN LEGENDS AND THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF IT'S NESTS WHICH GO BACK TO ANCIENT TIMES.THE PHOENIX ALSO PLAYS A PART IN MANY ORIENTAL DESIGNS AND THE SEA EAGLE ALSO. THE CROCODILE IS STILL A POSSIBILITY ALSO BUT THE MAJORITY OF MINE HAVE A PROMENENT EYE IN THE DESIGN ONE OF MINE DOES NOT, THAT MIGHT BE THE WAY TO TELL THEM APART. I ALSO HAVE ONE WITH A SEA EAGLE HEAD POMMEL AND ONE WITH A HAND OR LEAF SHAPED HANDLE.I HAVE NOT SEEN ANY CAST BRASS GAURDS LIKE YOURS BEFORE BUT IT LOOKS VERY NICE. I HAVE SEEN BRASS GAURDS BEFORE AS WELL AS THE MORE COMMON IRON BUT THEY WERE MADE OUT OF BENT STRIPS NOT SAND CAST. IF THERE IS REFRENCE INFORMATION ON HOW TO IDENTIFY KAMPILIAN BY TRIBE OR AREA I HAVEN'T GOTTEN AROUND TO READING IT YET.I AM NOT EVEN SURE OF HOW WIDESPREAD ITS USE WAS, THERE WERE PROBABLY PEOPLE USING IT IN OTHER AREAS BESIDES THE PHILIPPINES.

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RSword
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posted 04-08-2002 16:09     Click Here to See the Profile for RSword   Click Here to Email RSword     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rick,

Two beautiful examples! The Kampilan ranks among my favorite of swords. I have an example very similar to your example pictured on the left. I would be interested in theories of designation. I'll post pics. One interesting feature on my example is two strips of rayskin which have been bound in the grip. I presume for a better grip. My example also had the staple but it was of steel and broke off. I still have that piece and need to reattach.


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Federico
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posted 04-08-2002 16:45     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice kampilans Rick. Your guess is as good as mine for locations. Realistically I wonder how much there truly is to know about these things. We're limited by what has been provinenced, and even then what is provinenced, and what that provinence says are often oblique, and questionable in of itself. Ive seen pictures of Hadji Usman (a famous Tausug hadji) provinenced as being a Maguindanao Sultan by the collection. Not to mention the caprices of various museums, the accidental switching of scabbards, cards, etc... So all in all, it is very possible that pieces attributed to one group may be plain mis-ids at the time, and that also does not deal with the random effects of trade. Then there is the issue of re-structured artificial histories, making current theories based on oral traditions suspect. I personally think at least in the field of Moro weaponry, there should and will be alota of re-invention of the wheel, before more solid standings can be surmised.

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Rick
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posted 04-08-2002 17:14     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
" I personally think at least in the field of Moro weaponry, there should and will be alota of re-invention of the wheel, before more solid standings can be surmised. "

Frederico this is an intriguing statement can you expand on it a little? My curiousity is piqued.

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VANDOO
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posted 04-09-2002 00:39     Click Here to See the Profile for VANDOO   Click Here to Email VANDOO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I HAVE SENT 3 PICTURES OF VARIATIONS OF KAMPILIAN POMMELS TO LEE FOR POSTING.

ONE IS THE SEA EAGLE IT HAS NO METAL GUARD AND IS NOT AS OLD AS THE OTHERS.

ANOTHER IS THE HAND OR LEAF SHAPED, IT HAS BEEN DAMAGED WHERE THE HAIR IS INSERTED PART OF THE WOOD IS GONE HAIR AND ALL. ANOTHER MEMBER HAS ONE LIKE IT THAT IS IN VERY GOOD SHAPE PERHAPS HE WILL POST A PICTURE OF HIS BETTER EXAMPLE.

THE LAST ONE IS OF THE USUAL FORM WITH THE PROMENANT EYE AND IRON GUARD IT IS A LITTLE BETTER CARVED THAN USUAL AND HAS A SHORTER UPPER JAW KIND OF REMINDES ME OF A SPERM WHALE I HAVE ONE SIMILAR TO THE ONE YOU HAVE THAT DOSEN'T HAVE THE EYE BUT HAS THE FORKED SHAPE. I HAVE SEVERAL OTHERS BUT THEY FALL INTO THE CROCODILE ? TYPE. NO TWO ARE EXACTLY ALIKE . IF YOU WOULD LIKE I CAN POST PICTURES OF THEM ALSO.

[This message has been edited by Lee Jones (edited 04-09-2002).]

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zelbone
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posted 04-09-2002 14:58     Click Here to See the Profile for zelbone   Click Here to Email zelbone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All truly unique examples! I can see similarities between Rick's unusual kampilan hilt with Vandoo's "sea eagle" hilt. There's a definate Maranao flavor to that hilt of Vandoo's with that ukkil/okir motif; very similar to the carved beam extensions on Maranao Torogan homes. What Federico says can't also be ignored. It would be hard to identify which tribe made what sword unless that were hard facts to prove it. Also none of these hilt types were discussed in Cato's book.

So here's my example to perplex you folks. I picked this up several years ago at a gun show here in Kansas City. The seller said that he got a whole lot of Moro weapons from an estate sale of a gentleman who's grandfather was stationed in the Morolands around 1905 with the Iowa or Kansas Volunteers (I forgot.) He brought back a punal, two barongs, a kris, and this kampilan. I bought the whole lot from him. The hilt of this kampilan is of typical form with no metal staples or guards and no hair or plugs for them. There are three metal bands on the hilt and metal discs nailed into the "eye" of the crocodile. The crossguard is of that unusual "thalassic" form according to Cato. The rattan in the pic is not original; I added it on later since I actually like to swing this one around. The unusual part is the blade. It has okir engraved all along the spine to the spike on the tip. According to Cato, this is a "tourist" piece. Yet the blade is laminated and of the highest quality, as good as if not better than my other kampilans with no okir. This kampilan was also brought back around 1905 according to the seller who I don't doubt. The barongs in that lot are typical of that age. I really doubt that they were making tourist kampilans at that time since the Moros were at war with the U.S. Army. What do you guy think?

[This message has been edited by Lee Jones (edited 04-10-2002).]

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Federico
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posted 04-10-2002 11:29     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rick I personally think there has not been enough studies of Moro Swords for there to be any real solid ground of what we know. Realistically there is just one book, written by one person, on the subject. And while Robert Cato certainly put a whole lot of time and research into the book, including visiting and examining properly cataloged pieces from Museum Collections all-over the world, I dont believe that he has seen every possibility. Even in his book he states that he hopes others will carry up the research. While I dont know if new research will conflict with Robert Cato's theories, I dont think it would hurt for other view points on the subject to be brought up.

Interesting Kampilan Zel. I saw one similar to it, in looks and story (grandpa brought it back from Span-AM war 1905), about a year ago. In Robert Cato's book he states that there were two styles of okired blade, one that was legitimate, and another that was raised on a black background that he fealt was probably an early attempt at a tourist blade. Now whether or not he's correct I dont think we'll ever truly know. However on the one's similar to this, I have noticed that the hilts generally dont look as old as some others, and the carving is somewhat lower in quality. Then again, someone going through the cost of such a heavily engraved blade, may not have had the chance to purchase the most expensive hilt. But on the other hand why spend on such a fancy blade, when realistically it wouldnt be un-sheathed unless in battle. Couldnt go waving an unsheathed blade around a Datu or Sultan. I suppose it's another question we may never have the answer to.

On another note. One thing to consider, like the idea of cockatua's being re-carved after a crest has broken off, the same thing also happened to kampilans.

[This message has been edited by Federico (edited 04-10-2002).]

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Rick
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posted 04-10-2002 12:00     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Federico, I agree about the mixed blessing of Cato's book.
I was afraid for a moment that you were throwing your hands up in despair.
We as collectors must be able to make some contribution to the database though; would you not agree?
Now where's that darn wheel we've got to re-invent

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RSword
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posted 04-10-2002 22:20     Click Here to See the Profile for RSword   Click Here to Email RSword     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I want to thank everyone for posting all the different pics. I say go for it Vandoo and post a few more! One question that I would like to pose? Of the ones we have pictured in this thread, how many could be Sea Dyak. Stone states that the Kampilan was a favored sword of the Sea Dyak as well as the Moro warrior. It seems most often classification goes immediately to Moro, but I would like to know if there are any provenanced examples from Kalimantan. How many other people of this region carried this type of sword. With the Kampilan being such an old sword form and type(documented examples from 16th century), then I wonder how many other sword forms in this region spun off this sword form?

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VANDOO
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posted 04-10-2002 23:22     Click Here to See the Profile for VANDOO   Click Here to Email VANDOO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I DON'T KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY SEA DAYAK KAMPILIANS THAT CAN BE PROVEN AS SUCH BUT IN SOME OF MY READING OF RAJAH BROOKS FIGHTS WITH THE PIRATES AROUND KUCHING KAMPILIANS WERE MENTIONED. I SUSPECT IT WAS A KNOWN AND FEARED SWORD OVER THE ENTIRE REGION IN THOSE TIMES. I SAW ONE LISTED AS SEA DAYAK ON THE INTERNET A WHILE BACK BUT IT WAS PROBABLY BASED ON STONES GLOSSARY AND NOT DOCUMENTED. I WILL ASK LEE TO POST A FEW MORE PICTURES AND IF ANYONE ELSE HAS ONE ADD IT TO THE GROUP THE MORE EXAMPLES WE HAVE THE MORE WE MAY LEARN.THE PICTURES WILL SHOW THE HILTS AND TIPS OF MY OTHER EXAMPLES SOME ARE DAMMAGED.THERE IS ALSO SOME DETAL OF THE DECORATION ON THE ONLY SCABBARD I HAVE. THE CROCODILE WITH HORN AND METAL PLATES IS MORE RECENT AND WAS PROBABLY MADE ON PANAY FOR TOURISTS BUT IS KIND OF COOL AND FITS IN WITH THE KAMPILIAN TYPE. THE DECORATED BLADE ON ANOTHER IS THIN AND NOT OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN USED EXCEPT FOR CEREMONY. SOME OF THE BLADES DO HAVE THE HOLES FILLED WITH BRASS AS FOUND ON SOME MANDAU AND ALL BUT THE TWO ARE GOOD OLD EXAMPLES. ONE OF THE CROCODILE HILTS HAS BONE DISKS WITH A BRASS SUNBURST FIXED THRU BOTH EYES WITH A BRASS PIN SOME OTHERS HAVE SMALL HOLES IN THE EYE AREA AND ONE OTHER EXAMPLE APPEARS TO HAD SOMETHING OVER THE EYES THAT IS NOW MISSING.ZELBONES EXAMPLE APPEARS TO HAVE A METAL EYE COVERING AND METAL BANDS ON THE GRIP ALSO THE WOODEN GUARD LOOKS MORE LIKE SOME OF THE MORE RECENT WRANGKA FROM THE TOP OF KERIS SCABBARDS PERHAPS THAT IS WHERE IT WAS BORROWED FROM.THERE WAS RECENTLY A KAMPILIAN ON EBAY THAT HAD LOST ITS POMMEL AND IT HAD BEEN REPLACED WITH A BRASS CAP EACH INDIVIDUAL MODIFIED HIS WEAPON THRU NECESSITY OR TO SUIT HIS TASTE. MANY TIMES IT IS FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS AS THE OLD BELIEFS ARE REPLACED WITH NEW ONES THE CUSTOMS,TABOOS AND ART CHANGES.

[This message has been edited by VANDOO (edited 04-11-2002).]

[This message has been edited by VANDOO (edited 04-11-2002).]

[This message has been edited by VANDOO (edited 04-11-2002).]

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Federico
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posted 04-10-2002 23:54     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The word kampilan seems to bandied about alot by period European Observers, especially by Spanish writers. To hear them write, everyone in the area used only kampilans, there is little mention of other swords. Like television, even period writings only give partial glimpses into a period of time, and those glimpses are definitely biased as to whom is doing the looking. In all reason, realistically it must be understood that much of these writings were written by people who didnt care for the history/cultures of the people they were fighting, and even less for the art/weapons they made. As for documented pieces that can be attributed to Dayaks, Ive not seen any in the Moro form. Though I always assumed them Mandau's to be the Sea Dayak form. One thing to consider as well, many museums did not even care where pieces came from. Some just picked up stuff, and wrote the cards up without asking questions. So realistically many documented pieces are questionable in true origin. And then there is the switching of pieces by in-attentive curators... Anyways back to the historical precedence, the Sulu sultanate had far more influence/control over North Borneo, and presumably could have been in contact with the Dayaks. Then again, the entire region was/is a bevy of trade.

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Rick
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posted 04-11-2002 10:32     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Federico, I agree about the misnaming of swords by historians. Could one then draw the same conclusion about provenance of various examples of Kris from the area?

Given that we know for a fact that N.Borneo was (nominally at least) considered a domain of the Sulu Sultanate can we not safely assume that there was trade between the Dyak tribes and merchant traders of Sulu?
Where does the Kampilan fit into all this; do we have any photographic evidence of a warrior from Sulu carrying a Kampilan ?

What of the catch-all term *Sea Dyak* ? If we follow the anthropological definition we find representation of them as a fairly peaceful people; certainly not bloodthirsty ocean corsairs. I've never seen a Sea Dyak Kampilan to the best of my knowledge. Most of the reading I have done points to Mindanao as the origin of the Kampilan form as we now know it.

I would offer the idea that the Kampilan was used not only on Mindanao but also extensively by the Iranun/Ilanun raiding sub group and that these people might have become the *Sea Dyaks* Westerners described in their writings.
Thoughts?

I'd love to see more Kampilan variants keep 'em coming!

Finally Zel, I have a Kris with similar Okir work down the medial, the gangya is integral to the blade. I have always wondered about it because it too is beautifully forged and decorated and of top quality. a picture will follow.

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 04-11-2002).]

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zelbone
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posted 04-11-2002 11:49     Click Here to See the Profile for zelbone   Click Here to Email zelbone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Normally I wouldn't do this..but since we're on the subject and it's not a sleeper, has anyone else here checked out the interesting hilt on the kampilan on eBay right now (#1092456004.) At first it looks cut down, but after looking at it, it maybe a unique form itself. What's everyones take on this?

The kampilan has been around for a long, long time. The general form can be seen in not only in Moro types, but in Lumad swords, as well as in other parts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The difference is how it has evolved in different areas. Wasn't Magellan killed with a kampilan...that was in Mactan in the Visayas...500 years ago! It's almost similar to keris evolution. A Moro sundang or kalis is a different beast compared to a keris from Java, but you could see how they're related. Unfortunately, we live in an age where sword evolution is past its zenith. They now are de-evolving back into tool instead of weapons. This can be seen with the pira and panabas. I've seen modern pira and panabas and they are more work oriented than the weapons of before. Firearms are the weapon of choice these days. Even the Moros would prefer an M203 over a kampilan. Oh well, at least we appreciate their swords.

Finally, Rick, I think I remember seeing a pic of that kris of yours. If it is a tourist piece...then the tourist that bought it was pretty damned lucky!

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Ian
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posted 04-11-2002 12:41     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rick, Vandoo, Zel and all who added their comments above:

Thanks for the insight into the kampilan hilts. Definitely an area of uncertainty in terms of regional/tribal identification. As rich as the kampilan weapons are from the Moro, there may be even more variety among the Lumad peoples of Mindanao. I'll post a couple of pictures over the weekend if I am back home by then.

And then there is the issue of kampilan scabbards. Don't see many for Moro kampilan in reasonable shape, and most that have survuved are fairly simple -- two flat pieces of wood held together by rattan strips. I'll post two pictures of unusual scabbards as well.

Ian.

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Federico
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posted 04-11-2002 14:18     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ill throw in a couple of kickers into the scenario.

One. If youve noticed, its hard to find "official" recognition of the Sulu influence in North Borneo by Malaysia. Usually its something that is glossed over, but on the Philippine side you find much reference. The thing to consider in this scenario is the whole politic of the region. Recognition of Sulu control of the area would be acknowledging the strain over border integrity that could flare up into other things. On one hand while we may view the creation of history as a search for truth in the past, many groups consider the creation of history the search for legitimization in the present.

Two. Yes we can draw the same conclusions about the provenence of kris. Like I said, without going through all of Robert Cato's studies, methodology, etc... there is no real confirmation one way or the other of his theories. I would be more than happy if through research someone agrees with all of his theories. On the other hand, there's no way to be %100.

Three. Where do the mysterious Tirun fit into situation. They supposedly inhabited the same areas. They supposedly were somewhat under the sway of the Sulu Sultanate. And they supposedly were notorious pirates.

Now as for the kamp on Ebay, to me it looks like someone has done alota of chopping. Though from what is left it does seem like it once was a beautiful hilt.

Anyways I agree with Zel, that the kampilan has evolved differently in different areas in the region. Though I wonder if how much terminology has changed in pace with actual physical changes. Is it possible that things once simply called kampilan in one century had a name change as their form became more refined/unique?

[This message has been edited by Federico (edited 04-12-2002).]

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DAHenkel
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posted 04-12-2002 04:20     Click Here to See the Profile for DAHenkel   Click Here to Email DAHenkel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The northern coast of Borneo is really rather fascinating, with its diverse mix of ethnic groups and communities. What today are considered "tribal" groups, Dayak, Kadazan-Dusun, Iban and so-forth inhabit primarily inland areas; supposedly having been driven there by later arriving ethnic Malay communities that ultimately coalesced into the Sultanate of Brunei.

I'm no expert on this area but doesn't Sea Dayak refer to the Iban? I believe they're related to the Dayak but supposedly inhabit coastal areas and have a fairly strong maritime tradition. I also believe they had a rather nasty reputation for piracy until James Brooke arrived on the scene and more or less knocked them for six with his modern, heavily armed ships. In gratitude the Sultanate of Brunei appointed Brooke as Rajah of a large chunk of land around the Kuching River. Gradually he and his heirs carved ever larger chunks out of the Western half of the North coast of Borneo until by around 1900 or so they had formed the area into what is now the state of Sarawak.

What is now known as Sabah, the northeastern chunk of Borneo, had periodically come under the influence, direct or indirect, of the Sulu Sultanate. Indeed, as I understand it, links between the ethnic Malay Moro, Sulu and Brunei Sultanates were periodically quite strong. Those links had been severed during the Brunei Sultanate's ascendancy in the Northeast in the early 19th Century and later when the territory was incorporated as British North Borneo. This had initially been a commercial venture of British interests known as the British North Borneo Company but was later taken over by the British Colonial government when the venture became insolvent. This in spite of the Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1824 which the Dutch interpreted as restricting further British expansion in the region. After WWII the Brookes were financially unable to restore their fiefdom and Sarawak was ceded to Britain.

Ultimately, Sabah became a bone of contention between the Philippines and Malaysia in the immediate post-colonial era. Rather ironically I suppose, the PI used those traditional Sulu links and occasional hegemony over the area to lay claim to it. Further complicating matters, Sukarno’s Indonesia claimed both Sabah and Sarawak as its own.

In the early 1960's the British and the UN conducted a referendum, the upshot of which was that Sabah, along with Sarawak, Singapore and by then independent Malaya joined together to form modern Malaysia. Brunei, by now reduced to its current size, abstained and remained a territory of the British until I think 1983(John can confirm this I'm sure). As an aside, Singapore was expelled from Malaysia in 1965 for having the temerity to suggest that all Malaysian citizens be treated equally regardless of their ethnicity.

By the way, I'm not surprised that there is a tribe called the Ilanun with a history of piracy. The modern Malay word for pirate is lanun.

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Lee Jones
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posted 04-12-2002 06:09     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Jones   Click Here to Email Lee Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
kampilian hilts from Vandoo:

1

2

3

4

5

6

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Lee Jones
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posted 04-12-2002 06:11     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Jones   Click Here to Email Lee Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
kampilian hilts from Vandoo, continued:

7

8

9

10

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Lee Jones
EEWRS Staff
posted 04-12-2002 06:13     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Jones   Click Here to Email Lee Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Variations in kampilian blade tips from Vandoo:

1

2

3

4

5

6

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Lee Jones
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posted 04-12-2002 06:18     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Jones   Click Here to Email Lee Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Variations in kampilian blade tips from Vandoo, continued:

7

8

9

10

11

12

[This message has been edited by Lee Jones (edited 04-12-2002).]

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Lee Jones
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posted 04-12-2002 06:20     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Jones   Click Here to Email Lee Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
and detail on a scabbard from Vandoo:

1

[This message has been edited by Lee Jones (edited 04-12-2002).]

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zelbone
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posted 04-12-2002 10:04     Click Here to See the Profile for zelbone   Click Here to Email zelbone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vandoo, I take it that you REALLY like kampilans. Nice collection and thank you for sharing it with us!

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Federico
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posted 04-12-2002 10:18     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very impressive. Thank you for sharing.

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manteris1
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posted 04-12-2002 11:22     Click Here to See the Profile for manteris1   Click Here to Email manteris1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Barry really does like kampilans in fact he probably has more that he did not include. Having had the pleasure of seeing Barry's many collections I can report he likes everything. He probably has more kris than the Moro's..................jimmy

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Rick
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posted 04-12-2002 11:54     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Federico, I quote from your post:

"Three. Where do the mysterious Tirun fit into situation. They supposedly inhabited the same areas. They supposedly were somewhat under the sway of the Sulu Sultanate. And they supposedly were notorious pirates."

Iranun, Ilanun, Ilauan, Tirun.
Could these names all refer to the same people?
Thanks to Manny I received a scan of Oldman's catalogue #71.
The Kampilan offered for sale were referred to as Ilauan swords by this auction house in the early 20th century.
Food for thought.

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 04-12-2002).]

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Federico
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posted 04-12-2002 13:14     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My problem with alota of the history is that whole groups of people pop up and dissappear depending who you read. And unfortunately for the Moro people theyre in a place in the present where it is in the interest of many groups to deny their history, and they are in a position where asserting their own true identity is more and more difficult. Which brings us to a question who do we believe? As for the Tirun being Iranun, the book in reference is Cesar Majul's Muslim's in the Philippines. In it he does draw distinctions between the groups, so at least in that context they are not the same. However, whether in real life there is a Tirun tribe living somewhere in North Borneo, is something that outside of Majul's book I have not seen referenced. Even in the book, it was contentious whether or not this group existed, as Spain blamed the piratical acts of this tribe solely on the Sulu Sultnate which claimed only peripheral control over them. Which also brings us to the question of how many actual tribes of people are living there, and who defines these groups, and how? To make matters worse there is some thought that tribes that once were in existence are now extinct due to cultural absorbtion into the larger mainstream society. Also depending on which point in history, differing tribes allayed with different Sultanates. With the Iranun being more alligned with the Sulu Sultanate towards the end of the 19th century, however being more traditionally aligned with the Maguindanao sultanate in previous times. Then there is their relationship to the Confederacy of Maranao Sultanates. However some people I have talked to are of the opinion that the Iranun were armed similarly to the Mindanao tribes, due to the historical ties. One suggestion even is that the cross-over trunk on the kris is due to the Iranun. Then again these are also speculations. However, I am of the mind-set that there is alot less information out there than may be assumed. And boy being sick really turns my posts into nosensical drivel.

[This message has been edited by Federico (edited 04-12-2002).]

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VANDOO
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posted 04-12-2002 21:40     Click Here to See the Profile for VANDOO   Click Here to Email VANDOO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
YEP! I AM FACINATED AND ATTRACTED TO KAMPILIANS AND MANDAU'S AND HAVE BOUGHT MOST OF THOSE THAT CROSSED MY PATH IN THE PAST. THE BOOK , THE SULU ZONE 1768 - 1898 BY JAMES FRANCIS WARREN GIVES A LOT OF INTERESTING INFORMATION ON THE AREA AND PERIOD. THE STUDY IS DONE UTILIZING SHIPS MANEFESTS, LETTERS AND RECORDS FROM IMPORTANT PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENTS. THE BASIC THEORY IS THAT AS TRADE INCREASED AND THE EUROPEANS CAME INTO THE PICTURE IT ALLOWED JOLO TO GAIN POWER IN THE REGION THRU TRADE FOR CANNON, POWDER AND GUNS GIVING THEM THE BALANCE OF POWER. THE INCREASED DEMAND FOR NATURAL PRODUCTS FOR TRADE CAUSED A NEED FOR MORE SLAVES TO COLLECT THE PRODUCTS WHICH LED TO INCREASED WIDESPREAD SLAVE RAIDS. THE PRESENCE OF TRADERS IN THE AREA WITH VALUABLE CARGOS LED TO THE INCREASE IN PIRATE ATTACKS, THE CANNON AND GUNS ALSO PLAYED THEIR PART. I WOULD RECOMEND THE BOOK IT IS NOT A EXCITEING READ BUT HAS A LOT OF INTERESTING INFORMATION. I HAVEN'T FINISHED MY COPY YET SO I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW IT ENDS

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Ian
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posted 04-14-2002 02:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are pictures of two hairy kampilan and their respective scabbards. One is clearly not a Moro sword, and the other may be Moro but might also come from one of the non-Muslim tribes.

The first (1) is attributed to the B'laan, a tribe in central Mindanao that lives in fairly close proximity to the Maranao and Maguindanao. This one either never had a guard or lost it some time ago. The wooden hilt has a primitive "crocodile" form, with dark and light hair (probably horse hair) decorating the long end of the "mouth." The handle is scalloped and has a piece of material with the familiar "VVVV" designs of some of the Lumad tribes. (See other posts on the Bagobo swords.) Part of the hilt is stained or painted black and has many carved shallow "nicks" that resemble arrow heads.

The scabbard is also stained or painted and has similar decorations. A series of incised horizontal lines create a segmented appearance, horse hair has been attached on both edges, and the tip of the scabbard has three vertical parallel lines. The latter may be fashioned after the brass/bronze terminal tubes seen on T'boli and Bagobo sheaths (pictures of which have been posted elsewhere on this site).

The blade is a typical kampilan form, including a spike and file work on the tip, and is "village" quality with multiple hammer and forging marks.

Overall length = 35 1/2 inches. Blade = 26 1/2 inches. Length in scabbard = 37 1/2 inches.


1


The next (2) is a more traditional kampilan. It has a nicely forged blade with a terminal spike. The hilt is a "crocodile" form, with coarse horse hair on the lower "jaw," and a silver disk for an "eye." The small guard has a silver disk on each side. The guard has small iron staples, similar to several examples shown above in the posts of other members, and two sheath retainers that I have not seen on Moro kampilan (but are found quite often on Bagobo swords). None of the examples shown above have a sheath retainer.

The handle is brass and copper, and the brass bands top and bottom show "VVV" patterns. Similar "V" shapes are carved on the lower jaw of the crocodile hilt. In one example above (Vandoo's number 4) there is a similar design.

The scabbard is a light colored wood, with a brass throat (with lines of "VVV")and a row of broad "VVV" shapes at the top and bottom of the scabbard. Between these bands are curved elegant designs, and the terminal end of the scabbard curves gracefully upwards into a hook shape.

This one was sold to me by a Filipino as coming from the MARANAO people. Some of the decorations are unusual for Moro kampilan, and it is also shorter than most Moro blades (but longer than the short kampilan blades of the T'boli and Bagobo). I can see some Lumad features, perhaps borrowed from the Bagobo, in this one (decorations on the hilt and scabbard, sheath retainer). Another possible cross-cultural piece.

Overall length = 28 1/2 inches. Blade = 19 1/4 inches. Length in scabbard = 31 inches.


2


It is a pity that many of the older kampilan appear not to have had sheaths, or if they did those have not survived. In identifying the possible tribal origins, I find the scabbards to be very helpful. Zelbone and others have pointed to the use of textiles to decorate scabbards, and how this is a useful adjunct for identifying the weapons. I would add to that any carving, metal decorations, and other stylistic features.

Ian.

[This message has been edited by Lee Jones (edited 04-14-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Ian (edited 04-14-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Ian (edited 04-27-2002).]

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john
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posted 04-14-2002 04:57     Click Here to See the Profile for john   Click Here to Email john     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"In the early 1960's the British and the UN conducted a referendum, the upshot of which was that Sabah, along with Sarawak, Singapore and by then independent Malaya joined together to form modern Malaysia. Brunei, by now reduced to its current size, abstained and remained a territory of the British until I think 1983(John can confirm this I'm sure)." - DAHenkel

Honestly and truthfully I only studied the history of Sabah during my primary school days and have to ask my daughter for the correct date. British North Borneo joined Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963. As for the Iban (sea Dayak) group, they are from Sarawak, not Sabah.

The once notorious sea pirates around the coastal waters were known to be from Southern Philippines but after asking around my Filipino friends, they too never heard of the "Tirun tribe". According to them the pirates were the people from Jolo and Basilau. Amongst the Filipino groups in Sabah are the Iranun, Bisaya, Tagalog, Badjau and most are illegal immigrants making up the labour force in the state. Philippines has always claimed Sabah to be part of it's territory, and the root of the dispute arose from some political decisions of the Brunei Sultanate.

Sabah also known as the "Land below the Wind" is a most peaceful place with vast unspoilt natural beauty and rain forest. I think Barry just didn't stay long enough to see more. He seemed to be more into his weapon research and scuba diving thing.

The Kampilons in the Sabah museum are all listed as of Philippine origin. But as Frederico mentioned, the way some museum/curators document items cannot be fully relied upon. Reason is I saw an Indonesian keris incorrectly listed as a local keris and I'm sure some of you are in a better/more knowledgeable position to point out much more erroneous documentations at museums around and about.

By the way, what an assortment of nice fearsome looking Kampilons from all!

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VANDOO
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posted 04-14-2002 23:07     Click Here to See the Profile for VANDOO   Click Here to Email VANDOO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
IAN A COUPLE OF NICE EXAMPLES,I AGREE THE FIRST ONE MAY NOT BE MADE BY MORO OR IS OF MORE MODERN MANUFACTURE. I LIKE IT THOUGH IT APPEARS TO HAVE A LOT OF THE TRADITIONAL FEATURES OF THE MORO KAMPILIAN AND SHOWS SOME AGE BUT THE SCREW EYES TO MOUNT THE HAIR OR FIBER AND THE TIP OF THE BLADE ARE ATYPICAL=(I HOPE THIS IS A REAL WORD I DON'T WANT THE LANGUAGE PATROL TO GET ME ). DOES THE BLADE APPEAR TO BE OF MODERN STEEL AND NOT WATERED STEEL, THE TIP OF YOURS LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE TIP ON MY KAMPILIAN THAT HAD THE FANCY METAL PLATED CROCODILE WITH A HORN HANDLE LOOK AT MY BLADE TIPS AND SEE IF YOU AGREE. THE BLADE ON MINE IS MADE OF MODERN STEEL, I THINK IT MAY BE FROM PANAY AS MOST OF THE NEAT MONSTER HEAD POMELS ON MY OTHER SWORDS SEEM TO COME FROM THAT AREA. ARE THE TWO DECORATED DISKS ON YOURS MADE OF BONE OR SHELL. THE OTHER SWORD IS ALSO VERY INTERESTING AND APPEARS TO HAVE A GOOD OLD KAMPILIAN BLADE (UNLESS IT IS TOO THIN) WITH A REPLACEMENT HANDLE AND SHEATH FROM A DIFFERENT REGION AND GROUP POSSIBLY A WEAPON CAPTURED OR TRADED FOR. THE FIBER MIGHT HELP TO IDENTIFY IT IF SOMEONE HAS THE EXPERTESE IN TEXTILES FROM THE REGION.I COULD MAKE SEVERAL GUESSES AS TO ITS AREA OF ORIGIN BUT WON'T STICK MY NECK OUT THAT FAR JOHN YOU ARE RIGHT I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO FULLY APPRECIATE SABAH, THE CLIMATE IS MUCH BETTER THAN KUCHING AND WHAT I SAW OF THE MOUNTAINS AND RAINFORESTS WAS BEAUTIFUL. IF I GET THE CHANCE ONE OF THESE DAYS I WILL COME BACK OVER AND SPEND SOME MORE TIME AS THERE IS MUCH I MISSED, PERHAPS EVEN A FEW GOOD SWORDS

[This message has been edited by VANDOO (edited 04-14-2002).]

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Ian
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posted 04-15-2002 07:22     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vandoo:

Both of the blades in my post show some age and appear to be laminated in their construction. The longer one (1) looks substantially older. The second (2) looks more recent in design, as you say it does look like the one above that goes with the "monster" hilt.

The disks on the hilt of the second one are metal, perhaps a low grade silver as they have polished up brightly with relatively little effort.

Ian.

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tom hyle
Senior Member
posted 04-15-2002 16:48     Click Here to See the Profile for tom hyle   Click Here to Email tom hyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hard to tell in the pictures, but the 1st of these two looks as if it's handle once fed into a ferule of some kind. On kampilans I've seen the grip fed into a hole in the guard, which thus acted as a ferule. Another quick observation; I note that the "hand-shaped" pommel earlier in this thread is kind of bird-like, witht the finger-projections resembling feathers.

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Conogre
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posted 04-27-2002 10:48     Click Here to See the Profile for Conogre   Click Here to Email Conogre     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This has turned into one of the most comprehensive and informative gatherings of information on kampilans that I've ever seen, and I'd like to thank each and every one of you for posting both pictures and information about what appears to be one of the more famous blades of the Philippines/Indonesia, yet one of the least well documented.
Ian, that one piece in particular does have a distinct B'laan feel to it, both in hilt and scabbard, not surprising when the toks are taken into consideration.
Vandoo.....I've got to recheck, but I'm fairly certain your residence is on my 3:00 am tour list**grin**.
While reading the entire thread about the tribes and peoples, an errant thought occurred to me......does anyone have any information on the location/peoples of the now non-existant island of Krakatoa?
It would seem possible, if not likely, that there may some real gaps (pun unintended) in all areas left by this rather famous natural disaster that may well have some real relevance in these areas.

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