vikingsword.com forums
  Ethnographic Edged Weapons
  Moro Kris from Polish Museum

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Moro Kris from Polish Museum
wolviex
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 13:42     Click Here to See the Profile for wolviex   Click Here to Email wolviex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello everybody!
As I promised in previous topic, I'm begining to put some objects from National Museum in Cracow (Krakow) in Poland for you on this forum. Let's start from Moro Kris

MEASUREMENTS:
totality lenght: 62,5 cm;
blade lenght: 49,9 cm;
width of Gangya: 10,5 cm;
thickness of Gangya: 0,7-0,8 cm;
lenght of sheath: 53,5 cm;

IT'S HISTORY: I think is very interesting. Edmund Fisher (who was also owner of tenegre sword from my previous topic)bought this sword in 1882 from Philippine police/gendarmerie/ (or whater it was in those days)as a kris CONQUERED FROM LOCAL ROBBERS . Mr. Fisher, before he died, gave this kris for Industry Musuem in Cracow, and then it was transfered to National Museum, where it's in my hands nowadays
I'm waiting for your always dependable comments. And one question. On a blade there is stamped an inscription: "Do.N. 558 (or ss8) - any ideas??



Greetings

[This message has been edited by wolviex (edited 08-25-2004).]

IP: Logged

wolviex
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 14:11     Click Here to See the Profile for wolviex   Click Here to Email wolviex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And just one more picture - a detail of sheath

IP: Logged

Ian
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 14:25     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wolviex:

This one will create a lot of discussion.

It appears to be an older style of kris in that the blade is quite slim and the form of the hilt (small abbreviated kakatua) generally is seen on swords from the early or mid- 19th C. (and perhaps older). This kris has no asang asang (and appears never to have had any), which again suggests an older form of this sword. I can't see the orientation of the gangya line of separation, but it too might indicate a fairly early kris (as described by Robert Cato). The elephant trunk area suggests a Sulu, Brunei or Malay origin.

The orientation of the hilt is upside down for a usual Muslim sword. We have seen this reversal on kris adapted for use by non-Muslims, and this may be the case here. The leather wrap on the scabbard also suggests a non-Muslim adaptation of the sword, being more typical of Visayan styles. The scabbard seems to have seen little use and may be newer than the sword.

Given that this particular collector had some other Visayan pieces, it is possible this kris was collected also in the Visayas.

A nice example of an older kris, possibly modified for use by a non-Muslim. I'm sure there are others here who can read far more information from this sword.

I have no explanation to offer about the inscription.

Ian.

IP: Logged

leaf
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 15:54     Click Here to See the Profile for leaf   Click Here to Email leaf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Wolviex, I agree with Ian that it is not typical of the Moro Kris. Can you tell us more about Mr. Fisher & how many pieces did he leave. If you could post more pics of this kris it would be appreciated, perhaps a couple of the guard area. Has the hilt been painted gold? Thanks

IP: Logged

wolviex
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 16:34     Click Here to See the Profile for wolviex   Click Here to Email wolviex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, it isn't painted gold, it's just the bad light make an illusion on photo. I can't tell anything more about Edmund Fischer by now, just as I mention it in another post, but I'll check for you how many gifts he made for Museum. He is a mystery to me, hope I'll be able to solve it by time, becouse the Fischer family (or sometimes polonize as Fiszer) was generally well known in first half of 20th century.

IP: Logged

zelbone
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 17:00     Click Here to See the Profile for zelbone   Click Here to Email zelbone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Interesting sword! I'll have to concur with Ian on his assessment so far. It's truly a beautiful blade and is shows beautiful lamination as well. It's interesting that the hilt us "upside-down" compared to the normal orientation that a Moro would have it. Originally, the hilt would have gone on the other way. It's quite possible that whoever rehilted this sword did so intentionally. Ian has mentioned that this sword has a leather throat wrap which is more of a Visayan trait than Moro, which I also believe is not original to this sword. Also, the blade is stamped with the "punch" engraving that I mentioned on the other thread with your tenegre. This, too, is also more of a Visayan trait than Moro. Given that both this kris and the tenegre belonged to the same person (Mr. Fisher) it doesn't surprise me that they possible both were acquired at the same time and possibly the same place. I really can't comment about the inscription, but it does add a bit of mystery to this already mysterious sword.

Why I said this sword was possibly rehilted in this manner, we have to look at it from a Visayan swordsmans point of view. Studying a Visayan martial arts system myself, it makes perfect sense to me. Depending on which way the hilt is oriented changes the dynamics of the sword and the way and it feels in the hand. The normal way a Moro kris is oriented, the blade excells at inline thrust and chopping motions. Turn the hilt upside down, and now the kris is better at slicing/slashing motions as well as excelling at hooking thrusts (sungkite.) A swordsman trained in the Visayan arts would probably prefer the latter, which is probably why the hilt is oriented "backwards."

Labantayo (where are you dude?)has a kris with a Visayan deity pommel that is oriented the same way. Plus, the tip of his kris is sharpened more to a point than your typical Moro kris. This makes it an excellent sword for a hooking thrust and slashing. He should comment more on this since he's a far better swordsman than me !!!

IP: Logged

wolviex
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 17:46     Click Here to See the Profile for wolviex   Click Here to Email wolviex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, entitling this post as "typical moro sword" I made myself again an ignorant about Philippine weapon, but I am rather Polish historian, so I feel excused, and thankful, as always, for your help. By the way I made a little mistake in the name of the former owner of this sword - should be FISCHER not Fisher.

IP: Logged

Ian
Senior Member
posted 08-25-2004 17:54     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wolviex:

Like you, we are all students and have much to learn. I'm very grateful that you are sharing these treasures with us.

Did the good Mr. Fischer happen to leave any more treasures to the museum? The two you have shown us so far have been most interesting and come with a provenance that predates the Filipino uprising against Spain and the ensuing Spanish-American War. So much of what we see in the U.S. seems to date from the Span-Am War and later. Provenanced pieces from pre-1890 are uncommon.

Ian.

IP: Logged

BluErf
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 09:25     Click Here to See the Profile for BluErf   Click Here to Email BluErf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This has to be the sundang with the most 'manis' (sweet) luks I've ever seen... so beautiful I wish I could run my fingers up and down its curves...

I thought hilts being put on wrong way round on kerises is quite common. I've seen more than half a dozen kerises like that. No offence meant, but they are usually kerises that has made their way to the West, like this one...

IP: Logged

wolviex
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 10:38     Click Here to See the Profile for wolviex   Click Here to Email wolviex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For everybody who are interest in mr Fischer's Visayan collection - I've got bad news. This sword, and tenegre from my previous post are the only we've got form him. Everything tells me that guy decided to stay as mysterious as it's possible
Hey BlueErf !!! - about sweetnesses, fingers and other things form your post - when you'll be in Poland let me know, I'll try to make your dreams come truth
And becouse you demanded, here are additional photos of this kris:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0720.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0729.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0736.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0731.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0730.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0726.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0721.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0722.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0724.jpg

IP: Logged

kohnitz
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 11:03     Click Here to See the Profile for kohnitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wolviex! Great pictures. Almost put it in my hand....

IP: Logged

mmontoro
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 12:00     Click Here to See the Profile for mmontoro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does it look like it's forged in one piece?

IP: Logged

wolviex
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 12:31     Click Here to See the Profile for wolviex   Click Here to Email wolviex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes it does look like forged in one piece - well - to me.

IP: Logged

Rick
EEWRS Staff
posted 08-26-2004 13:45     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wolviex:
Yes it does look like forged in one piece - well - to me.

There is an interesting cold shut/fold line on the top of the gangya .
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0731.jpg

IP: Logged

Federico
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 15:17     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting kris. Not much more to add, but it does make me question the age of when leather throat pieces started appearing on Visayan sheaths. If this piece was collected the same time as the other Visayan piece, it would suggest at least a 19th century appearance for this trend in sheath decoration. Which then may make our dating scheme for these pieces much older.

IP: Logged

Ian
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 16:46     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can anyone see a line to indicate a separate gangya for this kris?

Ian.

IP: Logged

RhysMichael
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 16:53     Click Here to See the Profile for RhysMichael   Click Here to Email RhysMichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An interesting thread on a very interesting sword. Thanks to wolviex for posting it and all those that commented. I'll learn more on these swords in-spite of myself with all of your help

IP: Logged

Federico
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 17:27     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ian, unless my eyes are playing tricks on me (which they often do), I can make out the beginnings near the trunk area, but nearer the fretwork it becomes hazy (eg. I cant tell if Im seeing the line or just going crazy or both). An etch would highlight the line better, but then I do not know the feasability of that for a museum piece. From the luk spacing and thickness of the blade , my feeling though would be that there may be an angle at the end. Oh well, maybe Ill stare at the pics more later.

IP: Logged

Rick
EEWRS Staff
posted 08-26-2004 17:54     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has anyone else noted the area that appears to be ground away at mid point of the gangya right where the tang should be ?

IP: Logged

wolviex
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 18:19     Click Here to See the Profile for wolviex   Click Here to Email wolviex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll check this gangya for you Rick, just to be sure.

IP: Logged

leaf
Senior Member
posted 08-26-2004 18:31     Click Here to See the Profile for leaf   Click Here to Email leaf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Wolviex for the great pics. Certainly would be nice to find out more about Edmund Fischer & what that inscription means. Is it possible to have these pics made permanent to this post?

IP: Logged

wolviex
Senior Member
posted 08-27-2004 04:09     Click Here to See the Profile for wolviex   Click Here to Email wolviex     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I checked the gangya and I'm sure it's made of one piece. The lines near the hilt is nothing but the lines of pamor, it looks very boldly on photos but it's very delicate.

IP: Logged

Ian
Senior Member
posted 08-27-2004 12:35     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
wolviex:

I sent the inscription on the sword above to a Mexican friend whose brother in law is a Spanish history expert and works with museums in Spain. Given that the provenance of this sword dates it to the late Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, I asked whether the inscription made any sense in Spanish.

Here is the reply I received:

I asked my brother in law who has a passion for historical weapons and we came to the conclusion that it could be several things:

1. A number of a battalion to which the sword belonged (or military regiment), it would be interesting to see how the Spanish troops in the Philippines named their battalions during that time.

2. A serial number (he says that by that time in Spain serial numbers were common).

We believe that maybe "Do." stands for Dominium, "N." for number, and "SS" could be San Sebastian (an important city in Spain), and that it could be a battalion from this city.

Don't know that this helps very much, but something to think about. I also asked whether "Do" was a standard abbreviation for a man's name in Spanish, but apparently not. Perhaps Mark can shed some more light on a possible Spanish connection.

Ian.

[This message has been edited by Ian (edited 08-27-2004).]

IP: Logged

leaf
Senior Member
posted 08-27-2004 14:52     Click Here to See the Profile for leaf   Click Here to Email leaf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've posted this one before (without a seperate gangya). It is no where the quality of one Wolviex has posted but does seem to have some similarities. The prabot features of the Fischer sword look to be excellent craftsmanship http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v447/wolviex/aDSCF0720.jpg almost like they were done in soft metal, in one of the earlier pics you can see the hollow ground "outline" of the prabot features. Mine clearly shows poor cold chiseling, but it seems to be trying to emulate the Fischer piece. Interesting the sheath also has a simular ratten wrap.

IP: Logged

Marc
Senior Member
posted 08-27-2004 17:59     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc   Click Here to Email Marc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ian:
wolviex:

I sent the inscription on the sword above to a Mexican friend whose brother in law is a Spanish history expert and works with museums in Spain. Given that the provenance of this sword dates it to the late Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, I asked whether the inscription made any sense in Spanish.

Here is the reply I received:

[b]I asked my brother in law who has a passion for historical weapons and we came to the conclusion that it could be several things:

1. A number of a battalion to which the sword belonged (or military regiment), it would be interesting to see how the Spanish troops in the Philippines named their battalions during that time.

2. A serial number (he says that by that time in Spain serial numbers were common).

We believe that maybe "Do." stands for Dominium, "N." for number, and "SS" could be San Sebastian (an important city in Spain), and that it could be a battalion from this city.

Don't know that this helps very much, but something to think about. I also asked whether "Do" was a standard abbreviation for a man's name in Spanish, but apparently not. Perhaps Mark can shed some more light on a possible Spanish connection.

Ian.

[This message has been edited by Ian (edited 08-27-2004).][/B]



Not really, I'm afraid. It simply makes no sense any kind of regimental marks or serial numbers in this kind of sword.
Even if they would, this "dot" script would not be the method of choice for such a mark. To quote a fellow forumite, this one just doesnt's stand up to Occam's Razor.
Nonetheless...
I'm going to take a look at my sources for such a mark related to the military, just because I've learnt that one can't never be absolutely sure on these things.
The first two letters are probably a convention, gotta see what they mean.
For this particular case, I'm partial to the hypothesis of somewhat of meaning for any of the owners of this blade, previous to its confiscation.

IP: Logged

Rick
EEWRS Staff
posted 09-01-2004 19:25     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bringing this back up because I'm puzzled by the lack of a separate gangya on these pieces both of which seem to show so much age .
Would not the separate gangya be one of the basic traits of the keris carried into the early Moro kris ?
The separate gangya lasted into the 20th C. in Moro kris .

One would not expect to see integral gangyas on such elderly Moro blades .

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 09-01-2004).]

IP: Logged

Federico
Senior Member
posted 09-01-2004 23:23     Click Here to See the Profile for Federico   Click Here to Email Federico     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The luks and prabot features of Leaf's kris bares some resemblances to some more modern made kris, particularly those higher quality pieces still being made in Maranao country today. So I would wonder if its newer. As for the museum piece, I still suspect an etch would stand better chance at revealing it, but even then Ive seen a number of blades with whom the fit is so tight that the separate gangya is no visible to the eye, but once taken apart is there. Then again, if both kris have deep connections to non-moro X-tian groups, wonder if there is some deeper connection? I dunno just thinking out loud, or in typed word, or oh well along those lines.

IP: Logged

leaf
Senior Member
posted 09-02-2004 01:52     Click Here to See the Profile for leaf   Click Here to Email leaf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I thought I would throw some pics I borrowed from Oriental-Arms into the mix. Certainly seems others were making the Kris in untraditional ways. Interesting that the kris I posted earlier seems to be trying to copy the one from the Polish Musuem & all 3 sheaths appear to be tied in the same manner. The one from Oriental-Arms appears to have the tang go through the hilt, which seems to suggest Luzon. I also threw in a past post pic that has a kris from Luzon perhaps from the Ilocano; it does not bear strong resemblance to the subjects, but is a well made sword & likely from Luzon. Manila has a large Muslim population, as well as Negros, & of cource the Moro had settlements in Luzon pre-Spanish & the interaction between Islands has been going on a very long time.

[This message has been edited by leaf (edited 09-02-2004).]

[This message has been edited by leaf (edited 09-02-2004).]

[This message has been edited by leaf (edited 09-02-2004).]

[This message has been edited by leaf (edited 09-02-2004).]

IP: Logged

All times are ET (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Ethnographic Edged Weapons Resource Site | Privacy Statement

Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of a nonexclusive license for display here.

Powered by Infopop www.infopop.com © 2000
Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47d