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Aslan Paladin 16th October 2018 07:39 AM

Newly Acquired Datu Barong Sword
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I've just bought this datu barong sword with a kamagong/horn and ivory/bone junggayan pommel and I would like to share some pics for our data base. Prior to this I already have one but this new one has a complete pommel unlike my previous one which has a broken beak (pics can be seen here I have asked Battara to restore it to its former glory and I know he will do a magnificent job as he always does. Pics are from the seller. Comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

CharlesS 16th October 2018 11:36 AM

Looks to be a gorgeous example after some restoration and 'tlc'.


Ian 16th October 2018 01:18 PM

Looks like a very nice example of a known type of barung with MOP inlays in the pommel. Although showing some wear and tear on the hilt, the pommel seems to be all there--often they show some chipping or are missing some of the MOP plates. I'm sure Jose will do a wonderful job on it.


Sajen 16th October 2018 05:22 PM

Hi Algelan,

very nice example, you will know already who will restore the broken band at the hilt! ;) It's otherwise in more as good condition but very well paid!


Aslan Paladin 17th October 2018 08:10 AM

Thanks Charles, it is indeed going to be a stand out addition to my collection once it is restored. It is hard to find datu barongs of this type with the pommels intact (plume, beak and inlays).

Ian - rather than mother of pearl, I think the pommel inlays are either ivory (hopefully) or bone, with a few of the inlays inlaid themselves in the center with black dots probably made of water buffalo horn. The middle silver band is damaged, looks like missing a large section. The plaited silver wire bands appear to be intact though, maybe just needing to be fixed in place by soldering once the damaged band is fixed or replaced. The bottom part of the scabbard is also damaged and the blade is extensively pitted. But as you've said Jose will do a wonderful job on it - he was exactly who I had in mind to restore the sword when I decided to bid on it.

Sajen - If the middle band wasn't damaged like that I would have just taken the sword as is, the blade I could just smooth out myself and the damaged bottom part of the scabbard I would just leave alone. But we all know there is only one man who could do justice with regards to the type of restoration this sword deserves. And I think I did get a steal with the price I paid for it and it will be more obvious once it is finally restored to its old glory. :)

Aslan Paladin 9th April 2019 06:18 PM

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I have received the restored datu barong from Jose and as always he has done a magnificent job. Here are the pictures of the restored sword. Enjoy.

Aslan Paladin 9th April 2019 06:23 PM

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Here is a side by side comparison of the sword before and after restoration.

mross 9th April 2019 06:46 PM

Darn :D Jose, that's some nice work

kai 10th April 2019 04:05 PM

Darn, Algelan, that's some nice barung!

kai 10th April 2019 04:40 PM

Very nice barung; the scabbard deserves special mention, too!

The braided wire looks like copper rather than suasa, I guess?

I do believe that the blade deserves a full polish though!


CharlesS 10th April 2019 11:00 PM

Isn't it amazing what a little elbow grease and clean-up will do!!?? You have really brought this barung back to life in such a way that the Moros of old would really appreciate it.

Well done, and congrats!

Oliver Pinchot 11th April 2019 01:44 AM

Especially when they're Jose's elbows ;)

Ian 11th April 2019 09:46 AM

Great sword. Jose's work just keeps getting better! Wonderful resto work on the hilt and scabbard.


Battara 13th April 2019 05:13 PM

Thank you folks.

Regarding the blade, it was so rusted and deeply pitted. I took it off, but I had to leave some of the pitting where it is or else risk the metal's integrity.

And yes there are woven copper bands on the hilt.

xasterix 14th April 2019 12:17 PM

Great sword! I'm curious though- from which BangsaMoro tribe would this have originated? My reading on the ukkil is Sama. I'm interested if there are other opinions regarding this :)

kai 14th April 2019 04:30 PM

Tausug from hat to toe, IMHO.

Also the carved ukkil motifs are fairly large and relaxed - not the tighter carving with smaller motifs I usually associate with Sama...


Battara 15th April 2019 01:12 AM

I'm with Kai on this. The ukkil on this is Tausug to my eyes when I held and worked on it.

xasterix 15th April 2019 01:33 AM

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

xasterix 15th April 2019 06:07 AM

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Originally Posted by Battara
I'm with Kai on this. The ukkil on this is Tausug to my eyes when I held and worked on it.

Hi guys, sorry if I'm quite persistent- I'm just wondering what defining features point toward Tausug. For my part, my take on the ukkil is that it's characteristic of what I personally call as the '2-bit swirl' of ukkil from Tawi-tawi which is present even in modern Tawi-tawi weaps. My attached picture contains the following weaps' scabbard ukkil:

A. Datu Barung
B. WW2-era Sama Barung
C. Another barung discussed somewhere else in this forum, which I surmise to be Sama Barung as well
D. Modern Sama Barung sourced from Bongao, Tawi-tawi

As you can see, the 2-bit swirl ukkil motif is present in all blades. Moreover, one of Spunjer's qualifying features for a Sama barung- the curving upward of the scabbard throat on one side only- is present in all samples.

Would like to hear your thoughts further. Sorry I'm trying to learn as well, that's why I'm interested in seeing this through :)

Battara 15th April 2019 07:42 PM

For me Sama does have an upturn on the scabbard, but it is more abrupt than the others. I have noticed this abrupt upturn on the ukkil on the pommels as well.

I would question your picture C as Sama. Might be, but I would lean more toward Tausug both on the crocodile mouth and on the style of the ukkil upturn on the scabbard.

Battara 15th April 2019 07:43 PM

Perhaps we should start another thread to discuss just Sama characteristics so as not to deter too much from this thread.

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