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KuKulzA28 26th November 2010 01:25 AM

What do you guys think of this barong?
A very simple kakatua carved from some dark colored hard wood... brass or copper (not sure?) ferrule/punto. There's a peach/pink colored glue stuffed in the handle that I've seen on recently made pieces before. The blade (tiuwang?) seems to be monosteel and is very scratched up from what could be steel wool, sandpaper, shark skin or whatever... Handle is crudely carved compared to many barongs' I've seen and is very slightly damaged.

So what do you guys think? Old or young? Sabah, Brunei, Palawan, or Sulu?

Sajen 26th November 2010 03:01 PM

Hello, I am far away from an expert but my humble opinion: very recent!:shrug:

Best regards,


kai 27th November 2010 01:06 AM

Hello Vinny,

I'm with Detlef: looks recent.

The glue is modern and the fittings are done with too little detail for me to be able to guess at its origin. Scratches and not carefully finished blades also point towards recent manufacture; OTOH, it's always possible that an antique blade got overcleaned/mutilated and refitted - an etch would tell but I'm not holding my breath with this one...


KuKulzA28 27th November 2010 09:01 PM

Thanks for the replies. I agree, my gut feeling is that it's recent as well, but you guys' opinion have more expertise behind them. Thus far the edge seems to be decent. Will be testing it out on mangoes and coconuts soon. The blade has a decent feeling but not quite as nice a feel as nice well-made legit antiques. :shrug:

Battara 28th November 2010 01:57 AM

I too chime in with these smart guys as this being recent.

Always good to ask - can't hurt and we are here to help each other. :D

ThePepperSkull 28th November 2010 02:37 PM

Nice! What's the blade length on that sucker?

I actually really like recent/modern made blades of southeast asia. Sure, they may not be as ornate or nearly as complex to forge as their antique predecessors, but they're still forged to shape most of the time, and I can't for the life of me resist a forged blade -- ESPECIALLY in an age where stock removal is so common in blade making. There's something about a blade that's been shaped by hand and hammer that I find really beautiful. Maybe it's because the stock removal option yields a more cookie-cutter result than a sculpted one? Perhaps I'm just overthinking it. :shrug:

To everyone who has dated this: How recent is recent would you say?

If I had to venture a guess as to its origin, I've a feeling it's from Palawan, but I have no source to back that up so take this with a grain of salt. All I know is modern Sulu pieces have similar hilt forms, but are a little more detailed than this.

EDIT: Here's a pic of another member's older palawan barong. It looks a bit different so I'm rethinking my initial assessment.

What could kukulzA's barong's origins be?

Sajen 28th November 2010 03:54 PM

Originally Posted by ThePepperSkull

To everyone who has dated this: How recent is recent would you say?

I think Kai give the correct direction in post #3. The wooden part of the handle don't show patination and the modern glue let me think that the barung is recent. But there is still the option that an old blade is new rehilted. An etch of the blade will show if it's an old blade.



KuKulzA28 28th November 2010 07:20 PM

It's blade is about 17" long, or about 43 cm

I chopped a coconut with it today. Chopping the tough woody core left a couple really really small chips in the blade edge that were easily "healed" with a few swipes with my file. The blade can hold a very sharp edge and keep it... it doesn't seem to ding, and if any damage occurs it is a tiny tiny chip. That tells me it has a pretty hard edge, which is nice.

If only I could afford hanging up a dead pig and chopping it like they do in Cold Steel video promos. :D

I agree with Pepperskull, and I think me and him are of the same mind when it comes to these blades... to me an antique is a cultural relic and a great reference, but I prefer modern-made blades that I can use actively, and pass down to my descendants or close friends later on in life. So far this blade is holding up to the little testing I have done. :D

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