Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Royston 8th July 2011 10:30 AM

BAT HILTS
 
2 Attachment(s)
There has been trade between the Arab countries and S.E Asia for a long time.
Does anyone else see a similarity between Nimcha hilts and the bat hilts of the Philippines ?

My question is this:-

Influence or Coincidence ?

All opinions welcome

Regards
Roy

PS:- Now that we are sure that the Minisbad comes from Bichol, I note that this area appears to be predominately Catholic, but was there trade with the Arabs in the past ?

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 8th July 2011 03:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Royston
There has been trade between the Arab countries and S.E Asia for a long time.
Does anyone else see a similarity between Nimcha hilts and the bat hilts of the Philippines ?

My question is this:-

Influence or Coincidence ?

All opinions welcome

Regards
Roy

PS:- Now that we are sure that the Minisbad comes from Bichol, I note that this area appears to be predominately Catholic, but was there trade with the Arabs in the past ?


Salaams, Last question first .. Yes ! absolutely and as far back as the 8th century Oman was trading as far as China. The weapons look great. Clearly there is a link with the hilt style either with the Magreb or the similar hilt in and around the Zanzibar region (though I admit I have difficulty separating those two styles ) Interestingly Chinese vessels were running silk, spices and other goods up the Red Sea before the Portuguese arrived in the late 15th C. In fact, the Portuguese blockade of the Red Sea effectively bankrupted the Mamluke Empire shortly after. I see a European trade blade probably Caucasus 19th Century on at least one sword, The great question is regarding the hilts... Who influenced who? Also fascinating is which way around did the influence happen since the Philipines were for several centuries directly ruled by Mexico not by Spain/Portugal therefor it is conceivable that Magreb influence could have arrived in the Philipines via the Atlantic and Pacific or the shorter route if traded in by the Arabs or the other big three trade merchants The Portuguese, British or Dutch East Indies Companies (or all of them !):shrug:

Ibrahiim al Balooshi

laEspadaAncha 8th July 2011 04:00 PM

I had always thought the nimcha hilt portrayed a stylized horse. IMO it is important to maintain consideration for an independent evolution of form… When compared to the "business end" of an edged weapon (though itself quite diverse in appearance), the hilt is comparably wide open to artistic and stylistic interpretations and/or variations. Given the rich history of edged weaponry in many cultures, might it be possible two distinct peoples may have thad he similar idea of portraying a stylized version of two different animals in roughly the same fashion? :shrug:

Dom 8th July 2011 04:03 PM

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Hi
all the peoples of the Maghreb, and from the Middle East to the borders of Asia
they are all, sailors, and merchants
they even used on the Mediterranean basin a specific language, a "pidgin",
which allowed to ; Arabs, Berbers, Maltese, Greeks, Cypriots, Turkish and others to understand each other
at that moment, easy to imagine that the weapons were to move from one country to another, ... with their owners
and, locally, the native blacksmith was made a copy for what what seems to them the most remarkable
also, like the Arabs of the peninsula, are the relay between East and West, nothing very surprising, for example, that we found the "Nimcha" hilt, as well as in Zanzibar (East Africa), that in Saudi,
and then, exported to Asia, even Philippines
Arab sailors, was using the monsoon, to sail from W. to E. and to come back from India, China, etc.

à +

Dom

Jim McDougall 8th July 2011 04:27 PM

Absolutely outstanding!!!!
These are excellent examples you have posted Roy, and an extremely well posed question. I just wanted to thank you guys for a great topic and some well developing discourse!! Looking forward to seeing this one run!!!
Ibrahiim, Dom and Chris, I like the way you guys think, and where the perspective is headed, it'll be good to see another hilt mystery seriously considered.


All the best,
Jim

Battara 8th July 2011 08:24 PM

Well to go with this, according to documents and research there were Muslim contacts with Southern Luzon up to Manila (which therefore includes Bicol region) since before Spanish contact. So it is possible. But to be clear the minisbad hilt is in that of a deity I believe. Therefore it may be a mix of styles local and Arab that result in the minisbad hilt form.

Also don't forget that there is the possibility of independent origination of these forms.

Just looking at all options..............

BTW - great minisbad - where do you get your stuff? :D

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 15th July 2011 06:36 PM

Staggeringly important link !!!!
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royston
There has been trade between the Arab countries and S.E Asia for a long time.
Does anyone else see a similarity between Nimcha hilts and the bat hilts of the Philippines ?

My question is this:-

Influence or Coincidence ?

All opinions welcome

Regards
Roy

PS:- Now that we are sure that the Minisbad comes from Bichol, I note that this area appears to be predominately Catholic, but was there trade with the Arabs in the past ?


Salaams,
This has to be one of the most interesting and fascinating of forum conundrums I have ever seen !
Here we have a direct, though as yet, unresolved link between Western and Oriental weapons ~ We dont know where it originates or when. I am amazed that this has not raised the roof on this Forum , yet, only 5 contributors! Five !

Where did this weapon originate? I have seen semi believable half explanations from the experts .. Some say Morocco others Zanzibar. Tobias Blose is pictured wearing one (Captain of a trained band in London) in a portrait painted in 1617.(I assume that was before trade blades started flooding Africa) Page 28 Anthony North Islamic Arms.
Then there is the great tidal wave of trade blades. Is this a trade blade or a trade sword? Does it originate in the Caucasus, Germany or elsewhere in Europe. How did it get to the Philipines?

Last question first~ Owned/administered by Mexico this weapon could have got there by two routes.. The Atlantic from Spain \ Mexico and on across the Pacific to its destination...or... Into the great trade hub controlled by Zanzibar via Dutch British and or French East Indies Traders.

In the case of the latter transfer ~ in its wake this sword appears to have morphed in the version Saudia and or Yemeni shown in the discussion. Either way this has to be a gripping story though I have to add that Im not convinced it is even European since it has the look of a Chinese or Oriental hilt mixed with a Spanish crossguard/knuckle bow format. Could we be looking at an early Chinese hilt? It is possible since the Chinese were trading before the arrival of the Portuguese in the Red Sea pre 16th Century.

Is it a Dog? Is it a Dragon? Or are we all mislead? Is it a Caucas Nimcha variant ? What in fact is the difference between a Moroccan and a Zanzibar sword of this type? Are they the same? The blades seem to be.

It is certainly an excellent ships weapon; ideal on Junk Dhow or European sailing vessel..

What we know from Anthony North is that these weapons could have either straight or curved blades and he tends to attribute them to a European source though frankly looking at the Philipine link it has to be more precise to be convincing in my opinion.. There must be more to this.

On the face of it, evidence seems to indicate a west-east transit since no weapons in the Zanzibar area appear with Philipine decoration, however, as a general question of its birthright I still think this is a vital topic into which this Forum should jointly sink its teeth ! :shrug:


Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Spunjer 15th July 2011 07:28 PM

Minasbad...

Spunjer 15th July 2011 07:34 PM

Quote:
Also fascinating is which way around did the influence happen since the Philipines were for several centuries directly ruled by Mexico not by Spain/Portugal therefor it is conceivable that Magreb influence


Sir, i'm pretty sure philippines was ruled by spain, not mexico...

Battara 15th July 2011 11:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
Minasbad...
Right - my bad. :D

Yes Ron is right, the Philippines was ruled by Spain's empire for roughly 400 years, not Mexico.............

Rick 16th July 2011 01:54 AM

IIRC the Treasure Ships sailed to the Americas where the cargo was carried overland to the Caribbean side; thence on to Spain (barring a Hawkins or a Drake interfering) .

Nonoy Tan 16th July 2011 04:41 AM

The resemblance is interesting. Nonetheless, more research is needed in order to support any of the theories IMHO.

Let us note too that the Bikol culture is closely similar to Visayan. This is because the sea currents flow from the Visayan to the Bikol coast, resulting to exchange between the peoples.

The Philippines was ruled by Spain through the Viceroy of Nueva Espana (present day Mexico) for several centuries until Mexico started to fight to its independence from Spain.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 16th July 2011 06:06 AM

Mexico Link. Philippines Administration.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonoy Tan
The resemblance is interesting. Nonetheless, more research is needed in order to support any of the theories IMHO.

Let us note too that the Bikol culture is closely similar to Visayan. This is because the sea currents flow from the Visayan to the Bikol coast, resulting to exchange between the peoples.

The Philippines was ruled by Spain through the Viceroy of Nueva Espana (present day Mexico) for several centuries until Mexico started to fight to its independence from Spain.


Salaams. Thank you and apologies to Rick, Battora and Spunjer if the word "ruled" was a bit strong .. Ok "administered" may be a better term. Anyone not sure about who administered who may be interested in a quick history rebrief:

In 1543, Ruy López de Villalobos named the islands of Leyte and Samar Las Islas Filipinas after Philip II of Spain.[6] Philip II became King of Spain on January 16, 1556, when his father, Charles I of Spain, abdicated the Spanish throne. Philip was in Brussels at the time and his return to Spain was delayed until 1559 because of European politics and wars in northern Europe. Shortly after his return to Spain, Philip ordered an expedition mounted to the Spice Islands, stating that its purpose was "to discover the islands to the west". In reality its task was to conquer the Philippines for Spain.[7]

On April 27, 1565, a Spanish expedition of a mere 500 men led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi landed in Bohol and made a blood compact with Raja Katuna Sikatuna in Spanish records, and Raja Gala Sigala in Spanish records He and his men then proceeded to the nearby island of Cebu.Where they were attacked by the defiant Tupas, who had succeeded Humabon as king of Cebu.[8] Tupas was defeated and requested to sign an agreement which placed his people and the entire island of Cebu under Spain. On that same day, the first permanent Spanish settlement of San Miguel was founded in Cebu. In 1570, Juan de Salcedo, in the service of Legazpi, conquered the Kingdom of Maynila (now Manila). Legazpi then made Maynila the capital of the Philippines and simplified its spelling to Manila. His expedition also renamed Luzon Nueva Castilla. Legazpi became the country's first governor-general. With time, Cebu's importance fell as power shifted north to Luzon. The archipelago was Spain's outpost in the orient and Manila became the capital of the entire Spanish East Indies.

The colony was "administered" through the Viceroyalty of New Spain (now Mexico) until 1821 (250 years of administration) when Mexico achieved independence from Spain. After 1821, the colony was governed directly from Spain. During most of the colonial period, the Philippine economy depended on the Galleon Trade which was inaugurated in 1565 between Manila and Acapulco, Mexico.

Trade between Spain and the Philippines was via the Pacific Ocean to Mexico (Manila to Acapulco), and then across the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean to Spain (Veracruz to Cádiz). Manila became the most important center of trade in Asia between the 17th and 18th centuries. All sorts of products from China, Japan, Brunei, the Moluccas and even India were sent to Manila to be sold for silver 8-Real coins which came aboard the galleons from Acapulco. These goods, including silk, porcelain, spices, lacquerware and textile products were then sent to Acapulco and from there to other parts of New Spain(Mexico), Peru and Europe.

The Philippines; A beautiful country full of wonderful people some of whom are my best friends... and I still believe this question of the Philippine, Zanzibar, Moroccan, Caucasian sword ?... is one which needs considerable input from this Forum. :shrug:

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 16th July 2011 06:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by laEspadaAncha
I had always thought the nimcha hilt portrayed a stylized horse. IMO it is important to maintain consideration for an independent evolution of form… When compared to the "business end" of an edged weapon (though itself quite diverse in appearance), the hilt is comparably wide open to artistic and stylistic interpretations and/or variations. Given the rich history of edged weaponry in many cultures, might it be possible two distinct peoples may have thad he similar idea of portraying a stylized version of two different animals in roughly the same fashion? :shrug:



Salaams,
I would be the first to agree that parallel but unrelated form can accidentally occur in totally remote, unlinked, geographical groups but in this case these swords are virtually identical and there is good cause for a series of possible links. My suspicion is... The Zanzibari and Moroccan swords are directly linked to the Philippines sword by seatrade but I believe it isn't clearcut (excuse the pun) and I would like to know from where did this style of weapon originate?

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

ariel 17th July 2011 02:51 PM

Gentlemen,
Quite some time ago I posted this sword:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=nimcha

Don't you think it might be pertinent to the current discussion?

Rick 18th July 2011 12:53 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I would guess this begs the question: how many other sword hilts found in the Philippines show possible Arab influence ?

If the answer is few I would lean toward parallel development . :shrug:

This is a Nimcha Hilt; I see great differences between this and the Zanzibar hilt . :shrug: :)

Here's a link to the original discussion of this sayf; let's throw that into our cooking pot . ;)
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...venetian+nimcha

ariel 18th July 2011 03:52 AM

Well, the fact that only a few Phil. swords had "nimcha-like" handles does not constitute the evidence for parallel development. Just as likely, only few Phil swordmakers decided to imitate the foreign pattern. Only few Aceh swords have Gulabhati-like handles, but there is no doubt that the pattern was imitated from the Indian original, and not parallel-developed.
Mine has not only nimcha-like handle, but also nimcha -like quillons. The scabbard betrays the SE Asian manufacture.

Am I wrong?

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 18th July 2011 06:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I would guess this begs the question: how many other sword hilts found in the Philippines show possible Arab influence ?

If the answer is few I would lean toward parallel development . :shrug:

This is a Nimcha Hilt; I see great differences between this and the Zanzibar hilt . :shrug: :)

Here's a link to the original discussion of this sayf; let's throw that into our cooking pot . ;)
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...venetian+nimcha


Salaams, Having read your reference to the earlier forum debate on a similar subject.. I see that the Nimcha is more likely to be an Italian or Venetian weapon.(I lean toward the Venetian because of their deep involvement in slavery and thus ships). The sword at your picture may be rather unusual since it appears to have a blade attributed to English ... and its a long blade... and the hilt is altered apparently since the knuckleguard is re engineered. It may be more the sort of sword carried by Tobias Blose in my earlier letter.

Your reference is most helpful so we can dive deeper on this problem. My thought is the Moroccan and Zanzibar Nimcha are morphs of the Italian and that seatrade carried the style to Manila. The problem with that oversimplistic view is... Once into Manila, the sword could have been exported to Mexico and back to Spain and then sold on to its trading neighbor Morocco in a slightly altered format...It goes round and round but its a great discussion.

Can anyone photo line up a Morrocan Nimcha next to a Zanzibar Nimcha please?

Regards,

Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Rick 18th July 2011 03:21 PM

Round The World We Go
 
I'm getting dizzy ! :D
Yes, I think my example has been quite well repaired at some point in time; the pommel seems to have been broken in the past and there is a replacement wedge that can be seen . Therefore the brass strap to help hold it all together .

A google image search is helpful; lots of nimcha/Zanzibar sayfs to be seen . :)

My best,

Rick

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 19th July 2011 06:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I'm getting dizzy ! :D
Yes, I think my example has been quite well repaired at some point in time; the pommel seems to have been broken in the past and there is a replacement wedge that can be seen . Therefore the brass strap to help hold it all together .

A google image search is helpful; lots of nimcha/Zanzibar sayfs to be seen . :)

My best,

Rick



Salaams,

I think it important that research includes google and the web... I for one have very few reference books and use the web a lot. I pressed in Zanzibar and Moroccan Nimchas and the main references pointed me back to our forum! ... Oh and to another to which many of our experts belonged way back then in about 2006. SFI did a detailed observation into Magrebi and Zanzibari Nimchas. I noted in that discussion your input and a brilliant report by Jim McDougal which in typical and precise detail gave a very informed view with references into the entire subject. In fact that report practically closed the debate however that is not the question posed by Royston at the beginning of this thread which is; I quote ~

" There has been trade between the Arab countries and S.E Asia for a long time.Does anyone else see a similarity between Nimcha hilts and the bat hilts of the Philippines ?My question is this:-Influence or Coincidence" ?

There appears to be a clear finger pointing to Italian/Venetian origins and it seems a sea-land passage via Saudia as it was then and Yemen to the Zanzibar Hub. Once there it would spiral virally to include all stations east and include the Philippines.

The confusion clouding this issue is in no one having a real outline of the difference in swords between the Zanzibar and Magrebi variants.. This should be expanded to include the Philippine weapon. Also included in the line up should be an Italian Venetian sword and your English variant. I think only then will we be able to discuss the pros and cons of this interesting question.

I caution to add that we may actually be talking about two different things... Perhaps we should be looking at it NOT as a sword ... but as a hilt....after all your blade is English and there are known to be two other blades at least ie one straight and the other curved... and what other trade blades are carried on the hilt? Ive seen an Omani Kattara 19thC trade blade on this hilt. What is the relationship to kastane Ceylonese blades? Anthony North considers quote "The kastane appears to have evolved from the Italian swords with similar guard development that likely reached these regions via Venetian trade routes".

It is still a very much open question to which input is sought from members. It could still amaze collectors to discover a whole new basis for this very important sword often claimed to be an Arabian Sword but can be argued as having Philippine or even Chinese roots. I still see it as wide open. :shrug:

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 20th July 2011 08:13 AM

Nimcha.
 
Salaams,

The national sword of Sri Lanka is the Kastane which appears to mimic the Nimcha. It has a much more ornate dragon like hilt which I would expect from a Sri Lankan design viewpoint.

Because of the obvious trade links between the Red Sea, Zanzibar and the Orient I decided to research Arab influence in these affected regions namely Sri Lanka and the Philppines.

Sri Lanka. What took me by surprise was the degree of Arab influence in the ethnic community make up of that country. 8 % are Moors. They seem to have arrived in the 7th to 16th C from Arabia. They were sea traders and merchants as well as farmers by nature. The first Arabs who practiced Islam arrived in Sri Lanka around the 7th–8th century, and there is evidence that there was a settled community of Arabs in Ceylon in pre-Islamic times.

Muslim merchants arrived in large numbers and some of them decided to settle in the island encouraged by the cordial treatment they received by the local rulers. Most of them lived along the coastal areas in peace and prosperity, maintaining contacts, both cultural and commercial, with Baghdad, Hadramout, Oman and other Islamic cities. (For a full account simply feed ointo the web Sri Lankan Moors and see the wikepedia details.)


The Philippines; I researched the word Moor and came up with ~Beside its usage in historical context, Moor and Moorish (Italian and Spanish: moro, French: maure, Portuguese: mouro, Romanian: maur) is used to designate an ethnic group speaking the Hassaniya Arabic dialect. They inhabit Mauritania and parts of Algeria, Western Sahara, Tunisia, Morocco, Niger and Mali. In Niger and Mali, these peoples are also known as the Azawagh Arabs, after the Azawagh region of the Sahara.[16]

In modern, colloquial Spanish, the sometimes pejorative term "Moro" refers to any Arab. Similarly, in modern, colloquial Portuguese, the term "Mouro" is primarely used as a designation for North Africans and secondarily as a derogatory and ironic term by northern Portuguese to refer to the inhabitants of the southern parts of the country (Lisbon, Alentejo and Algarve).

In the Philippines, a former Spanish colony, many residents call the local Muslim population in the Southern islands Moros. They also self-identify that way (see Muslim Filipino). The term was introduced by the Spanish colonizers. In fact Arab settlement in the Philippines is not significant and not comparable to the Sri Lanka situation simply because of geographical distance. Moro was a term used to describe Muslim Philipino people not Arabs.

For Sri Lanka; this tells us that Arab trade was set up early and was continuous with Persian and Arab merchants settled in Srilanka and that full ethnic and cultural integration was highly advanced even before the full Portuguese, Dutch and British involvement. Since sword transmission follows or is in parallel with trade we should expect some influence in weapon design.

The Nimcha. The Italian and/or Venetian sword appears as the origin of species and can be seen transmitted along the North African Medittereanean Coast in particular cloissoned versions in Algeria and other examples of a similar theme as far west as Morrocco in the Mediterranean. It seems to have been a preferred weapon of the Barbary Coast ~ Pirates.
A few swords somehow arrived in England early in the 16thC though on long English blades.

The eventual and inevitable transfer to what is now Saudia probably by caravan (or a combination of sea and land routes and because of trade and religious expeditions to Mecca would have exposed the sword style to Saudi, Yemeni and Omani (Zanzibari) patrons. Once into the Zanzibar Hub I see the inevitable spread potentially to all stations east though I suspect this happened in slow stages thus the variety of different morphs showing up today.

The further addition of European trade blades clouds an already dimly lit scenario but has to be considered.

The Sri Lankan Kastane style may have developed earlier from the Arab merchants and settlers since they were already well established by the 15th C. It is also entirely possible that the early Arab traders brought the version to Zanzibar and since they already knew the trade route to China and the Philippines perhaps there is a link.

It is always possible, however, that the Philippines weapon did in fact develop separately as a parallel but purely accidental similarity. (I see more similarity between that and the Sri Lankan Kastane than with the Nimcha.)

I cannot see any trace of transmission from Spain to Mexico to Manila to Zanzibar ~ It seems to be the other way round.. logically. Also no transmission appears between Manila to Acccupulco to Spain thus the Philippines is perhaps a bridge too far in this discussion. At the same time I believe the Tobias Blose style in Anthony Norths Islamic Arms; page 28 in 16th Century London is a hybrid.

It strikes me that The Nimcha could have transferred to different cultures in a mixed timescale possibly over 400 years to an unrelated variety of places and been locally altered restyled and changed. Then in about the 18th or early 19th Century the net effect of a blanket of trade blades has muddied the waters with cheap creations appearing in Yemeni, UAE and Omani souks. There are examples of straight and curved blades; some european; some local copies although there are a few fine Iconic Nimchas on expensive Ivory hilts, highly adorned such as the Zanzibar style and the cloissoned Algerian Nimcha and in some good Saudi examples with cross guards.

That brings from me a conclusion based upon the question quote "Does anyone else see a similarity between Nimcha hilts and the bat hilts of the Philippines" ? The question was this:-Influence or Coincidence" ?

In so far as ~ Italy/Venice, Mediterranean (Barbary Coast Algeria - Morocco), Red Sea, Saudia, Zanzibar and Sri Lanka yes for sure ...

~but in respect of The Philippines; Im not convinced about influece..but coincidence; yes.

:shrug:

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.




.

tom hyle 20th July 2011 09:56 AM

interesting.
The Zanzibar swords in question are, I believe, not kattaras as has been apparently suposed, but the East coast nimcha/saifs, which can be seperated from those of the North coast by a number of details, most notably annoes and also a shorter quillon block with a punched-through tang hole rather than the hollow center found on the Moorocan type guards. I tend to view these as Swahili, and I see them all along the coast, rather than just from Zanzibar or Yemen to which they are commonly attributed.
Certainly one sees a resemblance between these types, and the flat-tang no-guard Berber sabers, and the middle-eastern Arab saif, and all seem closely related.
I have always considered the Philipino head pommels an extension of native animist culture. Their stylization seems more that of the Pacific than that of Islam to me.
The handling of the ears is notably different than on a saif (where there are never[?] a seperate front and back ear and where the nose comes to resemble an ear) or shah shish qa and yatagan (where the ears are seperated but stylized in a very different fashion than in SE Asia).
The iconography cited for saif is always the horse, while the SE Asian hilts depict a great range of deities/animals, all resembling each other in style.
Then there is the Turkish style pinky pull found on "nimcha"s; a feature of Turkish knives, including yatagan, not generally seen on their longer swords.
At the end of your handle, a hook is good. Hooks look like heads.
Just thoughts; no conclusions.
That's what's so interesting :D

migueldiaz 23rd July 2011 10:56 AM

1 Attachment(s)
thanks to royston for bringing up the topic. and i agree with the opinions that it's all merely coincidental.

as far as trading activities are concerned (precolonial per illustration, and thereafter), the bicol region had always been in the backwater. thus if there were a sword design that trickled down to bicol via trading, we would have found a similar design along the trading routes, within the philippines and also in the neighboring countries. but there's none.

also as pointed out, the designs in philippine (and southeast asian) weapons can be traced to the olden animistic beliefs. thus the 'motive' for the region's sword designs was different vs. middle eastern sword designs.

incidentally, may i inquire what thus was the inspiration behind the hilt design of arab swords (aside from the usual practical considerations, like easier drawing of the sword from the scabbard)? thanks in advance.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 24th July 2011 02:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
thanks to royston for bringing up the topic. and i agree with the opinions that it's all merely coincidental.

as far as trading activities are concerned (precolonial per illustration, and thereafter), the bicol region had always been in the backwater. thus if there were a sword design that trickled down to bicol via trading, we would have found a similar design along the trading routes, within the philippines and also in the neighboring countries. but there's none.

also as pointed out, the designs in philippine (and southeast asian) weapons can be traced to the olden animistic beliefs. thus the 'motive' for the region's sword designs was different vs. middle eastern sword designs.

incidentally, may i inquire what thus was the inspiration behind the hilt design of arab swords (aside from the usual practical considerations, like easier drawing of the sword from the scabbard)? thanks in advance.



Salaams, Thanks for the clear map. Your question as to design is perhaps best answered by the origin of species of this sort of Arab sword which seems to stem from Italian and Venetian types perhaps moving down the Med along the Barbary Coast as far as Magreb and certianly eveident in Ageria morocco Saudia Oman(mainly Zanzibar) and Yemen. As a biproduct of it being around in the courtly neighborhoods of Rome and Venice a likely cousin to the early style appears on the waistbelt of Captains of the Great Bands of London (no doubt having visited such places) thus worn by Tobias Blose in my earlier letter. Your point about animalistic (Zoomorphic) hilt is understood but cannot be verified since the highly zoomorphic hilt from a morphed Nimcha appears on Sri Lankan Swords. It is always possible that the Philippines variant is a derivitive of that sword, however, it is agreed that it appears to be unrelated parallel development compared to the Arab Nimcha generally .. Regards Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Spunjer 24th July 2011 04:01 PM

Quote:
Your point about animalistic (Zoomorphic) hilt is understood but cannot be verified since the highly zoomorphic hilt from a morphed Nimcha appears on Sri Lankan Swords.


Ibrahim, lorenz is referring to the old pre-hispanic and pre-islamic belief of the people of the Philippines, which was Animism. if one would really look at the weapons of the Philippines from Aparri (north) to Sulu (south), a lot of these could still be seen, evident from the once strong animistic, not animalistic, belief of the people.

Battara 24th July 2011 06:26 PM

I still believe that parallel development and/or independent origination is a viable explanation here. Many examples in world history and cultures exist.

Sajen 24th July 2011 07:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I still believe that parallel development and/or independent origination is a viable explanation here. Many examples in world history and cultures exist.


I totally agree! :)

Royston 26th July 2011 12:35 PM

Many thanks to everyone. I did not expect so many responses and have been following this thread with much interest. It always amazes me how much other members know.

Thanks again.
Roy

Oh yes, my opinion. I think it is coincidence, after all, there are only so many practical shapes that can be put on the end of a hilt. ( Unless you are a Naga !!! )

Still, I guess we will never know for certain.

migueldiaz 26th July 2011 03:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
Ibrahim, lorenz is referring to the old pre-hispanic and pre-islamic belief of the people of the Philippines, which was Animism. if one would really look at the weapons of the Philippines from Aparri (north) to Sulu (south), a lot of these could still be seen, evident from the once strong animistic, not animalistic, belief of the people.
Thanks, Ron!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Your point about animalistic (Zoomorphic) hilt is understood but cannot be verified since the highly zoomorphic hilt from a morphed Nimcha appears on Sri Lankan Swords.
Ibrahim, thanks again for your comments. In the case of Filipino weapons (and am sure it would be true for the neighboring countries' case), the matter is verifiable. I've written an article for a local academic journal specifically establishing the link between the objects of our forefathers' animism, vis-a-vis our traditional sword forms. The article is here. It's written in Filipino, thus you would probably need to find somebody who can translate it for you :)

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 27th July 2011 03:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
Thanks, Ron!

Ibrahim, thanks again for your comments. In the case of Filipino weapons (and am sure it would be true for the neighboring countries' case), the matter is verifiable. I've written an article for a local academic journal specifically establishing the link between the objects of our forefathers' animism, vis-a-vis our traditional sword forms. The article is here. It's written in Filipino, thus you would probably need to find somebody who can translate it for you :)


Salaams,

Great ... Can you present that work to the Forum please?

Regards Ibrahiim al Balooshi


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