Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Large Philippines knives/swords (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15388)

Timo Nieminen 10th April 2012 09:57 PM

Large Philippines knives/swords
 
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Just showing off a trio of large knives/swords from the Philippines. One old, one very modern (bought new), and other one seems middle-aged.

The old one is easily the best, in terms of design and workmanship.

Whether the Western distinction between knives and swords applies to these, and how, is a mystery to me. Any comments or discussion on this point is most welcome.

ThePepperSkull 10th April 2012 11:26 PM

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The first two look similar in blade shape to bolos referred to as "Dahong Palay" that come from the Laguna area.

I have one similar to the top one, but with a 21-inch blade. I like these pieces. Mine is nice and thick in the spine at 8mm.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showp...50&postcount=13

ThePepperSkull 10th April 2012 11:52 PM

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Attatched is a picture of a modern-made Dahong Palay (top)

Very interesting to see that the blade shape has not changed after all these years.

Robert 11th April 2012 03:23 AM

I believe the second sword would be referred to as a "sinan-kapitan". Like ThePepperSkull I really like this style of sword and would love to be able to have ones like them myself. Congratulations for being able to acquire them for your collection.


Robert

steeldust 11th April 2012 03:51 AM

Dahong Palay
 
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These photos are of a Dahong Palay (rice leaf) from the town of Tabaco, in Bicol, Philippines. The blade is 17" and the "tabak", was made this year. The scabbard is tied with mono filament fishing line instead of cordage. Thickness of the spine at the handle is 4.5 mm . The short sword weighs 16 oz .

Timo Nieminen 11th April 2012 10:21 AM

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Yes, the top one is a dahong palay. There are much better photos of it here: http://www.swordsantiqueweapons.com/s443_full.html

I wasn't planning to focus on Philippine knives or swords (and don't), but I got a very nice one (which I forgot to photograph last weekend!), and it inspired me to get a few more, which inspired me to get a few more.

The top dahong palay is very nice in the hand - a well-made sword by somebody who understood what swords are for.

Here are two smaller (but not small) knives that are also very nice in hand. There is superb art in these, but the appreciation is kinesthetic rather than visual.

The shiny one is chromed.

Nirghosa 13th April 2012 02:02 AM

My son has one of these and it is his favorite cutting item. Holds a fantastic edge.

David R 15th April 2012 12:13 PM

I am getting more and more interested in the Phillipine pieces. D**n you, I already have more interests than I can afford!

ThePepperSkull 15th April 2012 05:18 PM

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Not a Dahong palay, but interesting.

This bolo recently ended on ebay. The blade shape is the familiar "Two-humped spine" form we see in many Luzon blades, but it was the sheath that stood out. it looks similar to the sheath of the newly-made Dahong Palay that I posted on this thread.

Perhaps it was made in Laguna?

Robert 15th April 2012 05:49 PM

Hello ThePepperSkull, I too was watching this and trying to figure out exactly what was going on. I think the the bolo could possibly be older than the scabbard. Perhaps the original scabbard was damaged and not wanting to carry a bare blade around the owner simply had a new one made for it. Did you by chance end up winning this piece?

Robert

ThePepperSkull 15th April 2012 06:10 PM

That is a definite possibility. I know a lot of dahong palays don't have guards so it definitely could have been made in a different place than the sheath.

Yes sir, I did win this item. I was surprised (and delighted mind you) that no one else bid on it, but I figured someone else was watching it.

Did you see the bolo with the cast brass guard that ended this morning? I was going to bid on it and set my phone to wake me up before it ended but I slept through the alarm. You win some you lose some I guess. :shrug:

Robert 15th April 2012 06:18 PM

Happy to hear you won this. Now I know it has a good home.

Quote:
Did you see the bolo with the cast brass guard that ended this morning?
If you are talking about the one that was part of a grouping, yes I was watching it also. The biggest problem that it had was that it looked as though someone had taken the blade and tried to sharpen it on a bench grinder. :mad: It was a real mess. :(

Robert

Timo Nieminen 22nd April 2012 01:03 PM

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Here is the first bolo I ever got, which encouraged me to get more Philippine stuff. I forgot to photograph this one last time. The blade is 9.5mm thick at the guard, and tapers quite uniformly to the point.

Timo Nieminen 20th May 2012 03:17 AM

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A few more recently acquired ones. The first one I only got last Friday; it was a bit filthy so I cleaned it this morning. Was still very sharp, except for about 1cm near the point. A light touch with block+sandpaper, and it cut nicely. (The seller seemed to think it might be a Civil War Confederate knife.)

The 3rd one was from here; the other side is cleaner and less pitted.

The last one has very bug-eaten horn grips rivetted on. I need to fill the holes one day.

VANDOO 20th May 2012 04:20 AM

A VERY NICE COLLECTION OF PHILIPPINE EDGED WEAPONS WHICH HAVE NOT RECCEIVED MUCH ATTENTION FROM COLLECTORS OVER THE YEARS.
I DODGED THE SWORD OR KNIFE :confused: WELL DIDN'T I :D

TO ME AT 5 FOOT 11 IN. I WOULD CLASSIFY THESE AS SHORT SWORDS DUE TO THEIR SIZE IN RELATION TO MY SIZE. OR AS MACHETE OR BUSH KNIVES DUE TO THE USE THEY ARE PUT TO IN THEIR ORIGINAL SOCIETY. IF A MAN IS 7 FOOT TALL THESE WOULD LIKELY BE SEEN AS KNIVES IF 5 FOOT TALL IS BIG IN THE GROUP THAT MADE THEM ITS A SWORD. SEEMS SIZE IS RELATIVE. :shrug:
IN COLDER OR OPEN CLIMATES A SMALL KNIFE WILL SERVE WELL FOR EVERDAY USE AS YOU DON'T NEED TO CHOP YOUR WAY THRU JUNGLE OR HEAVY BRUSH SO A LARGE WORK KNIFE/ MACHETE IS NOT NEEDED. SO I WOULD ASSUME IN SUCH AREAS THE LONG SWORD WOULD ONLY BE A WEAPON. THE VIKINGS SEEMED TO USE THE AX AS A WEAPON QUITE A LOT PERHAPS THAT HAD TO DO WITH THEIR ENVIRONMENT AND THE TOOLS THAT WERE USEFUL THERE. A MAN WHO USED AN AX EVERY DAY MIGHT PREFER TO USE SOMETHING HE WAS VERY SKILLED WITH AS A WEAPON AS A RESULT. IRON WAS ALWAYS EXPENSIVE SO A SMALL KNIFE, AX HEAD OR SPEAR HEAD WAS MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE THAN A LARGE KNIFE OR SWORD. " JUST CONJECTURE MY SPECIALTY" :rolleyes:

THE CARVED SCABBARD ON ONE OF THE LAST EXAMPLES IS VERY WELL CARVED AND INTERESTING IT APPEARS TO HAVE TWO PEOPLE EITHER DANCING OR FIGHTING. PERHAPS A CLOSEUP HINT HINT :)

Robert 20th May 2012 04:48 AM

The forth one down with the nicely carved sheath I think is a bolo/palang from Pampangas. I remember seeing pictures of this or one very similar to it somewhere before and if I remember right it shows what appears to be two soldiers facing each other. Nice collection you are putting together, my congratulations.

Robert

Timo Nieminen 20th May 2012 05:42 AM

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Yes, it's two soldiers facing each other, with shouldered rifles.


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