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Spunjer 28th November 2014 05:16 PM

Tale of two Krises
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here are two krises. similar, but yet so different. i thought they were both Sulu, but i'm leaning more towards Maguindanao on Goldilocks here. the blade has etchings on both side using lost-wax process, reminiscent of style that is prevalent with the Lumad tribes. i would assume that whoever had this done are quite familiar with the Bagobo/T'boli sudeng, or swords. it must have been an inspiration. The brass handle is another clue. when i first got it, the whole blade was covered with old cosmoline, dark green and dingy looking. i decided to remove it, and along the process, i ended up shining the asang-asang. so i said what the heck, and went to town blinging up the handle.

The second kris is classic Sulu. silver pommel with silver rings interspersed with braided silver wire. the blade has that ever so slight taper towards the tip, and as a comparison with the maguindanao piece, a bit shorter. the collar (closest to the pommel) was missing, and was instead repaired with local jute. not knowing how the collar looked like originally, i'm happy to leave it as it is. the pommel was black when i first got it, not sure if it was silver at first, although i was certain that it has to be silver. the blade has active red rust running along the ridge. this was removed right away. another common Sulu blade trait, the skunk stripe lamination, appeared. you could barely see it, but it's there.

comparing both pommels, they appear to be similar, in that they are both cone-shape, but looking closely, you will notice that the Sulu is more circular, while the Maguindanao has a more oval-ish shape and has flat edges on the front and back.


Battara 29th November 2014 03:52 AM

Nice and interesting pieces. I might agree with the possible Lumad associations for the etched one.

What might add to the Lumad mix is the color of the hilt metal - looks either brass or nickel-silver. More a Lumad material.

Ian 29th November 2014 04:07 PM

Thanks for showing these two kris. The differences between Sulu and Maguindanao can be tricky sometimes and I think you are right about the heavier blade probably being Maguindanao in origin (even though the "eagle beak" on the blade might suggest Sulu, at least according to Cato).

I wonder whether the brass on the pommel of the Maguindanao kris might actually be covering a more traditional wooden horse-hoof pommel with its octagonal facets. There is a hint of some other straight sides on the brass pommel rim that might reflect an underlying octagonal shape.

The method of attaching the metal cladding of the pommel is identical in each case: the metal from the handle piece is folded over the plate that caps the end of the hilt. This is an unusual configuration in my experience but Jose has more expertise and might be able to comment on this technique and how commonly he has seen it. In any case, the hilts are very similar in construction (apart from the metals) and seem to have come from the same craftsman.

The heavier blade, with its extensive etching, is certainly odd and I agree it suggests a non-Moro origin. You mention a "lost wax" method but I'm not familiar with that technique for etching--I've seen it used for cast metal pieces, such as the T'boli and Bagobo hits.

Very interesting pair and nicely restored.


Spunjer 29th November 2014 04:13 PM

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as i've mentioned on my original post, jose, the handle (pommel and rings) is brass, hence my assumption about this particular piece as being Maguindanao in origin, being their close proximity with the T'boli. it wouldn't surprise me if the panday was T'boli himself ;)

another thing i forgot to mention are the geometric pattern on the blade. very similar to the design found on T'boli kefilans and toks...

Spunjer 29th November 2014 04:33 PM

thanks for your input, Ian.
as far as the pommel on the brass kris: i can see why you think it's faceted, and i think you're right. you could barely see it on the first picture. looking at the kris again, i can feel the facets.

regarding the eagle beak: if you notice, it looks "cruder" than the Sulu blade. i have a feeling it was chiseled out as an after thought. The Sulu appears to be more of a part of the process in making the blade...

Battara 29th November 2014 08:03 PM

Oh I guess I missed that in your initial post......

Anyway the method used on the blade is not lost wax but wax etch (just for clarification)

Also the ron do (no direct relation to you, Ron :D ) seems to be in Maguindanao style, although I do agree with you on the blade etching does seem to resemble the T'boli pattern.

Sajen 30th November 2014 04:35 PM

Hello Ron,

thank you for sharing this both nice kris with us. Special the wax etched blade is very interesting, never seen something similar before.


Spunjer 1st December 2014 11:28 AM

thanks, Detlef. i love acquiring those unusual types. it kinda throw a monkey wrench on everything.
like you i've never seen the wax edged blade before as well, save for one time on one of the dealer's website. it looked wax etched anyway.

kino 3rd December 2014 02:35 AM

Ho brah, what a nice looking pair!
Goldilocks has a unique acid etched blade. Is the blade laminated/pattern welded? An interesting theory on the manufacture being Lumad, I have a Barung with a mono steel acid etched blade, similar pattern to yours but not as elaborate. Like your Goldilocks blade my Barung exhibits file marks. Odd similarities.
BTW...did it come with bibingka?

Spunjer 3rd December 2014 03:16 AM

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eh, howzit, Kino!
forgot to mention that but yeah, i was surprise to find out the blade was laminated. normally, you see something like this, the blade would be mono. if you don't mind, bro, i would love to see a pic of your barung.
no, it didn't come with bibingka, but instead it came with this:

Battara 3rd December 2014 04:40 PM

Oh I love bibingka! (does that mean I can eat your kris? :D )

kino 4th December 2014 12:21 AM

[QUOTE if you don't mind, bro, i would love to see a pic of your barung[/QUOTE]

I'll post some photos this weekend after some ensaymada's. :D

Spunjer 4th December 2014 02:35 AM

lol, i actually brought back some goldilocks ensaymadas early this year from Manila. cheesy ensaymadas.. looking forward to see your barung, brother!

kino 6th December 2014 04:51 PM

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Here's the Barung with the acid etched blade.

Spunjer 6th December 2014 05:22 PM

Thanks, brah! now, that's the first time ever. never seen acid etch on a barung blade. i've seen files made into blades, but not this. you think it was added after (the etch i mean)? that's a pretty cool barung!

kino 7th December 2014 03:45 AM

Your Kris and my Barung are the first acid etched Moro blades blades that I've encountered.
The person that I got the Barung from told me his great grandfather which was a quartermaster in the Army, acquired it from the Philippines during the Span-Am War. He said that it was up on a wall in his house until a few years ago. So to answer your question about it being added after, your guess is as good as mine.
He had a Taming on EBay several months ago that I missed out on.


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