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-   -   Origin of the kampilan? (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=7408)

Bill M 26th October 2008 08:20 PM

Origin of the kampilan?
 
The first recorded kampilan possibly goes back to the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines -- April 1521. Magellan vs Lapu Lapu. However it is unclear if Lapu Lapu used a kampilan or a cutlass.

Some people attribute the kampilan to the Dayak of Borneo, but I think that it was more likely that the Moro of North Borneo were the originators. I have never seen a kampilan with Dayak designs.

I have done a search here, but found six pages of information and while there must be more information on the origins of kampilans, I don't see it.

I'd sure appreciate some opinions/ideas from our more erudite sword scholars here!

VANDOO 27th October 2008 07:31 PM

I HAVE PONDERED THIS QUESTION ALSO REGARDING THE KAMPILIAN AS WELL AS MORO KRIS. THE FORM OF THE KAMPILIAN MOST CLOSELY RESEMBLES THE DAYAK MANDAU TYPE. BORNEO ALSO HAD CROCODILES WHICH IS CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH DEATH IN THAT AREA, TO EXPLAIN MORE CLEARLY. THE BELIEF SYSTEMS WERE ANIMIST, EVERYTHING HAS A SPIRIT, A RIVER, A MOUNTAIN, LONGHOUSE AS WELL AS ANIMALS MOST SPIRITS AND ASSOCIATED WITH LIFE FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND THE CROCODILES SPIRIT IS ASSOCIATED WITH DEATH. I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH TO COMMENT FARTHER EXCEPT THAT I DON'T THINK THAT IS A BAD THING AS BOTH LIFE AND DEATH ARE A PART OF THEIR WORLD. WAR AND DEATH ARE ALSO LINKED SO A CROCODILE WITH ITS POWER AND SPIRIT OF DEATH WOULD BE A NATURAL CHOICE FOR A WAR WEAPON.
THE MANDAU IS SHORTER AS A LONG SWORD WOULD NOT SERVE VERY WELL FOR CUTTING OR MOVING THRU THE JUNGLE. OTHER SYMBOLS ARE USUALLY CARVED INTO MANDAU MOSTLY NOT THE CROCODILE THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN MANY REASONS FOR THESE SYMBOLS BUT I DON'T KNOW THEM.
THE MURUT PACKAYUN IS A LONG WAR SWORD BUT I HAVE NO INFORMATION ON KAMPILIAN IN THEIR AREA WHICH IS INLAND AND MORE MOUNTAINOUS. I SUSPECT THE ORIGIN OF THE KAMPILIAN IS A SEA FARING TRIBE PROBABLY LIVING ALONG THE COAST NEAR RIVERS WHERE CROCODILES WERE PART OF THEIR LIVES. THE MORO MAY HAVE SETTLED IN THESE AREAS AND MADE A LARGER MODIFIED MANDAU USED ONLY FOR WAR AND CARRIED BY THE GAURDS OF THE DATU. THE KAMPILIAN IS A LARGE AND FEARSOME WEAPON USED IN WAR NOT IN DAILY VILLAGE LIFE PERHAPS ONLY ON EXCURSIONS BY SEA OR TO REPEL ATTACKS FROM THE SEA BY WARRIORS WELL TRAINED IN ITS USE.
IT COULD HAVE ORIGINATED IN MANY AREAS UNDER MANY DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES THE ORIGINAL COULD HAVE BEEN MADE FOR CEREMONIAL PURPOSES OR BROUGHT IN FROM OUTSIDE BY TRADERS AND MADE MUCH LARGER TO PRESENT TO SOME IMPORTANT CHIEF. ABOUT THE ONLY THING WE CAN SAY FOR SURE IS IT CAME TO BE AFTER TRADE WAS ESTABLISHED IN THE REGION AND IRON AND STEEL COULD BE BROUGHT TO TRIBES WHO WERE STILL OPERATING WITH STONE AGE TECKNOLOGY.
JUST MY THOUGHTS ON IT NO SPECIFIC REFRENCES BUT THATS THE BEST I CAN DO UNTIL I GET MY TIME MACHINE WORKING. :rolleyes:

Maurice 27th October 2008 09:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
AS WELL AS ANIMALS MOST SPIRITS AND ASSOCIATED WITH LIFE FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND THE CROCODILES SPIRIT IS ASSOCIATED WITH DEATH. I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH TO COMMENT FARTHER EXCEPT THAT I DON'T THINK THAT IS A BAD THING AS BOTH LIFE AND DEATH ARE A PART OF THEIR WORLD. WAR AND DEATH ARE ALSO LINKED SO A CROCODILE WITH ITS POWER AND SPIRIT OF DEATH WOULD BE A NATURAL CHOICE FOR A WAR WEAPON. :rolleyes:
I just read the book of Eric Mjoberg, named "Borneo, the land of the headhunters." There you can find a paragraph about the connection between the crocodile and the dayaks.
Shortly what I have read is that: Most people of Borneo see the crocodile as holy. The crocodiles will be left alone, as long as it doesn't attack the people. Than it is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (or how the saying is going:o ).
You can imagine what impression such an big strong animal has to the dajaks who were animists. Therefore the crocodile figure is a well seen object on their carvings (such as coffins, or endcarvings on their praws, etc).
Some dayak tribes believe that the guards in the underworld are huge crocodiles, who guard the deads who go for their last voyage over a slimy treetrunk which is lying over a river to finally reach the land of shadows.

There is a legend that one of the greatest dayak chiefs ever lived had the shape of a crocodile. Therefore the great respect for the crocodile. But as I wrote earlier, when a crocodile attacks one of the dajaks of a certain tribe, it is declared the war and they will not rest till they killed the beast (and many crocodiles were killed before they had the right one).

But I think I am wondering of topic what Bill is asking (sorry Bill :shrug: .)
But maybe interesting for some people who didn't read the book.

But who says the head of the kampilan is supposed to be the mouth of a crocodile??????:confused: I know the opinions will be differ on this one and I have no clue myself what to think ...........so I step out now and will follow this thread with great pleasure!

Kind regards,
Maurice

Mytribalworld 27th October 2008 09:30 PM

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for starting this thread.A nice subject and we will probably never know what happend so we can only guess and try to get as much info as we can.

Its a little dangerous to build a theory on the not proven other theory of the crocodilemouth I think.
Personally I don't think the handle represents always the crocodile mouth but that for later......

If Magellan was killed with a kampilan I doubt if the model was the same as we know know on the Phillipines.
seemly the model of the handle has become some variations during the times.
However we haven't seen kampilans with dayak motifs it at least looks if the dayaks of North Borneo used a kampilan with a small variation into the handle.
they seem to be more like a massive block,ceratainly the lower "jaw"
Pics below are mainly described as Dusun ( north Borneo)

source RMV Leiden

Mytribalworld 27th October 2008 09:32 PM

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On Timor however you find Kampilans with hughe handles....

In my opinion they have more in common with the head of a hornbill.

Whats for sure is that on Timor they couldn't make swordblades and every blade had to be obtained by trade.

Seemly these kampilans where also traded to Timor.The collection numbers are very old so probably these are very old pieces.
Whats also possible that they carved the handle themselves but I doubt that.
Note that on two pieces the handguard is asymetric.
We don't know if these kampilans where a model before the more common open "crocodile" type or a modification of that type.

I agree with Vandoo that the blade of a kampilan is'nt very handy into the forrest. But on a boat or open area it must be a great weapon.
Note however that the area of North borneo is more open than other parts of Borneo. On the other way it would not suprise me if the kampilan design was originally from the mainland of Malaysia but was modified for combat at sea,traded and got his influence from other cultures.
The hook at the end of the blade is very handy for entering or just keeping of entering boats from enemies.
There's a nice theory if this hook maybe represents a prowshead.

Mytribalworld 27th October 2008 10:23 PM

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kampilan blade ends in compare with a kelawang from Pattani

according to the writer you can see even the two mast from the boat on one of the drawings...... I don't know but its interesting.

migueldiaz 28th October 2008 12:31 AM

Hello Bill,

Thanks for starting this thread as the kampilan is of great interest to me at the moment (I'm trying to acquire another piece).

Maurice, Vandoo, and Mandaukudi, thanks too for the additional info!

What I can add is taken from two books in front of me now. From Cato's good old "Moro Swords" (1996) --
"The basic form of the Moro kampilan was borrowed form Malay prototypes. The kampilan profile is strikingly similar to the klewang, mandau (parang ihlang) swords that were used in Indonesia and Malaya (now Malaysia).

"Dr. Mamitua Saber, noted Maranao expert on the history and culture of the Muslim Filipinos, has found evidence that variants of the kampilan exist in almost every country in insular Southeast Asia, including some of the isolated islands in the Indian Ocean, near Sumatra. It is his belief, however, that the most likely prototype for the Moro kampilan was the klewang, as produced by the inhabitants of the Celebes."

And from Krieger's "Primitive Weapons and Armor of the Philippine Islands" (1926):
"HAIRY KAMPILAN. -- This weapon denoted considerable rank on the part of he bearer. It is ornamented with a tuft of tufts of human or horse hair at the sides of the handle. The wooden handle is large, highly ornamented with carvings; bifid pommel. The large wooden cross guard is often provided with sword breaker and wrist protector. Moro. Weapon not essentially Filipino, but introduced by way of Borneo. North Bornean forms resemble it, as do also the north Celebes types with spur pointed at distal end. The weapon resembles the parang-ihlang.

xxx

"KAMPILAN. -- A long blade widening to a truncated distal end. The weapon is employed by the Moro private soldier. Large wooden handle sometimes highly carved. Sword breaker and wooden cross guard always present."

And then of course there's this other excellent thread, Towards a classification of the kampilan.

Maurice 28th October 2008 09:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandaukudi
On Timor however you find Kampilans with hughe handles....

In my opinion they have more in common with the head of a hornbill.



Hi Arjan,

I see what you mean and it looks indeed at a hornbill's head.
Did you noticed that the last pic of your Timor-examples has the hilt upsidedown? :)

The ,hairy, part of the hilt normally is on the ,edge, side of the blade.
To this one the ,hairy, side is at the backside of the blade (non-edge).

Mytribalworld 29th October 2008 05:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
Hi Arjan,

I see what you mean and it looks indeed at a hornbill's head.
Did you noticed that the last pic of your Timor-examples has the hilt upsidedown? :)

The ,hairy, part of the hilt normally is on the ,edge, side of the blade.
To this one the ,hairy, side is at the backside of the blade (non-edge).


Hi Maurice,

yes, I seen but its no doubt that its turned when it was rehilted.

Dajak 29th October 2008 06:39 PM

There is no proof off that this type off kampilan was from philipine origine

There is only the name kampilan but the form is not proven from philipine .



Ben

VVV 29th October 2008 09:01 PM

Interesting with the ship and mast theory on the spike.
But I assume it's just speculation from the article writer, or?
Also most really old kampilan don't have this spike feature.
On crocodiles they are considered holy ("keramat") in Folk Islam too, especially if they are extraordinary large or white.
In Hindu times they were, like the tiger, connected to Batara Guru - Shiva.

On the origin, old sources, Dusun-attribute etc. we discussed that in depth in this old thread.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=5032

Michael

Nonoy Tan 31st October 2008 10:32 AM

I read somewhere (still trying to locate the source reference) that most of such types of iron/steel/metal weapons (including those of Luzon and the Visayas) used before the arrival of Christianity and Islam to the Philippines, were likely introduced from Borneo.

migueldiaz 2nd November 2008 06:22 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Marsh
The first recorded kampilan possibly goes back to the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines -- April 1521. Magellan vs Lapu Lapu. However it is unclear if Lapu Lapu used a kampilan or a cutlass.

Hi Bill,

Most of us have probably read Antonio Pigafetta's account of the death of Magellan:
"Recognizing the captain [Magellan], so many turned upon him that they knocked his helmet off his head twice... A native hurled a bamboo spear into the captain's face, but the latter immediately killed him with his lance, which he left in the native's body. Then, trying to lay hand on sword, he could draw it out but halfway, because he had been wounded in the arm with a bamboo spear. When the natives saw that, they all hurled themselves upon him. One of them wounded him on the left leg with a large cutlass, which resembles a scimitar, only being larger. That caused the captain to fall face downward, when immediately they rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears and with their cutlasses, until they killed our mirror, our light, our comfort, and our true guide."

I was just thinking, if it was a "cutlass", then what would it actually be, among the blades of the Visayans then?

I'm now reading William Henry Scott's Barangay -- Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture & Society. This was written in the 1980s I think, and Scott is a leading historian on pre-hispanic Philippines.

So the book is all about how the Philippines was before the arrival of the Spaniards. In the section entitled "The Visayas" and under the "Weapons and War" subsection, we read this:
"There were two kinds of swords -- kris (Visayan kalis) and kampilan, both words of Malay origin. The kris was a long double-edged blade (modern specimens run to 60 to 70 centimeters), either straight or wavy but characterized by an asymmetrical hornlike flare at the hilt end, called kalaw-kalaw after the kalaw hornbill. The wavy kris was called kiwo-kiwo, and so was an astute, devious man whose movement cannot be predicted. Hilts were carved of any solid material -- hardwood, bone, antler, even shell -- and great datu warriors had them of solid gold or encrusted with precious stones. Blades were forged from layers of different grades of steel, which gave them a veined or mottled surface -- damascended or "watered." But even the best Visayan products were considered inferior to those from Mindanao or Sulu, and these in turn were less esteemed than imports from Makassar and Borneo. Alcina thought the best of them excelled Spanish blades.

"The word kampilan came into Spanish during the Moluccan campaigns of the sixteenth century as "a heavy, pointed cutlass [alfange]" -- inappropriately, however, since a cutlass had a curved blade weighted toward the tip for slashing blows, while the kampilan was straight. (Modern ones are two-handed weapons running to 90 centimeters.) It apparently was never manufactured by Visayan smiths but imported from parts of Mindanao, both Muslim and pagan, which had direct culture contact with the Moluccas. Like the kris, it was coated with poison before going into battle, and the fiction that the weapon itself has been rendered poisonous by some alchemy no doubt enhanced its market value. Fine ones were handed down from father to son, bore personal names known to the enemy, and could be recognized by the sound of little bells which formed part of their tasseled decoration."

So there.

The pre-hispanic Visayans (of whom Lapu Lapu was one) had only two basic swords: the kris and the kampilan.

To me thus, the "cutlass" that was used against Magellan in all probability would be a kampilan. If it were the kris, Pigafetta an eyewitness wouldn't have described it like he did: "a large cutlass, which resembles a scimitar, only being larger".

Traditionally in the Philippines, Lapu Lapu is depicted as armed with the kampilan.

VVV 2nd November 2008 09:19 PM

Hi Miguel,

Scott's book is unique as it's based on what the Spanish wrote about the Filipinos when they first encountered them. This means of course that there are a lot of misunderstandings and cultural biased flaws in the original documentation that needs to be decipherd (based on other documentation and sources). Like the old poison myth...
I assume that the kris from Makassar wasn't of the Sundang type but more of the regular Malay size?
And that the kampilan the Spaniards encountered on their Moluccan campaign belonged to Illanum seafarers?
Not to the regular inhabitants of the Moluccas who according to all other sources used other kind of swords?
I think the book is very interesting and also sometimes quite surprising.
Like when he mentions the baladaw (= Malay beladau?) as a kind of popular Visayan push dagger. I wonder why it didn't survive in popularity?
Unfortunately Scott died in 1993. A year before the book first was published.

Michael

migueldiaz 3rd November 2008 12:18 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Scott's book is unique as it's based on what the Spanish wrote about the Filipinos when they first encountered them. This means of course that there are a lot of misunderstandings and cultural biased flaws in the original documentation that needs to be decipherd ...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the comments.

Yes, I agree that there were a lot of "transmission errors", as early as back then when the first contact was made, down to the present time as these matters are over and over retold and reinterpreted.

Doesn't it make that all the more exciting? :)

Best regards.

PS -

Dear all,

I'm now looking at the Boxer Codex which is described as follows:
"Boxer Codex is a manuscript written circa 1595 which contains illustrations of Filipinos at the time of their initial contact with the Spanish. Aside from a description of and historical allusions to the Philippines and various other Far Eastern countries, it also contains seventy-five colored drawings of the inhabitants of these regions and their distinctive costumes. Fifteen illustrations deal with Filipinos ...

"The Boxer Codex depicts the Tagalogs, Visayans, Zambals, Cagayanons and Negritos of the Philippines in vivid colors. The technique of the paintings suggests that artist may have been Chinese, as does the use of Chinese paper, ink and paints."

Please refer to the various images below. What is of particular interest to me is the sword the Tagalog noble is holding (the one with a zoomed-in image).

Given that at the time (pre-hispanic) Manila is governed by the Muslim Rajah Sulayman [he ruled over the present Tondo district], Rajah Lakandula, and Rajah Matanda [the latter two ruled over what is now the Malate and Ermita districts I think], the attire and weapons of the original Manilenos then would have Moro influence.

Now back to that sword with a bifurcated hilt and a seeming crescent shaped crossguard, doesn't that look like a kampilan?

What do you all think?

Thanks!

Reichsritter 3rd November 2008 03:18 AM

Hi,

Kampilan was mentioned in an ancient Ilonggo/ Visayan epic the "Hinilawod" it was only recorded by the Spanish in 1573. The epic was said to be the longest in the world since it takes three days to complete.

The pommel I think is not necessarily a crocodile...it might what in the Ilonggos folklore called "Bakunawa" or sea serpent who swallowed the moon, this story was often told to the kids during lunar eclipse. I think there are pommel variants that these serpents head had a ball swallowed in it.

Nonoy Tan 3rd November 2008 07:03 AM

Indeed, there is so much talent and expertise in this forum!

A major problem, as some already implied, is that the word Kampilan, Kempilan, or Campilan has been used by the Spaniards (particularly in the Philippines) to describe blades which may or may not be a Kampilan (as we presently know it).

The Ibaloi (Northern Luzon) songs mentions the Campilan, too. They may or may have acquired the word from early Spaniards in the Philippines.

Early Spanish records of the Ilongots (Northern Luzon) use the word Campilan to describe a cutlass.

These information add to the confusion.

Here is more information that can help place the issue in context:

Historical writings mention the name Raha Matanda or Raja Ache (Lakandula) who ruled Manila and adjacent areas in the 16th century. Raha Matanda was the grandson of Sultan Sirapada I of Borneo.

Nonoy Tan 3rd November 2008 07:09 AM

Hi Tim,

The Balarao dagger is mentioned in Antontio de Morga's " Sucessos delas Islas Filipinas" and the translated version which includes Rizal's comments mentions its loss.

Nonoy

Dajak 4th November 2008 04:47 AM

I Like to see an drawing or an pic off one with an kampilan before 1850

not one what looks like an kampilan but is one.

Ben

Mytribalworld 5th November 2008 07:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dajak
I Like to see an drawing or an pic off one with an kampilan before 1850

not one what looks like an kampilan but is one.

Ben


Ooh yeh, where did I have that polaroid photo with Lapu Lapu in war dress :D

Jim McDougall 10th November 2008 10:41 AM

This is an excellent topic Bill! and a great idea for a thread as it focuses on the kampilan specifically, and addresses not only the development of the weapon and its particulars, but fascinating history associated with it.
The observations and discussion added by everyone here have been really informative, and this is again, the kind of threads I really like seeing, that truly give the most current data available on a certain weapon form.

MiguelDiaz and Mandaukudi, fantastic input with the great illustrations and cites on references! Excellent observations Vandoo, Toeodor, Maurice and Dajak! and Nonoy Tan thank you for addressing the word 'kampilan'. I wondered if the etymology of the word was known, and think arms and armour terminology is a fascinating factor in its study.

Its great really learning more on these weapons, thank you guys!

All the best,
Jim

migueldiaz 10th November 2008 10:48 PM

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Jim, thanks :)

Mandaukudi, thanks too for those wonderful images above!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonoy Tan
Early Spanish records of the Ilongots (Northern Luzon) use the word Campilan to describe a cutlass.

In Zaragoza's Tribal Splendor (1995), we see these 1898 studio pics of Ilongot warriors.

In the four-man pic, what is interesting to me is the leftmost Ilongot's 'sidearm' which looks like a sword with a bifurcated hilt -- would this be the cousin of the Moro kampilan? ... and hence was the one the Spaniards described as a 'campilan'?

Also the Ilongot in the center (standing) seems to be holding what looks very similar to a Moro panabas.

The Ilongots by the way appear to have continued with their headhunting ways, long after the Igorots of the Cordillera have put it to a stop.

See the 1959 police pic below (warning: the picture may be too gruesome to some).

fernando 11th November 2008 03:08 PM

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Hi Bill,
Some guy from my home town is now running an exhibition on Fernão Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellanvs) biography and his earth circum navigation.
One of the illustrations shows the Portuguese captain being eliminated by the Lapu Lapu chieftain, after being weakened by an arrow in his leg, among other wounds.
I wonder what is the age of this picture (painting?), and from where he did get it. He doesn't remember it either. But he promised to search his stuff and tell me.
I think this is a sugestive depiction of the weapon used by the native leader ... at least in the author's imagination.
Fernando

VVV 11th November 2008 04:06 PM

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Thanks Miguel for posting the pictures of the Luzon-maybe-kampilan-inspired-swords.
A pity that they aren't easier to see from the pictures.
I have this bolo that, based on Hein's old book, is supposed to be tribal and from Luzon?
Do you recognise it from any of your sources?

Michael

migueldiaz 13th November 2008 12:00 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Thanks Miguel for posting the pictures of the Luzon-maybe-kampilan-inspired-swords.
A pity that they aren't easier to see from the pictures.
I have this bolo that, based on Hein's old book, is supposed to be tribal and from Luzon?
Do you recognise it from any of your sources?

Michael

Hi Michael,

I'm not familiar with the form as I'm still a budding collector :)

It appears though, based on the pics earlier posted in this forum (the ones taken at Madrid museum/s), that it's also possible that they are Visayan (i.e., from central Philippines).

But I'm not really sure about that. I'm sure the others more familiar with the nuances of the forms can comment much more competently.

Regards.

migueldiaz 13th November 2008 02:50 PM

On the probable use of the perforations and the spikelets
 
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I'd like to propose a theory on the probable use of those thingys on the upper tip of the kampilan's blade.

I'm not aware if this had been proposed before, but my theory is that those things are used to deliver poison to the enemy during combat.

My train of thought would be:
[1] Visayans customarily applied poison on their kampilans & krisses [WH Scott, in Barangay];

[2] In the Battle of Mactan, it doesn't come as a surprise thus that Pigafetta reported the use of poison arrows by the natives against the Spaniards;

[3] After Magellan's defeat, Magellan's first native ally, Rajah Humabon, in disappointment over Magellan's failure to defeat Humabon's enemy [Lapu-lapu], reportedly ordered the extermination of the surviving Spaniards via poisoning;

thus once again, chemical warfare really looks like a typical method of defeating the enemy;

[4] The kris being wavy would have a longer total blade length compared to a straight blade of the same overall length -- as such when the kris was laced with poison, more poison can be lodged on the blade as compared to a straight blade; the point is that the kris' wavy blade then becomes an ideal weapon to deliver poison to the enemy;

[5] Now for the kampilan which Scott said was also laced with poison, being a very long sword perhaps it made sense to just concentrate the poison on the blade's tip;

[6] Now on how to operationalize the idea, I thought that those many perforations and jagged edges would make an ideal repository for the poison (normally the sap of a certain tree, per Krieger, when Krieger described how the Luzon tribes source their poison);

the spikelets and other protrusions on the other hand will provide good platform for injecting the poison into the flesh of the enemy.

On how to prove or debunk the theory, these are the things that can be done --
[a] if Pigafetta had a post-battle account, we should find out whether those wounded by the "large cutlass, which looked like a scimitar" were noted as having experienced symptoms of poisoning (e.g., nausea, vomitting, etc.);

[b] it should also be established whether the Visayans' kampilans had those spikelets and perforations in the first place;

[c] for those in the US and Europe who have access to crime laboratories, those spikelets and perforations on the kampilan should be swabbed and the sample taken for analysis of traces of poison, a la CSI :)

now if you have etched your kampilan and obliterated any chemical trace on the blade's tip, shame on you! ;)

[d] given that kampilan must have been first developed in Borneo, and then it went up to Mindanao first before reaching the Visayas and then Luzon, it will help if we can find out whether those original users of the kampilan laced their blades with poison also.

Back to the subject on whether in the first place the Visayans had kampilans similar to the ones used by the Moros of Mindanao (i.e., with spikelets and perforations), I think that's the case.

Because Pigafetta described the fighting style of the men of Lapu-lapu as -- "When our muskets were discharged, the natives would never stand still, but leaped hither and thither, covering themselves with their shields."

Now earlier, the Europeans and later the Americans described the Moro fighting style as exactly like that. So if the movements were the same, it stands to reason that the weapons used must have been very similar if not the same.

Admittedly, all of the above are highly speculative.

But hey, to echo Vandoo, let me end by saying that "That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!" :) :D

Attached are pics of various spiked tips, as collated randomly from pics in the forum.

VVV 13th November 2008 10:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
...It appears though, based on the pics earlier posted in this forum (the ones taken at Madrid museum/s), that it's also possible that they are Visayan (i.e., from central Philippines)...


Thanks for the comment and the pictures.
The pictures just indicate Philippines to me.
But maybe Visayas, as well as Mindanao, is an alternative to Luzon (from Hein)?
Any forumites in Madrid who knows how it's described at the museum?

Michael

Nonoy Tan 14th November 2008 06:06 AM

Hi Michael,

The "bolo" you posted is used by people from the extreme east of Luzon (along the coast and the mountains near the coast). They call it "Katana" - probably a loan word.

Nonoy

VVV 14th November 2008 06:10 AM

Thanks Nonoy!!!

In case you have any pictures of people wearing it I would appreciate if you could share them?

Michael

Dajak 14th November 2008 07:18 PM

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Here an shield off the Ilongot .


Ben


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