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Old 8th July 2011, 03:08 PM   #2
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
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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


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 !)

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