Thread: A Very Old Kris
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Old 13th August 2012, 12:35 PM   #15
migueldiaz's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Manila, Phils.
Posts: 1,042

Originally Posted by Spunjer
... it's the term that was used in the archipelago since time immemorial. as an example, when someone hear the term "parang", one automatically thinks it refer to a particular indonesian sword, which is in a way correct, but that same exact term is still used in some parts of sulu. it might not be the parang as we know it, but it is what it is...
ron, right on the money.

thus insofar as our dear departed superancestors are concerned, all of those war swords and knives of ours are collectively called kalis or karis. and we use these terms up to this day.

and our indonesian cousins call them keris, as we all know.

another example is the the philippine term for weapon in general, sandata, which is senjata in indonesian. again, the terms are cognates.

actually even the indonesian term parang has an equivalent term in our dialects up to now -- the pampangos still use palang to refer to the same thing.

and parang & palang are the same essentially because we also know that in our languages 'l' and 'r' are sometimes interchangeable: multo-murto; talibong-taribong; lanaw-ranaw; balangay-barangay; ilanun-iranun; kulitan-kuritan; lugal-lugar; tulogan-torogan; baloto-baroto; sulat-surat; puliran-pulilan; miro-milo (pusa); parakol-palakol, etc.

going back to the question on when the first philippine kris came about (i.e., the moro form), i'd like to present four slides lifted from my presentation on a related subject to a local historical society.

here's the first slide, and i'd like to point out the following:

[1] the oldest local war knife-sword i know is the visayan (from argao, cebu) piece on the leftmost side of the slide; it was dated by karl hutterer (an american archeologist who dug it up in the 1970s) as early iron age, which would be about 500 to 400 b.c. if i'm not mistaken;

[2] we can see that this turned out to be a classical blade profile, as for the next 2,500 years, the leaf-shaped symmetrical blade with bifurcated pommel never died;

[3] however for the gold-hilted daggers in the center (10th to 13th century a.d.), i'm not quite sure whether their blades are leaf-shaped also -- but some other examples from the same age range have the leaf-shaped blade for sure;

[4] now i don't think there's something special about this blade shape, as the same shape is also found in the engravings in angkor wat, in the old temples in indonesia, etc.

so what's my point? ... well, i'm actually still figuring it out
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