Thread: A Very Old Kris
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Old 13th August 2012, 01:49 PM   #19
migueldiaz's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Manila, Phils.
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But in the midst of said homogeneity in sword design for at least 1,000 to 1,500 years (i.e., from 500 to 400 BC [the Argao, Cebu dagger], till the 10th to 15th century [the Bohol kalis, per below and above]), suddenly we see a branching off -- that is, the Bohol kalis with an assymetrical axis, and with guard with 'blade catchers'.

Hence to my mind, this Bohol kalis appears to be the granddaddy that eventually morphed into the more popular form of the kris, which is the Moro kris.

Of course things did not happen in isolation. Philippines and Indonesia (and Malaysia) are archipelagos. And thus their borders leak like a sieve. In fact perhaps there's not much concept of borders then.

And Ron has already pointed out to us before that the 900 A.D. Laguna [Luzon] Copperplate Inscription is a fine example of the cross-pollination that's happening then -- the inscription was written in a combination of Old Tagalog [i.e., Luzon], Old Javanese, and Old Malay.

To recap, my tentative conclusion then is that the [Bohol] kalis I first posted above appears to be the proto-Philippine kris.

And to my mind, the other missing link that we need to find is a subsequent kalis which developed a gandik -- and at that point, perhaps that could very well be the first Philippine kris.

Now going back to the porous nature of the political boundaries between what will become Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, would anybody know when the first keris with gandik appeared? as in what century?

That would then provide a reference as to the time the Phil. kalis may have incorporated the gandik into the crossguard. We have to remember though that that feature per se (i.e., the 'elephant trunk') already appeared in the hilt of Philippine swords, as early as the 10th to 13th century. Thus, it's more of an issue of the timing of the movement from the hilt, to the guard ...
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