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Old 2nd January 2015, 10:25 PM   #12
Ian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
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Default What about the word "barong" or "barung" itself?

While on the subject of kakatua hilts, it occurred to me to think about the word barong (or barung as it is pronounced in the Tausug dialect) and what it might derive from. I have found no discussion of this subject written in English.

Apart from the familiar leaf-shaped chopper favored by the peoples of the Sulu Archipelago, there is also the barong Tagalog (a man's shirt), and barong-barong, a Tagalog word meaning a temporary shelter or hut. The latter is interesting because it may be a transliteration of the Indonesian word burung-burung, which also means a shelter or hut.

So, we have an interesting similarity between the word barong (pronounced barung by the Tausug) and burung in Indonesian. One could posit a slight transformation of the word burung --> barung --> barong. And what does burung mean in Indonesian? It means "bird."

Is it possible that the whole sword is named "bird" because it resembles a bird, with the blade being the main part of the body, the handle being the neck, and the pommel the crest and beak?

In Indonesian the term for cockatoo is barung kakatua. Are we looking at a sword that depicts the cockatoo? Perhaps the pictures below help. Or maybe I'm just full of too much Christmas and New Year good cheer.

Ian.
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