on your second point, you said:
Originally Posted by Ian
Second, the sarimanok story is a legend mainly related to the Maranao people of Mindanao. It seems a stretch to think that this relatively minor group of sultanates in the 17th and 18th centuries would have such a profound effect on the style of weapons throughout Muslims in the Philippines, N. Borneo, Brunei and mainland Malaysia. The usual pattern of influence is from top down, not bottom up.
While it's a great idea and interesting story, I don't think it is the source of the hilt style that Cato called kakatua.
yes, it is of Maranao origin, but why would that be a stretch? it would be safe to assume that the moro kris as we know it didn't evolve to its present size (or close to it) after tangling with the spaniards in the 17th century. Maranaos are next door neighbors to the Maguindanaos, Sultan Kudarat's realm. meanwhile, Ilanuns where in the service of the Tausugs. not to mention, we're not talking a style of weapon, rather just a part of a particular weapon.
looking at how different Indonesian cultures have somewhat a particular type of pommel on their keris, in a way giving them a cultural identity, why not the Moros?