Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Interesting sword. It is not uncommon to see the Bagobo repurpose Moro blades, with their own hilt styles. Most of these blades were probably acquired through trade with nearby Maranao and Maguindanao groups. They also used T'boli blades and probably other Lumad weapons.
This sword probably does not relate to the Span-Am War. There was little involvement of Mindanao in that conflict--most of that fighting was in and around Manila. American conflicts with the Moro started in the early 1900s and continued for the next 20 years or so before an uneasy truce emerged, with just the occasional flare up after 1920.
I think your sword is probably from the era when American troops were most active on Mindanao, basically from about 1902-1915, although US military personnel were stationed in the area until the Japanese invasion in 1942.
It is possible your sword is more recent than the early 1900s, but I think your dating is probably correct. The blade looks older than the fittings, perhaps late 19th C.
P.S. Battara and I cross-posted simultaneously and I apologize for repeating much of what he said.