Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Very nice dagger. This is definitely an Ilokano knife. The prominent use of brass on the hilt is a strong indicator of Ilokano manufacture, as well as the brass sheath and the shape of the small cross guard. The clincher, however, is the name of the town "Bigan" (now "Vigan"--the B and V are sometimes interchanged in the Ilokano language), which is the capital of the Ilocos Sur province (also spelled Ylocos Sur) where sur means south.
So the inscription on your knife reads BIGAN (Y [Ilocos] SUR). FILIPINAS obviously means Philippines. LUZON is self-evident.
1899 is an early date on Ilokano knives. Mostly they were undated until about WWII when we saw an eruption of dated knives that are often called "Negrito" bolos but are actually Ilokano in style and manufacture.
Very attractive acquisition and I look forward to more pics when you get it. Congratulations!