Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
The distinguishing features of the Sulawesi bangkung, as shown in van Zonneveld and the two examples above, appear to be the "finger notch" just in front of a very short, down-turned hilt. It is necessary for me to place my forefinger into the notch to hold the knife comfortably.
I do not recall any knives from Malaysia that have such a notch just below the hilt. If you are thinking of "Malay" in a more anthropolgical sense, then some of the knives from Sumba come to mind, as well as the Visayan plamingko and some Bugis badik that have similar notches or cut out areas in that position.
The gentleman who owned this knife served in the U.S. Army late in WW II. He enlisted in June, 1944 and saw action in the capture of Morotai (September 1944), a small island to the north-east of the Celebes, which served as a significant jumping off point for the invasion of the Philippines. He was later stationed in the Philippines after the Japanese surrender. He was discharged from the Army in 1946. He told me that he acquired the knife during his time on Morotai.