Originally Posted by Ian
Here are two knives that resemble the description and line drawing of a Sulawesi bangkung in Albert van Zonneveld's book. The beaten up, lower example came from a GI who served in the Second World War and saw action in the Celebes.
It does seem true that the word bangkung refers to somewhat medium-sized blades among the Bugis and other peoples from SW Sulawesi - I'm not sure if I really grasp the native definition(s) though? Could it possibly be a fairly broad/generic term resembling golok/bolo?
I have not researched Schroeder's Makassarese and Bugis publications enough to really comment on his drawing (reproduced in Albert's book).
However, Matthes states in his companion dictionary that the word bangkung replaces parang which seems to suggest a fairly broad usage without referring to a specific weapon or blade type. See also the usage in current Bugis publications which doesn't seem to point to any specific type nor a clear-cut definition. While the piece shown by Schroeder may well have been called bangkung by his informants/contacts, I believe we should not fall prey to the logical fallacy that a bangkung in the Makassar/Bugis sense needs to look exactly like this.
It would be great if any of our Bugis forumites were to care to comment, pretty please!