Join Date: Dec 2004
You're not the only one thinking Golden Triangle. The question then is: what tribe? The sheath construction that Hal describes definitely sounds like what some of the daos have, except that instead of being open, with the blade restrained by wrappings, it has a second piece held in place by wrapping.
The other thing I think is fascinating is the apparent piercing at the base of the edge. That seems characteristic too, and unique only through location.
Let's line up what we have:
--Tropical (from clothing--hard to believe he's a highlander and wearing so little)
--Asian (from body type and rice mortar).
--Blade looks like it could be a) a bolo, or b) a dha, but c) it has characteristics of a bunch of things (like the apparent pad on the T-hilt, the piercings on the blade, the square hilt cross-section, and circular guard) that don't often show up together. Similarly, the sheath could be something out of southern Himalayas or Taiwan.
--there's more than one of them, so it's unlikely that some blacksmith put this one together just to annoy blade collectors :-).
If we start drawing circles on maps for each of these traits, do we get overlaps somewhere? Kinibalu? Innermost Laos? Basilan province?