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Old 3rd July 2009, 04:25 PM   #3
David
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Great Midwest
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Hi Hotspur. As Emanuel has stated, this is a gugong. While it is true that these are made today mostly to serve a tourist market the form itself is hardly meant as a "trinket". These are utility knives meant in many ways to be smaller versions of the more weapon-like and imposing kris. They also served as a close quarter, often hidden weapon. They date back at least to American colonial days and probably a bit before that. They became a somewhat more important item after Gen. Pershing banned the wearing of sword by the natives. Since this was an important part of cultural attire the gugong allowed them to still wear a bladed weapon that was acceptable to colonial law.
From the photo of the blade before you cleaned it up it looks like yours might well be a lamenated blade. AFAIK meteorite was not used much in the creation of Moro weapons and i would say that it is highly doubtful that it was used in yours. You say the fittings are silver-plated copper? So the way it looks now is based on your "re-plating"? Aluminum became a rather popular material for these post WWII. It doesn't seem that yours is aluminum, though it still could be post WWII. Yours does not seem to be a particularly old one, but it does appear to have some age. They has not changed much over the years so i would guess yours could be as old as WWII or the 1980s or so.
Here's my only gugong. It is closer to the 1900 mark. You will note that one difference with older gugongs is that the hilts tend to be more elongated, less bulbous like yours. The guard on mine has been made with an old silver coin, probably a replacement. Blade is a little longer than yours, just over 6 1/4 inches. And mine is a curvy blade. I would still like to find myself a straight one from the same period.
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