Originally Posted by kai
I'm with Timo. For every excellent katana there were dozens of average examples produced and a considerable amount of rather crappy katana blades...
The same can be found for many other cultures all across the globe.
And there certainly are also antique Moro kris of rather poor workmanship, too. Not everbody can afford top notch craftsmanship, in any culture.
Some of the displayed ignorance is really sad!
The Lumad, the Visayans and some of the communities of southern Luzon actually had to literally fend off the Moro raiders for centuries; it was them rather than the Spaniards who stood their ground!
A considerable part of the Moro economy was based on a predatory life style; raiders sure appreciate high quality "tools" and also have the means to spend considerable amounts for their blades. I certainly would not be surprised if any of the Moro peoples were shown to having had higher quality blades on average than, for example, Visayan communities. However, it does not follow that high-end Moro blades surpassed high-end Visayan blades. And whatever quality the blades of each side might have had, the outcomes over much of the historic time were not necessarily in favor of the Moro, despite their undeniable warrior skills...
i think the original poster was asking about modern made knives.
and in generally the muslims in the south have a good deal more martial culture than the rest of the phillipines. for the average phillipino bolos are just tools and cheap disposable ones at that.. there is a few collectors and people interested but they are a small minority..
ifugao for example like them but mostly as tools so the quality of their knives is generally good but its very.. basic they make a few styles and they use them for work not to impress.
in the past there was a big knife culture but over tie in the phillipines with poverty and decline of a the colonial society along with decline of the native material culture its pretty much dead. nobody is strutting round with the latest bolo on to show of any more..
but in plces like malaysia and indonesia there is still a big culture around kris knives and such ect..
its unfortunate in the phillipines its in such a decline..
some knives for example in panay are basically good solid work knives.. but there is no superior knives sold either.. the worst quality is quite good and functional and there is nothing but work tools.. the locals were shocked i would have any interest in knives at all,
with the muslim groups in the south they immediately prick up their interest when you mention you like knives and many people have old knives they keep from their family.. big difference.
its interesting too how there has been such a decline to the point that in some areas the pepole forgot how to split rattan and use "plastic rattan" instead.. or they stopped working with animal horn all together and you see the horns unused,
ive been to many knife making areas of the phillipines and in some areas there is more makers than customers then in other areas there is few makers and more cusotmers ect..
phillipinos dont want to do manual work in fact in all over asia manual workers are just considered stupid or foolish ect for doing such difficult things its like the reverse of northern european culture where the hard working guy is the good example.. im really shocked when somebody is ashamed that their parents are blacksmiths ect and that a "good job in the city"
and generally knife making is a poor "dirty" job and probably one of the lowest professions. which is really a shame. .. and people just dont value it. it dosnt hold the cultural prestige a knife or weapon maker holds in bali for example where they are linked to religion
a general lack of pride in something kills it , just like wood working and metal casting also are lowest of the low jobs.. good job its work for an american or european company with benefits or work in the government where you can snag a bit of graft.
they should really make some national association of knife makers or blacksmiths and have a registry of all places where knives are made ect as its one of the few ethnically distinct cultural and regional things that survive and its interesting.