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Old 1st October 2020, 02:09 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,309


Another thing that persuades me that this is a Sulu blade, rather than Maguindanao, is that the long axis of the blade is in line with the hilt. If you look at Mindanao kris from this period, both the Maguindanao and Maranao forms had the long axis of the blade angled forward of the axis of the hilt. This is readily apparent if you lay a late 19th C Sulu blade next to a late 19th C Mindanao blade.

Attached are pictures of one of my Maguindanao kris. It has an inscription from Datu Piang to Dr. W.A. Christensen who was a U.S. Army physician. Datu Piang was a powerful leader of the Maguindanao at the beginning of the 20th C. Although this blade is slightly curved, making it difficult to draw its long axis, the midline of the peripheral one-third of the blade, when extended towards the hilt, is clearly tilted down relative to the long axis of the hilt. Compare orientation with the subject of this thread, and it is apparent that the blade of the Sulu kalis is in line with the long axis of its hilt.

Xasterix pointed this feature out to me a while ago. I have found it to be a consistent distinguishing feature between Sulu and Mindanao kris/kalis of the late 19th C. I don't have sufficient examples to comment confidently on earlier swords.


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