Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Welcome to the Forum and thanks for the reminder that we are dealing with a Panay tenegre. I had not forgotten. The natives of Panay are not noted for their extensive sea traveling and trade with foreigners, although Chinese merchants and other Filipino groups have been active in that area. It is probably one of the least likely places in the Philippines to have found a blade made of wootz. For wootz to arrive there would require trade with a foreigner or possibly in the form of a gift.
The Moro, especially those of the Sulu Archipelago, on the other hand were extensive seafarers and noted pirates of the South China Sea. They traded with N. Borneo, Brunei, Malaysia, China, etc. and were much more likely to come in contact with foreign goods via those sources. The Moro are also Muslims and wootz is associated with other Muslim groups, so a further connection might occur through the commonality of religion and culture. Whatever the possible pathway of wootz into the Philippines, it is much more likely that it would pass through Moro hands than come directly to a native of Panay. That is why I spoke of a Moro influence in connection with this sword. The fact that we see very few, if any, examples of wootz in Moro blades makes this tenegre all the more difficult to understand (if the steel is indeed wootz).
If Roland is correct, it is baffling how this sword came about.