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Old 8th July 2011, 11:30 AM   #1
Royston
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Default BAT HILTS

There has been trade between the Arab countries and S.E Asia for a long time.
Does anyone else see a similarity between Nimcha hilts and the bat hilts of the Philippines ?

My question is this:-

Influence or Coincidence ?

All opinions welcome

Regards
Roy

PS:- Now that we are sure that the Minisbad comes from Bichol, I note that this area appears to be predominately Catholic, but was there trade with the Arabs in the past ?
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Old 8th July 2011, 04:08 PM   #2
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royston
There has been trade between the Arab countries and S.E Asia for a long time.
Does anyone else see a similarity between Nimcha hilts and the bat hilts of the Philippines ?

My question is this:-

Influence or Coincidence ?

All opinions welcome

Regards
Roy

PS:- Now that we are sure that the Minisbad comes from Bichol, I note that this area appears to be predominately Catholic, but was there trade with the Arabs in the past ?


Salaams, Last question first .. Yes ! absolutely and as far back as the 8th century Oman was trading as far as China. The weapons look great. Clearly there is a link with the hilt style either with the Magreb or the similar hilt in and around the Zanzibar region (though I admit I have difficulty separating those two styles ) Interestingly Chinese vessels were running silk, spices and other goods up the Red Sea before the Portuguese arrived in the late 15th C. In fact, the Portuguese blockade of the Red Sea effectively bankrupted the Mamluke Empire shortly after. I see a European trade blade probably Caucasus 19th Century on at least one sword, The great question is regarding the hilts... Who influenced who? Also fascinating is which way around did the influence happen since the Philipines were for several centuries directly ruled by Mexico not by Spain/Portugal therefor it is conceivable that Magreb influence could have arrived in the Philipines via the Atlantic and Pacific or the shorter route if traded in by the Arabs or the other big three trade merchants The Portuguese, British or Dutch East Indies Companies (or all of them !)

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Old 8th July 2011, 05:00 PM   #3
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I had always thought the nimcha hilt portrayed a stylized horse. IMO it is important to maintain consideration for an independent evolution of formů When compared to the "business end" of an edged weapon (though itself quite diverse in appearance), the hilt is comparably wide open to artistic and stylistic interpretations and/or variations. Given the rich history of edged weaponry in many cultures, might it be possible two distinct peoples may have thad he similar idea of portraying a stylized version of two different animals in roughly the same fashion?
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Old 16th July 2011, 07:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laEspadaAncha
I had always thought the nimcha hilt portrayed a stylized horse. IMO it is important to maintain consideration for an independent evolution of formů When compared to the "business end" of an edged weapon (though itself quite diverse in appearance), the hilt is comparably wide open to artistic and stylistic interpretations and/or variations. Given the rich history of edged weaponry in many cultures, might it be possible two distinct peoples may have thad he similar idea of portraying a stylized version of two different animals in roughly the same fashion?



Salaams,
I would be the first to agree that parallel but unrelated form can accidentally occur in totally remote, unlinked, geographical groups but in this case these swords are virtually identical and there is good cause for a series of possible links. My suspicion is... The Zanzibari and Moroccan swords are directly linked to the Philippines sword by seatrade but I believe it isn't clearcut (excuse the pun) and I would like to know from where did this style of weapon originate?

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Old 17th July 2011, 03:51 PM   #5
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Gentlemen,
Quite some time ago I posted this sword:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=nimcha

Don't you think it might be pertinent to the current discussion?
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Old 18th July 2011, 01:53 AM   #6
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I would guess this begs the question: how many other sword hilts found in the Philippines show possible Arab influence ?

If the answer is few I would lean toward parallel development .

This is a Nimcha Hilt; I see great differences between this and the Zanzibar hilt .

Here's a link to the original discussion of this sayf; let's throw that into our cooking pot .
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...venetian+nimcha
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Last edited by Rick : 18th July 2011 at 02:56 AM.
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Old 8th July 2011, 05:03 PM   #7
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Hi
all the peoples of the Maghreb, and from the Middle East to the borders of Asia
they are all, sailors, and merchants
they even used on the Mediterranean basin a specific language, a "pidgin",
which allowed to ; Arabs, Berbers, Maltese, Greeks, Cypriots, Turkish and others to understand each other
at that moment, easy to imagine that the weapons were to move from one country to another, ... with their owners
and, locally, the native blacksmith was made a copy for what what seems to them the most remarkable
also, like the Arabs of the peninsula, are the relay between East and West, nothing very surprising, for example, that we found the "Nimcha" hilt, as well as in Zanzibar (East Africa), that in Saudi,
and then, exported to Asia, even Philippines
Arab sailors, was using the monsoon, to sail from W. to E. and to come back from India, China, etc.

Ó +

Dom
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Old 8th July 2011, 05:27 PM   #8
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Absolutely outstanding!!!!
These are excellent examples you have posted Roy, and an extremely well posed question. I just wanted to thank you guys for a great topic and some well developing discourse!! Looking forward to seeing this one run!!!
Ibrahiim, Dom and Chris, I like the way you guys think, and where the perspective is headed, it'll be good to see another hilt mystery seriously considered.


All the best,
Jim
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Old 8th July 2011, 09:24 PM   #9
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Well to go with this, according to documents and research there were Muslim contacts with Southern Luzon up to Manila (which therefore includes Bicol region) since before Spanish contact. So it is possible. But to be clear the minisbad hilt is in that of a deity I believe. Therefore it may be a mix of styles local and Arab that result in the minisbad hilt form.

Also don't forget that there is the possibility of independent origination of these forms.

Just looking at all options..............

BTW - great minisbad - where do you get your stuff?
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Old 15th July 2011, 07:36 PM   #10
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Default Staggeringly important link !!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Royston
There has been trade between the Arab countries and S.E Asia for a long time.
Does anyone else see a similarity between Nimcha hilts and the bat hilts of the Philippines ?

My question is this:-

Influence or Coincidence ?

All opinions welcome

Regards
Roy

PS:- Now that we are sure that the Minisbad comes from Bichol, I note that this area appears to be predominately Catholic, but was there trade with the Arabs in the past ?


Salaams,
This has to be one of the most interesting and fascinating of forum conundrums I have ever seen !
Here we have a direct, though as yet, unresolved link between Western and Oriental weapons ~ We dont know where it originates or when. I am amazed that this has not raised the roof on this Forum , yet, only 5 contributors! Five !

Where did this weapon originate? I have seen semi believable half explanations from the experts .. Some say Morocco others Zanzibar. Tobias Blose is pictured wearing one (Captain of a trained band in London) in a portrait painted in 1617.(I assume that was before trade blades started flooding Africa) Page 28 Anthony North Islamic Arms.
Then there is the great tidal wave of trade blades. Is this a trade blade or a trade sword? Does it originate in the Caucasus, Germany or elsewhere in Europe. How did it get to the Philipines?

Last question first~ Owned/administered by Mexico this weapon could have got there by two routes.. The Atlantic from Spain \ Mexico and on across the Pacific to its destination...or... Into the great trade hub controlled by Zanzibar via Dutch British and or French East Indies Traders.

In the case of the latter transfer ~ in its wake this sword appears to have morphed in the version Saudia and or Yemeni shown in the discussion. Either way this has to be a gripping story though I have to add that Im not convinced it is even European since it has the look of a Chinese or Oriental hilt mixed with a Spanish crossguard/knuckle bow format. Could we be looking at an early Chinese hilt? It is possible since the Chinese were trading before the arrival of the Portuguese in the Red Sea pre 16th Century.

Is it a Dog? Is it a Dragon? Or are we all mislead? Is it a Caucas Nimcha variant ? What in fact is the difference between a Moroccan and a Zanzibar sword of this type? Are they the same? The blades seem to be.

It is certainly an excellent ships weapon; ideal on Junk Dhow or European sailing vessel..

What we know from Anthony North is that these weapons could have either straight or curved blades and he tends to attribute them to a European source though frankly looking at the Philipine link it has to be more precise to be convincing in my opinion.. There must be more to this.

On the face of it, evidence seems to indicate a west-east transit since no weapons in the Zanzibar area appear with Philipine decoration, however, as a general question of its birthright I still think this is a vital topic into which this Forum should jointly sink its teeth !


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Old 15th July 2011, 08:28 PM   #11
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Minasbad...
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Old 16th July 2011, 12:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
Minasbad...
Right - my bad.

Yes Ron is right, the Philippines was ruled by Spain's empire for roughly 400 years, not Mexico.............
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Old 16th July 2011, 02:54 AM   #13
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IIRC the Treasure Ships sailed to the Americas where the cargo was carried overland to the Caribbean side; thence on to Spain (barring a Hawkins or a Drake interfering) .
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Old 16th July 2011, 05:41 AM   #14
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The resemblance is interesting. Nonetheless, more research is needed in order to support any of the theories IMHO.

Let us note too that the Bikol culture is closely similar to Visayan. This is because the sea currents flow from the Visayan to the Bikol coast, resulting to exchange between the peoples.

The Philippines was ruled by Spain through the Viceroy of Nueva Espana (present day Mexico) for several centuries until Mexico started to fight to its independence from Spain.
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Old 15th July 2011, 08:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Also fascinating is which way around did the influence happen since the Philipines were for several centuries directly ruled by Mexico not by Spain/Portugal therefor it is conceivable that Magreb influence


Sir, i'm pretty sure philippines was ruled by spain, not mexico...
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Old 26th July 2011, 01:35 PM   #16
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Many thanks to everyone. I did not expect so many responses and have been following this thread with much interest. It always amazes me how much other members know.

Thanks again.
Roy

Oh yes, my opinion. I think it is coincidence, after all, there are only so many practical shapes that can be put on the end of a hilt. ( Unless you are a Naga !!! )

Still, I guess we will never know for certain.
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