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Old 24th March 2012, 11:02 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default More Moro(?) spears....

I was able to pick these up last weekend at the Baltimore show and both were in horrendous condition when I got them, so I have enjoyed working on them on and off this week, and here are the results. I really wish i had done these as "before and after" pics, just so you could see how much work went into them!

I presume the larger one is Moro for sure....It is about 8ft. overall, with a blade of 19in., so it is massive! The blade has a patten welded core that was evident even its original state.

The second one is presumely Moro as well, but MUCH less sure. The spear is about 7ft. overall, and blade is leaf shaped and 13in. long, with a chieselled out panel in the middle. The curious thing is the banded ferrule of some white metal alloy. Please note the figures in each panel, all different in each panel, but two are more recognisable figures. Both figures appear to have Japanese/Chinese motifs and characteristics to me...one, looks like a lady in robes, the other, a dragon(?).

This strikes me as very odd for a Moro spear. I know the Moros were not Muslim purists, and that there were other influences in their form of Islam, but these figures seems strange by any Filipino standard, much less the Moro, who via Islam, should not have looked affectionately at figures in art, and certainly not human figures, and even less likely, women!

I am anxious to hear feedback and comments on this one in particular.

I feel certain these are all from Moroland as they were with a 'veteran' lot of 6 spears, five of them no doubt Moro, but this one just didn't quite seem to fit in for the reasons mentioned above.
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Last edited by CharlesS : 25th March 2012 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 25th March 2012, 02:36 AM   #2
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Or Chinese motifs... Understand that there were pockets of chines
e population in Mindanao and Sulu. I vote Moro, bro...
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Old 25th March 2012, 04:03 AM   #3
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Fantastic pieces Charles! Thanks for showing us the fruits of your labor. They look great! I think the it looks Chinese as well. Hardly a place in Asia you can go and not find Chinese communities!

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Old 25th March 2012, 07:20 AM   #4
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These are both great looking spears Charles and you have also done a very nice job of cleaning and restoration on them. I too especially like the one with the smaller blade and the engraved alloy collar. Can you tell if is it a silver alloy or not? Could you also post a picture of the complete spears? These would be a great addition to anyones collection, my congratulations to you on being able to acquire them for yours.

Robert
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Old 25th March 2012, 12:36 PM   #5
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Thanks guys.

Robert, the length of these makes a full pic very difficult.
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Old 25th March 2012, 01:02 PM   #6
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Hello Charles,

beautiful spears. Although I am not an expert I think that both are Moro, the way it look let me think like this.
Me too forget many times to take pictures before restauration jobs! olleyes:

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 27th March 2012, 02:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input guys!
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Old 27th March 2012, 02:17 AM   #8
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Hi Charles,

A similar moro spear was sold by Ashoka Arts last year. It also has the incised decoration using Chinese motif, on silver. This one has a twistcore blade. I have always wondered about this one, even at one point questioned whether it is moro (am now more convinced it is moro).

Edwin
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Old 27th March 2012, 03:46 AM   #9
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I have seen these kind of spears (i.e. with Chinese motifs and/or characters) in some residences located on the eastern coast of Palawan, facing the Sulu Sea. Some areas there are predominantly Muslim. Also the influence of the Chinese in these parts of Sulu have been very strong, in the past as well as the present.
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Old 27th March 2012, 03:53 PM   #10
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Nacho,

Very interesting spear, and had someone asked be about it without having any clue torwards its actual attribution, I would be very pulled between Moro and Sumatran....Sumatran primarily because of the way the haft is worked.

Very interesting piece!
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Old 27th March 2012, 04:46 PM   #11
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This was posted by Lee, Nov 16, 2010. Similarly with incised decoration on silver. This one also has a twistcore blade.
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Old 27th March 2012, 09:41 PM   #12
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What about Chinese Moros? There were some who had Chinese in their blood, and I heard of one even becoming a datu..........
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Old 28th March 2012, 02:17 AM   #13
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The Chinese have definitely long been in and out of the Philippines: I was recently down in Basilan and Zamboanga, a stone's throw from Sulu, and there were Chinese businesses everywhere, even with the very real threat of shootouts and bombings. There has long been Chinese influence in the region. There was some very nice Chinese trade pottery on display at the museums in Sabah, Borneo too.
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Old 28th March 2012, 01:38 PM   #14
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Thank you Harimauhk, my point exactly.
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Old 28th March 2012, 02:20 PM   #15
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Speaking of Chinese in Sulu, the current governor of Sulu is Abdusakur Tan. I guess the "Tan" surname indicates he has Chinese lineage.
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