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Old 26th March 2013, 04:30 AM   #1
Robert
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Default Igorot Utility Knife

Just picked up what I believe to be an older Igorot knife. I cannot find any reference to one of this style or size though and would really appreciate any help that might be offered on this. The knife only has a 4 inch blade with an overall length of 8-1/2 inches and I would assume that it would probably have been used as a general utility knife for such as the preparation of food, splitting rattan and carving . The curved side is the sharpened edge on the blade. These are the auction photos as I do not have it in my possession as of now. As can be seen in the photos the rattan braiding and all the wooden parts look to still be in good condition though the blade is covered in rust. Any and all help on this will be greatly appreciated.

Best,
Robert
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Last edited by Robert Coleman : 26th March 2013 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 26th March 2013, 09:20 AM   #2
Nonoy Tan
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I believe this knife is from the Ifugao people, not Igorot.
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Old 26th March 2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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Nice knife, have byself a knife from the Ifugao people in my collection byside from a big (sword) and small (dagger) hinalung.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 26th March 2013, 03:15 PM   #4
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Thank you very much for the correction Nonoy Tan. Could you please explain what it is that points to this being Ifugao? Is it the hilt construction, blade shape or something else altogether? Again, thank you for your help.

Thank you for the photo of your knife and hinalung Detlef. I have a couple of them in my collection also. This new one however is something that I have never seen another example of before. One you knife, is there a wooden bridge under the cloth band similar the what is on your two hinalung?

Best,
Robert

Last edited by Robert Coleman : 26th March 2013 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 26th March 2013, 04:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Coleman

Thank you for the photo of your knife and hinalung Detlef. I have a couple of them in my collection also. This new one however is something that I have never seen another example of before. One you knife, is there a wooden bridge under the cloth band similar the what is on your two hinalung?


Hello Robert, no, the knife is hold in the wooden sheath only by the cloth and a wire under the cloth. The grip is full wood but the tang went through the grip.

BTW, would be nice to see your collection as well when you don't mind.

Best,

Detlef
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Old 26th March 2013, 10:07 PM   #6
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Hi Robert,

Your knife has an open-type scabbard which is made by the Ifugao. Note however that not all Ifugao knives come with open-type scabbards. Some have the closed-type as shown in one of samples here.
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Old 26th March 2013, 11:29 PM   #7
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Wow, beautiful examples of this knife type. I like special the one with the bulul at the handle.

Thank you for sharing,

Detlef
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Old 27th March 2013, 03:24 AM   #8
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Hello Nonoy Tan and thank you very much for the great examples. Are these part of your own collection? Are these a rare to find item? I ask because the ones that you posted are the only others that I have seen so far and the one with the bulul is the closest to the one I just acquired. Below I have add a combined photo showing both for better comparison. Could you tell me the diamentions of your example? Thank you again for correcting the origin of this knife for me. One last question, what do you think the age on my one piece and your three pieces would be?

Hello Detlef, After this arrives and I have a chance to clean it I will post a new photo of it with the two hinalung that I still have in my collection.


Best,
Robert
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Old 27th March 2013, 12:31 PM   #9
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Thanks, Detlef.

Hi Robert, they are part of my collection in Manila. Unfortunately, I do not have access to them at the moment. However, I would estimate them to approximate the measurements you provided.

With regards to age, my estimate would be no more than 40 years, perhaps closer to 20. Hard to tell. By the way, the Ifugao continue to make and use these small knives.

I have not seen many of these being sold in the "weapons" market (outside Ifugao). Perhaps because of lack of interest/demand, apart from the fact that they are not weapons but utility knives.

Nonoy
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Old 27th March 2013, 01:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonoy Tan
Thanks, Detlef.

Hi Robert, they are part of my collection in Manila. Unfortunately, I do not have access to them at the moment. However, I would estimate them to approximate the measurements you provided.

With regards to age, my estimate would be no more than 40 years, perhaps closer to 20. Hard to tell. By the way, the Ifugao continue to make and use these small knives.

I have not seen many of these being sold in the "weapons" market (outside Ifugao). Perhaps because of lack of interest/demand, apart from the fact that they are not weapons but utility knives.

Nonoy



Hello Nonoy,

I am sure that old/antique knifes with a bulul handle will reach high prices by ethnograhic collectors.

I have two questions about this knifes. Are there a name for this knifes like hinalung/pinahig have? And I am correct that my one is a utility knife as well?

Thank you very much,

Detlef

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Old 27th March 2013, 04:27 PM   #11
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Hi Detlef, the name for this utility knife (e.g. used for scrapping and cutting rattan, harvesting rice, splitting areca nuts, etc.) is "Outtiwon" in Batad Ifugao.

The "Hinalun" which you showed, come in different sizes, e.g. approximately 5 to over 14 inches in length. Thus, have different uses. Generally, however, it is a weapon; the larger ones sometimes used for cutting wood.

I hope this helps.

Nonoy
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Old 27th March 2013, 05:44 PM   #12
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Nonoy, Thank you for all the information on these knives, especially the correct names for the examples that both Detlef and I posted. I don't know about all collectors but these utility knives hold as much interest and fascination to me as the weapons grade ones because they were part of everyday life. It is the same way with the weapons used by the warrior or the farmer to defend their family, friends and way of life as they hold more fascination to me than the more elaborate ones carried by the elite and ruling classes. Thank you again for all your help.


Best,
Robert
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Old 27th March 2013, 06:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonoy Tan
The "Hinalun" which you showed, come in different sizes, e.g. approximately 5 to over 14 inches in length. Thus, have different uses. Generally, however, it is a weapon; the larger ones sometimes used for cutting wood.


Thank you Nonoy.

Just for clarification, hinalung isn't the same as hinalun? Since I asked for the name and purpose of this again shown knife.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 29th March 2013, 01:01 AM   #14
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Hi Detlef, the hinalun and hinalung/hinalong refer to the same weapon. "Hinalun" is Batad Ifugao while "Hinalung/Hinalong" is Kiangan Ifugao. The root word is "Halong" which means socket.

Similarly, "Outtiwon" (Batad) is also "Kotiwong" (Kiangan). Merely, variations in pronunciation really.

The single-edged bolo is an "otak" (a somewhat generic term). I have read the word "Pinahig" used in this forum quite often, and have used the word myself. However, I do not know where the word "Pinahig" comes from and unable to determine if that is accurate.
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Old 29th March 2013, 04:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonoy Tan
Hi Detlef, the hinalun and hinalung/hinalong refer to the same weapon. "Hinalun" is Batad Ifugao while "Hinalung/Hinalong" is Kiangan Ifugao. The root word is "Halong" which means socket.

Similarly, "Outtiwon" (Batad) is also "Kotiwong" (Kiangan). Merely, variations in pronunciation really.

The single-edged bolo is an "otak" (a somewhat generic term). I have read the word "Pinahig" used in this forum quite often, and have used the word myself. However, I do not know where the word "Pinahig" comes from and unable to determine if that is accurate.


Hi Nonoy,

thank you very much for clarification and the very interesting insights you have given about the different names and as well the different names in the both Ifugao dialects. I am sure that this wasn't for me alone very interesting.

So you would call my small knife "otak" also like this when it is small like this (28 cm) when I understand you correct.

Best,

Detlef
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Old 31st March 2013, 11:53 AM   #16
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I'm a bit late to the party, but here's a picture of mine, also very similar. It's quite sharp
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Old 3rd April 2013, 09:33 AM   #17
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CourseEight, Thank you and everyone else for sharing your very nice examples. I still find it hard to believe that so many of the forum members have examples of these knives in their collections and yet the one that I originally posted was the first one that I had seen. Now that it has arrived I can post a few photos of it after a little cleaning an waxing. Sorry about the quality of these but as usual it is raining here.

Best,
Robert
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Old 4th April 2013, 11:01 PM   #18
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The pictures are very ok and show that it is a very nice knife and was in use for some good time. Good maintaining job you have done.
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Old 8th April 2013, 02:49 PM   #19
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I think that I should mention that the Hinalung was also used to decapitate. This is mentioned in the Ifugao epic "Hudhud hi Aliguyon" (Tale of Aliguyon). In a duel between Aliguyon the epic hero and Daulayan (his opponent), a Hinalung was used by Aliguyon in an attempted beheading. Hereunder are the relevant texts of the epic chant:

Imbuhbun Aliguyon inhiplunake Daulayan,
Ya binahaknay nanindudwan pandang-nga.
Inipingnay langeganah pumbanngan palpalakana.
Aliguyonana ya inhaadnay langegana pumbanngan .
Inguyudna mangilitna an hinalung,
Bintikna kinawadan Daulayan,
Hikanay altugana Daulayan…

English translation:

Aliguyon with a good aim hurled his spear at Daulayan;
It hit him on the legs between the brass rings,
He fell screaming on his weapon on the embankment,
Aliguyon put down his shield on the embankment,
Pulled out his sharp double-bladed bolo;
He ran to where Daulayan lay,
He pulled up Daulayan’s head to cut it off…
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Old 26th February 2015, 08:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonoy Tan
The single-edged bolo is an "otak" (a somewhat generic term). I have read the word "Pinahig" used in this forum quite often, and have used the word myself. However, I do not know where the word "Pinahig" comes from and unable to determine if that is accurate.


I have recently learned that the term "pinahhig" is a long-bladed bolo with a sharp edge. This is a Tuwali Ifugao word. Note the double "h"
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Old 26th February 2015, 02:23 PM   #21
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Nonoy:

Thanks for clarifying the terminology for these knives. I notice you refer to otak as a generic term, and it seems to be very close to itak which is used in central Luzon in the same manner to refer to a "knife." Do you think that otak and itak might share a common origin?

Ian.
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Old 26th February 2015, 04:36 PM   #22
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Nonoy, I agree tha this is Ifugao. Thank you for your wonderful knowledge.

Just one question: I thought "igorot" was a generic term for all the "headhunting" tribes on Luzon?
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Old 1st March 2015, 10:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
I notice you refer to otak as a generic term, and it seems to be very close to itak which is used in central Luzon in the same manner to refer to a "knife." Do you think that otak and itak might share a common origin?


Yes, Ian these words have a common Austronesian linguistic origin.
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Old 1st March 2015, 11:17 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Just one question: I thought "igorot" was a generic term for all the "headhunting" tribes on Luzon?


That is an interesting question, Jose. Here is what I know.

1. The term Igorot was used not only to refer to peoples living in the hinterlands of the Northern Luzon, but also to those in Bicol, Mindanao, etc. Spanish writings bear evidence of this. The term used were Ygorrote, Ygolote, etc.

2. Subsequently, Igorot became the popular word used to refer to the Bontoc, Ifugao, Isneg, Tinguian, and other Northern Luzon Cordillera peoples. This has remained to the present. However this is not helpful to students and scholars. In fact, the Ifugao are not Igorot, nor are the Tinguian, etc. IMHO, a more apt generic term is "Northern Luzon Cordillera Peoples."

For us studying ethnographic weapons, the word Igorot is vague, except when specifically referring, to the Bontoc Igorot, Benguet Igorot (Ibaloi), or Lepanto Igorot (Kankanay).
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