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Old 29th May 2020, 09:26 AM   #1
tanaruz
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Default KRIS WITH TALISMAN

Hi friends,

Just sharing my first kris with talismatic inscriptions. Maranao? can the inscriptions be translated? regards

All the best,

Yves
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Old 29th May 2020, 02:52 PM   #2
David
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That's a lovely example. Thanks for sharing.
May general view on talismanic inscriptions is that no, they cannot really be truly translated. While we do see repetition of various magickal sigils on blades like this the final intention is always going to be both personal and secret. We can only ever assume what the original intentions were and frankly i don't really sure it is our right as collectors to "discover" the inner workings of such personal magick.
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Old 29th May 2020, 03:06 PM   #3
Bob A
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I'll readily grant the "personal" aspect of markings such as these, but "secret" doesn't fill the cognitive bill. After all, they're readily visible.

I could go with "occult" insofar as the actual meanings are hidden, except to those whose knowledge encompasses them. Of course, those who know will not openly discuss such things.
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Old 29th May 2020, 08:23 PM   #4
Battara
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The blade looks Sulu/Tausug to me, although the hilt does look a little more Maguindanao.
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Old 30th May 2020, 01:15 AM   #5
tanaruz
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Wink kris with talisman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
The blade looks Sulu/Tausug to me, although the hilt does look a little more Maguindanao.


Hi Sir,

1) yes, the hilt does look a little more of Maguindanao;

2) blade: sulu/tausug: what are the feature/s of a kris blade that points it to the probability that it is of tausug origin? or maguindanaoan or maranao? very interested to know.
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Old 30th May 2020, 02:10 AM   #6
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Some time spent with the Search engine here may help with your questions regarding identifying tribal origins.
Search terms like Sulu Kris, Tausug Kris, Maranao Kris etc.
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Old 30th May 2020, 11:53 AM   #7
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Hi tanaruz:

I agree with your Maranao attribution based on Cato's identification of kris by tribal groups. As I'm sure you know, Cato identified distinct differences among Sulu (Tausug) and Mindanao (Maguindanao and Maranao) kris. I have attached a picture of his illustrative examples below, showing the elephant trunk area of Sulu (Tausug) kris [A], Maranao kris [B], and Maguindanao kris [C, D]. It's fairly clear that your example most closely resembles the Maranao form shown by Cato. The blade of yours is also straight and wide, wider than most Sulu kris but consistent with Mindanao kris of the late 19th-20th C.

The talismanic/magical inscriptions on the blade are a wonderful find, and I agree with David that we will likely never know what these meant to the owner of the sword. They do indicate, however, that this was a "special" sword imbued with powers such as providing a safe and successful outcome for the wielder of it. Who knows what spirits, good or evil, may lie within this blade.
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Old 30th May 2020, 10:55 PM   #8
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It is not unheard of to sell a blade from one tribe to someone of another tribe who places their own tribal hilt on it, and thus the mixing of styles on some Moro pieces, or even Bisayan and Moro pieces.
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Old 31st May 2020, 08:37 AM   #9
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Default KRIS WITH TALISMAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hi tanaruz:

I agree with your Maranao attribution based on Cato's identification of kris by tribal groups. As I'm sure you know, Cato identified distinct differences among Sulu (Tausug) and Mindanao (Maguindanao and Maranao) kris. I have attached a picture of his illustrative examples below, showing the elephant trunk area of Sulu (Tausug) kris [A], Maranao kris [B], and Maguindanao kris [C, D]. It's fairly clear that your example most closely resembles the Maranao form shown by Cato. The blade of yours is also straight and wide, wider than most Sulu kris but consistent with Mindanao kris of the late 19th-20th C.

The talismanic/magical inscriptions on the blade are a wonderful find, and I agree with David that we will likely never know what these meant to the owner of the sword. They do indicate, however, that this was a "special" sword imbued with powers such as providing a safe and successful outcome for the wielder of it. Who knows what spirits, good or evil, may lie within this blade.
.


Hi Sir,

First of all, my utmost appreciation for the information (and the pictures). A couple of questions (I hope you won't mind):
1) "elephant trunk area"-is this the area (encircled in yellow)?

2) blade: "straight and wide, wider than most Sulu kris but consistent with the Mindanao kris of the late 19th-20th century"- question: wider by approximately how many centimeters than most Sulu kris?

I really need to find and purchase the book by Cato. I know that the book is quite rare.

All the best and be safe all,

Yves
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Old 31st May 2020, 03:40 PM   #10
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Yes that is usually the best way to distinguish the tribal differences. The back of the ganga (or opposite side of the yellow areas) is another way, as well as decoration/okir/ukkil motifs.
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Old 31st May 2020, 10:57 PM   #11
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As far as Robert Cato's book, Moro Swords, is concerned, it was a limited single edition printing and has been out of print for several years. A controversial book, you will find varying opinions of it on these pages if you search for "Cato." Another book has been promised for several years, written by Philipinos, but has yet to be published. Part of the problem seems to be the secrecy of information coming from Moro sources who insist on the utmost confidentiality. As a result, Cato remains the most authoritative published work on Moro swords, despite a number of areas where he is likely incorrect.
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Old 1st June 2020, 01:09 AM   #12
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On the subject of kris dimensions, it is clear that archaic kris (pre-19th C) were slimmer and shorter than subsequent kris. In the 19th C, kris appear to have become longer and wider than their ancestors, and this trend was exaggerated in the late 19th C among the Maranao and Maguindanao. Tausug kris also increased in size during the 19th C, but not to the extent of the Mindanao kris in the lat 19th C, although some Tausug kris of the 20th C may have got closer. It's not easy to give precise dimensions because of the changes that developed over time. Some of the Mindanao kris can be about 1.75 inches in width at the first luk, and the gangya are also wider and thicker than earlier examples or Tausug kris in general.

The best way to appreciate the differences between kris from the various tribal groups is to lay examples side-by-side from each group that were made in the same era. From memory, I think Cato's book shows some pictures where he has done that. Certainly he talks about the greater size of Mindanao kris in the late 19th C.
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Old 3rd June 2020, 03:34 AM   #13
tanaruz
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Default KRIS WITH TALISMAN

Hi Sir,

One of my favorites....an archaic type kris from sulu

Kind regards

Yves
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Old 19th July 2020, 06:42 PM   #14
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Here's my 'kris with talisman.' A Maguindanao one, with 3 holes and inscriptions. The silver inlay is fading, unfortunately. I'm curious if anyone knows the significance of the 3 holes.

The fittings (scabbard, hilt, asang-asang) look much younger than the blade.
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Old 19th July 2020, 06:46 PM   #15
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Xasterix, interesting Maguindanao kris. I like the modern silver mounts on the hilt and scabbard.

Were there silver dot inlays in the blade or a silver okir panel there?
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Old 19th July 2020, 07:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Xasterix, interesting Maguindanao kris. I like the modern silver mounts on the hilt and scabbard.

Were there silver dot inlays in the blade or a silver okir panel there?


Thanks! I'm attaching closer pics of the gangya. There are still faint engravings where silver used to be. On one side, one of the holes still has silver filling.
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Old 19th July 2020, 09:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob A
I'll readily grant the "personal" aspect of markings such as these, but "secret" doesn't fill the cognitive bill. After all, they're readily visible.

I could go with "occult" insofar as the actual meanings are hidden, except to those whose knowledge encompasses them. Of course, those who know will not openly discuss such things.

Well Bob, the word "occult" literally means "hidden". And the very first definition of the word in Webster's dictionary is : not revealed : SECRET.
While i certain accept the word occult as applicable here i believe "secret" also fits the cognitive bill just fine. One could just as equally argue that these symbols aren't "hidden" either as they are in plain view.
As for those who knowledge encompasses such things, we will never know. Magickal talismans are often quite personal in design. Yes, they may use some more generally understood magickal symbols, but the entire "spell" for lack of a better work, may very well only be completely understood by the person who created it. The power of such things can be greatly diminished if they are understood by anyone other than the one creating the action.
Though we can guess that in general it was probably put in place to protect the warrior from harm and give him to power to overcome his enemies. However, the actual specifics of these markings probably can't be fully understood by any living person.
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Old 21st July 2020, 02:26 PM   #18
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Xasterix, I saw how this Kris cuts, pretty sharp blade. I like the way you tested it.
Did this Kris come with the hilt or did you have it commissioned?
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Old 21st July 2020, 02:39 PM   #19
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Tanaruz - good catch. A well preserved Kris. I like these understated hilts with horn ferrule, itís beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 02:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kino
Xasterix, I saw how this Kris cuts, pretty sharp blade. I like the way you tested it.
Did this Kris come with the hilt or did you have it commissioned?


Thanks Kino =) it came with that hilt/scabbard combo already.

I got this from a collection that was mostly made up of Maranao and Maguindanao kris. The curious thing was, all the Maguindanao kris (except for one) were rehilted and rescabbbarded in the Tugaya style. The Maranao kris were as-is (not flamboyant, I'm guessing original fittings).

There's a certain flavor that Tugaya maintains, a sort of flamboyance. I guess I can hypothesize that for a certain time era, the Maranao people resurrected old Maguindanao blades and gave them a more...catchy dress, which would fetch more $$$ as well when sold.
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Old 22nd July 2020, 05:03 PM   #21
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I see your point. It did have a silver okir chased panel on both sides, with more silver inlay originally.

What you said explains the Maranao looking okir work on a Maguindanao hilt and scabbard. Hmmm.............
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