Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 23rd November 2018, 03:48 PM   #1
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 111
Default Palawan Badung

I'm interested in the Badung, a Barung-like weapon which is endemic to Southern Palawan (an area that was once part of the Sulu Sultanate). While I've seen traces of the Palawan Badung in this forum (other members dub it as 'Palawan Barung'), I'm interested if there are other antiques of the Badung out there. The most telling difference of Badungs from Barungs include: a) unorthodox blade profile [usually comes in the form of an upturned tip], b) different ukkil features, c) different hilts / scabbards (badungs usually incorporate a rope that can be tied to the waste like Visayan blades). Hopefully some gracious people can share their Badung vintage or antique blades, and where they got it from.

To start off, I'll share a couple of pics of the Badung I know of. The first one is an antique, estimated a century old.

The second is recently-made by a famous blacksmith family in Southern Palawan.

The third is recently-made by a tribe known as the Palaw'an.
Attached Images
   
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th November 2018, 11:50 AM   #2
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 2,641
Default

Xasterix:

You raise an interesting topic that I don't think we have addressed in detail here previously. First, can I ask where you have obtained this information--was it by visiting Palawan, talking with residents there, etc.? Also, how did you arrive at these distinctions for Palawano badung?

Here is one of mine that I have puzzled about for a while. It resembles somewhat the second example that you show. I believe it is late 20th C. manufacture. Note the painted end of the pommel.

Ian.
.
Attached Images
   

Last edited by Ian : 24th November 2018 at 12:13 PM.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th November 2018, 12:12 PM   #3
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 2,641
Default

I have posted more examples previously that included barung from Palawan in the thread Modern Barung. Perhaps you could look at the examples posted there and provide your thoughts on which ones may be Palawano in origin. Also, the examples from N. Borneo that I posted in that thread show some of the characteristics that you attribute to Palawano badung.


Ian
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th November 2018, 05:12 AM   #4
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 111
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
I have posted more examples previously that included barung from Palawan in the thread Modern Barung. Perhaps you could look at the examples posted there and provide your thoughts on which ones may be Palawano in origin. Also, the examples from N. Borneo that I posted in that thread show some of the characteristics that you attribute to Palawano badung.


Ian


Hi sir Ian, thanks for your interest on this matter! I am fortunate to have blade expert friends- some who were previous members in this forum years ago. Regarding the badung, I get my info from a friend who lives in Palawan and has formed close friendships with various stakeholders who have badungs- tribesmen, traditional smiths, and antique collectors. The Facebook page known as "Filipino Traditional Blades" also provides a lot of info about badungs, among other traditional blades. These sources gave me a lot of material which, after thorough studying, made me realize that the blade profile, hilt, and rope scabbard are the major differences of the badung from the barung.

I am also into modern barungs, and it just happened that two trusted contacts- a Yakan weaver, and a former forum member- helped me to ascertain the Ukkil differences present in the scabbards.

In your previous post, I agree that on the first three leaf-shaped blades you featured, the second one is indeed a badung, while the other two are most likely of Maranao origin, having seen such blades a-plenty in Malate, Manila as display pieces. The Cuyo piece is indeed a badung, as well as the one with MOP inserts. The most telling indicator of a badung, in my opinion, is the upturned tip.

Am interesting theory I got from the Palawan-based smith who forged my vinewrapped badung (he calls it 'Pangutaran badung', Pangutaran is an island in Tawi Tawi area) was that the upturned tip was reserved for the bravest warriors.

Very interesting note you made there about the Sabah barungs. I shall consult this info with my friends as well, if you don't mind. We are all equally interested regarding the badung's origin- in fact, we acknowledge the possibility that it may be a seperate blade from the barung (and not merely an evolution of the latter).

Last edited by xasterix : 25th November 2018 at 05:56 AM.
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2018, 01:53 AM   #5
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 2,641
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
Hi sir Ian, thanks for your interest on this matter! I am fortunate to have blade expert friends- some who were previous members in this forum years ago. Regarding the badung, I get my info from a friend who lives in Palawan and has formed close friendships with various stakeholders who have badungs- tribesmen, traditional smiths, and antique collectors.
I think these are important sources—thank you for sharing their information here.

Quote:
The Facebook page known as "Filipino Traditional Blades" also provides a lot of info about badungs, among other traditional blades. These sources gave me a lot of material which, after thorough studying, made me realize that the blade profile, hilt, and rope scabbard are the major differences of the badung from the barung.

I am also into modern barungs, and it just happened that two trusted contacts- a Yakan weaver, and a former forum member- helped me to ascertain the Ukkil differences present in the scabbards.
Most interesting. Can you share some of the info your contacts passed on regarding the ukkil differences?

Quote:
In your previous post, I agree that on the first three leaf-shaped blades you featured, the second one is indeed a badung, while the other two are most likely of Maranao origin, having seen such blades a-plenty in Malate, Manila as display pieces. The Cuyo piece is indeed a badung, as well as the one with MOP inserts. The most telling indicator of a badung, in my opinion, is the upturned tip.
The Cuyo piece is interesting as it comes from a different island group that is only administratively under Palawan. I'm told there is a substantial Visayan presence there nowadays.

Quote:
Am interesting theory I got from the Palawan-based smith who forged my vinewrapped badung (he calls it 'Pangutaran badung', Pangutaran is an island in Tawi Tawi area) was that the upturned tip was reserved for the bravest warriors.
I've not heard that before.

Quote:
Very interesting note you made there about the Sabah barungs. I shall consult this info with my friends as well, if you don't mind. We are all equally interested regarding the badung's origin- in fact, we acknowledge the possibility that it may be a seperate blade from the barung (and not merely an evolution of the latter).
Again, very interesting comments. From the few examples of badung on these pages, it seems that the blade is not as broad as most examples from the Sulu Archipelago, although some of the Maranao barung seem to be quite slim also. Jose (battara) has referred to these as sipput barung.

Ian.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2018, 02:18 AM   #6
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 2,641
Default

As an aside, I have a particular interest in Palawan, having spent several months there in the early 2000's working on the problem of mercury pollution around the old Palawan Quicksilver Mine, which included mercury in fish in nearby Honda Bay. The mine is a short distance north of Puerto Princesa. Unfortunately, I did not see many edged weapons in my time there, although I did visit the sea caves at the north of the island and got to enjoy some of the wonderful beaches for swimming. Tried to avoid the local fish (too much mercury!).

Results of that work were published with John Gray, a friend from the US Geological Survey, and several Filipino collaborators (Environmental Geology (2003) 43:298–307). A copy of the original paper can be found here.

Ian.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2018, 05:25 AM   #7
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 111
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
As an aside, I have a particular interest in Palawan, having spent several months there in the early 2000's working on the problem of mercury pollution around the old Palawan Quicksilver Mine, which included mercury in fish in nearby Honda Bay. The mine is a short distance north of Puerto Princesa. Unfortunately, I did not see many edged weapons in my time there, although I did visit the sea caves at the north of the island and got to enjoy some of the wonderful beaches for swimming. Tried to avoid the local fish (too much mercury!).

Results of that work were published with John Gray, a friend from the US Geological Survey, and several Filipino collaborators (Environmental Geology (2003) 43:298–307). A copy of the original paper can be found here.

Ian.


You have my utmost respect and admiration, sir. I saw that you've written solid research on asthma- I was a status asthmatic during my elementary years; I overcame it through swimming.

Going back to the badung: ah yes, the ukkil. I'm attaching a couple of pics here for reference. The first pic, I got somewhere in this forum as well (sorry I forgot exactly where), it's the zoomed-in scabbard of a Tausug barung. The second pic is a badung from the Palaw'an tribe, while the third pic is the badung I featured earlier (the one whose hilt and scabbard most closely resembles a barung).

The Tausug barung's ukkil theme is made up of waves. Flowing, constant water that is symmetric. Symmetry is a primary feature of Sulu ukkil, and this is most clearly reflected in the scabbard pattern. There is also the presence of tiny triangles which form boundaries across the pattern- another important feature present in Sulu ukkil. Another notable feature is that the waves 'spill over' the boundaries, sometimes even penetrating through the usual scabbard boundaries.

The Palaw'an tribe badung's theme can be likened to the forest. There is an abundance of vines in the ukkils, with no symmetry. There is also an absence of triangles. The boundary of the ukkil 'traps' the vines; none of them spill over the clearly-delineated boundaries of the scabbard.

The Deuna badung, at first glance, seems similar to the Tausug barung, but it's really not. Upon closer inspection, it embraces the same theme as the tribal badung- lots of vines, clear boundary, no symmetry. Curiously, there are small triangles that form mini-boundaries across the pattern.

My Yakan contact said that she believes the Tausug pattern came about because the Tausug were seafaring warriors. Water, waves, ocean- these are very important themes for the Tausug. On the other hand, she believes that the badung is indicative of the life of those in Palawan- forest, mountain, trees- all of these point to an agricultural lifestyle, utility-based, for survival.

The smith who made my badung said that he believes Palawan-based blades have different ukkil because Palawan is one long island with different land features; it is not continuous and has much variety, hence the lack of symmetry.

Moving forward, in light of the Sabah badung-like blades you referenced to, I am proposing three hypotheses:

1. The Sabah leaf blade is the 'father' of both barungs and badungs. Badungs stayed closer to the father-blade, as Palawan life was more utility-based; the barung evolved due to its use as a combat weapon.

2. The barung is the father of both badungs and Sabah leaf blades. The barung evolved due for utility purposes as BangsaMoro refugees who fled from Sulu arrived at Palawan and Sabah in search for a more peaceful life.

3. They are independent blades. The common leaf-blade shape is only coincidental; the ukkil indicates that they were used commonly by BangsaMoro; the blade profiles indicate that the Palawan and Sabah badungs are for utility purposes, while the barung is an exclusive combat blade.

Once again, I would like the acknowledge the help of my esteemed friend who was an ex-forum member. Credits also to a gracious Yakan weaver (from whom I buy my BangsaMoro blades from).
Attached Images
   
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2018, 06:59 AM   #8
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 2,641
Default

Xasterix,

Thank you for the additional information. Very detailed observations on your part and most helpful data to file away for reference.

Ian.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2018, 08:55 PM   #9
Spunjer
Member
 
Spunjer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Witness Protection Program
Posts: 1,702
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
The Facebook page known as "Filipino Traditional Blades" also provides a lot of info about badungs, among other traditional blades.



that page opened my eyes in regards to ilonggo blades. or any filipino blades for that matter. best kept secret regarding filipino weaponries
Spunjer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2018, 09:03 PM   #10
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 2,641
Default

I agree Ron. Perhaps we could add this site to the list of resources posted on Vikingsword.

Ian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
that page opened my eyes in regards to ilonggo blades. or any filipino blades for that matter. best kept secret regarding filipino weaponries
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2018, 09:28 PM   #11
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 2,641
Default

Quote:
... in light of the Sabah badung-like blades you referenced to, I am proposing three hypotheses:

1. The Sabah leaf blade is the 'father' of both barungs and badungs. Badungs stayed closer to the father-blade, as Palawan life was more utility-based; the barung evolved due to its use as a combat weapon.

2. The barung is the father of both badungs and Sabah leaf blades. The barung evolved due for utility purposes as BangsaMoro refugees who fled from Sulu arrived at Palawan and Sabah in search for a more peaceful life.

3. They are independent blades. The common leaf-blade shape is only coincidental; the ukkil indicates that they were used commonly by BangsaMoro; the blade profiles indicate that the Palawan and Sabah badungs are for utility purposes, while the barung is an exclusive combat blade.

Once again, I would like the acknowledge the help of my esteemed friend who was an ex-forum member. Credits also to a gracious Yakan weaver (from whom I buy my BangsaMoro blades from).
Nice summary of the possible connections among these blades. The Sabah style dates back to at least mid-20th C and possibly earlier, and was still being made into the 2000's. Of the three possibilities, I would favor number 2 but I don't have any good evidence for saying that.

Ian.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th November 2018, 01:42 AM   #12
Spunjer
Member
 
Spunjer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Witness Protection Program
Posts: 1,702
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
I agree Ron. Perhaps we could add this site to the list of resources posted on Vikingsword.

Ian

Good idea, Ian
also if you're already on FB, you can follow and/or like the page. it's a gold mine of knowledge regarding Filipino weaponries
Spunjer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 05:27 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.