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Old 30th January 2023, 06:52 PM   #151
David
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A genuine and accredited Pirate sword I have, and one of the true prizes of my collection. (original vendors pic).
Indeed a lovely beladah belabang and i understand why you prize it. But what makes it an accredited "Pirate Sword". Accredited by whom. Do we have actual historical references pointed to the use of these swords by pirates in the region. I ask not to be confrontational, but because i would like to know.
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Old 30th January 2023, 07:51 PM   #152
Jim McDougall
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The 'pirate' trope as applied to most edged weapons is of course typically apocryphal. Pirates were notoriously poor record keepers, and there were no 'regulation' weapons (just 'guidelines'

Naturally we need to also specify 'which' pirates we are considering for association with a certain weapon, or indeed 'form' of weapon. If they were 'Caribbean' region, it is most unlikely that these Asian weapons would be found, unless an anomaly brought in by someone as a souvenir or trophy from those Asian areas.

The woodcut illustrations well known in popular culture from the well known pirate tales are of course, not particularly likely to be accurate.
I am still fond of the popular pirate tales, but also of learning more on just how much is fact and how much is fiction.
The thing is, while we find that much of this lore is well embellished and not necessarily accurate, yet often we find fascinating elements which are sometimes even more exciting that the original story.

I agree, we should strive for references which support the use of a certain weapon or form in a 'pirate' context, while of course allowing ourselves the joy of thinking,
"maybe, just maybe, it might have been' .
In our speaking openly on the weapon, that is the manner we should view it, until hopefully one day, some obscure evidence is revealed that can empirically prove its provenance or use as surmised.
I have been fortunate to have had numbers of weapons for decades which I stubbornly held onto, in which that very thing occurred.

Last edited by Jim McDougall; 31st January 2023 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 1st February 2023, 11:45 PM   #153
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Indeed a lovely beladah belabang and i understand why you prize it. But what makes it an accredited "Pirate Sword". Accredited by whom. Do we have actual historical references pointed to the use of these swords by pirates in the region. I ask not to be confrontational, but because i would like to know.
Banjarmasin was a very busy trade port. In contrast to London, I'm not aware of any sponsorship for pirate-like activities by the local nobility...

Actually, the red beladah belabang (stained with "dragon blood") could well be considered a regulation weapon as it was worn by the outer perimeter palace guards.

The shape of the (by western standards short) blade and the adopted hand guard seem to fit the western notion of a pirate sword quite well and arguably should also work well in a melee on board of a ship. I haven't seen any historical account confirming "naval" use though.

Actually, I have to plead guilty myself: When my son was 4 or 5 years old and asked me to show a pirate sword, I pulled out my BB as the most suitable piece from my collection. A reproduction crafted from cardboard/tape/paint served its purpose perfectly...

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Kai
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Old 2nd February 2023, 05:00 AM   #154
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Default Dragon Blood

[QUOTE=kai
Actually, the red beladah belabang (stained with "dragon blood") could well be considered a regulation weapon as it was worn by the outer perimeter palace guards.[/QUOTE]

Like this.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 11:49 AM   #155
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Does the dragon blood come from dragons of the komodo variety (I know they're not from the same island, but still)?
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Old 2nd February 2023, 05:00 PM   #156
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Does the dragon blood come from dragons of the komodo variety (I know they're not from the same island, but still)?
Dragons blood is a resin used in paints and incense.

Ah well, so my sword turns out not to have the firm Pirate associations that I had read about elsewhere, we live and learn.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 10:55 PM   #157
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Dragons blood is a resin used in paints and incense.

Ah well, so my sword turns out not to have the firm Pirate associations that I had read about elsewhere, we live and learn.
None of our swords, not even the nimchas and cutlasses have any firm Pirate associations, unless they were taken by some 17th century captain in a battle with corsairs/pirates and have ironclad provenance to that effect.

Your beladah belabang is still an incredibly attractive, authentic sword that anyone here would love to have in the collection.
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Old 3rd February 2023, 12:41 AM   #158
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Indeed. I'm 85% sure I almost bought this very one, actually, but alas, was out of sword funds.

Just ran across this thread, thought I'd cross link it here since it mentions an association between the hudiedao and river pirates.
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Old 3rd February 2023, 02:35 PM   #159
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I'm 85% sure I almost bought this very one, actually, but alas, was out of sword funds.
Yup, a really nice piece from PeterA.

Quote:
Just ran across this thread, thought I'd cross link it here since it mentions an association between the hudiedao and river pirates.
That link is just as spurious. Sure, "river pirates" were utilising these - just as everyone in the region.

The slender hudiedao also was a regulation pattern in southern China and quite certainly based on earlier local traditions; the beefier blades seem to be a later "civilian" development to avoid fatal wounds.

Colonial officials were quick to label any resistance as bandit or pirate activity. The real pirates/predators had their bases in European (and later American) harbours. Of course, there also was local piracy & raiding - with whatever weapons were at hand.


Obviously, if you have a somewhat shady occupation, you usually don't want to show that and invite persecution. Same with specific "Ninja" swords - stupid idea...

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Kai
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Old 5th February 2023, 11:38 PM   #160
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Hello Rick,

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Like this.
Apologies, forgot to answer your post #154.

Banjar blades often have dragon's blood decor on their fittings. Despite this, the vast majority of beladah belabang has unstained hilts. This may be partly explained by dragon's blood being most often applied to wooden fittings while most BB hilts are made from horn. Those BB with red-stained hilts usually are carved from wood with rings of dragon's blood added. On other Malay swords though, dragon's blood is rarely found on horn hilts, too.

The "regulation" BB got their name from the red-stained scabbard as in the attached pic.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 6th February 2023, 01:02 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by werecow View Post
Indeed. I'm 85% sure I almost bought this very one, actually, but alas, was out of sword funds.

Just ran across this thread, thought I'd cross link it here since it mentions an association between the hudiedao and river pirates.
For me it coincided with a refund from an old savings pot.
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