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Old 25th March 2020, 05:49 PM   #1
MacCathain
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Default Minasbad, Tenegre?

Here's a piece I've had for some time. The overall length is 22 inches/55.8 cm, and the spine of the blade is about .5 inch/13 mm at the brass bolster. The hilt is carved horn, and I assume the figure is a deity of some sort, though its ears appear to have been knocked off. There are two holes drilled into the cheeks of the figure and I suspect these once held the ends of a brass ring that might have served as a connecting point for a retention strap of some kind.

The cross-section of the blade is a wedge shape (not chisel ground), and the tang extends completely through the hilt and is peened over a small decorative brass disk that is positioned between where the ears would have been. The blade is unmarked, though covered with surface corrosion.

It came in a rough leather sheath that has some kanji-like characters inked on it (I've drawn it as best as I can, but the script is faint and the leather is stained).

Some have suggested it is from the Visayas, perhaps Panay Island, while one person suggested it may be from Batangas.

What do the experts here think?
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Old 25th March 2020, 06:20 PM   #2
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I think that two Chinese characters are written here, meaning the name of the owner - 右謝 You Xie ("Right" and "Gratitude").
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Old 25th March 2020, 10:32 PM   #3
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Hello MacCathain,

I think that your sword coming from the Bicol region, see here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=bicol and the attached pictures from my own swords.
I am convinced that this is a typical blade form from the Bicol region, like you see in the provided thread that not all with me in agreement. Read the thread and built up your own opinion.
Sadly is your sword in poor condition and would benefit when you would give it a little bit care.
The last picture shows the rather thick spines of my swords, you write that it is by your sword similar.

Regards,
Detlef
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Last edited by Sajen : 26th March 2020 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 25th March 2020, 10:59 PM   #4
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I agree with Sajen, the hilt, clipped point of the blade point, and the scabbard shape point to a Bicol origin to me as well.
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Old 25th March 2020, 11:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I agree with Sajen, the hilt, clipped point of the blade point, and the scabbard shape point to a Bicol origin to me as well.


Thank you Jose! But I think that the leather scabbard is a later replacement. It seems that a Chinese has used this sword.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 26th March 2020, 01:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hello MacCathain,

I think that your sword coming from the Bicol region, see here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=bicol and the attached pictures from my own swords.
I am convinced that this is a typical blade form from the Bicol region, like you see in the provided thread that not all with me in agreement. Read the thread and built up your own opinion.
Sadly is your sword in poor condition and would benefit when you would give it a little bit care.
The last npicture shows the rather thick spines of my swords, you write that it is by your sword similar.

Regards,
Detlef


Completely agreed with Detlef and Jose. To add- I believe this particular antique sword (I'd say pre-ww2) comes from Iriga, Camarines Sur, one of the provinces in the Bicol region. Iriga is reputed to be the oldest among the many smithing towns in Bicol; they would call this blade profile as 'binakla.' Roughly translated, it means 'to be made gay.' The reason for this label is that the blade is a cross-breed between a minasbad and a ginunting (ginunting is generally a pointed-tip blade, with different variations per town). The foremost indicator of a binakla is a clip-point. I'm attaching a sample of a vintage binakla, as gleaned from the Facebook page "The Minasbad Shop."

The owner of the Minasbad Shop also explained that the reason why the sword is treated as 'gay' is because it's a union of male and female. The minasbad is viewed in Bicol blade culture as male, while the ginunting is female.
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Last edited by xasterix : 26th March 2020 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 26th March 2020, 09:44 AM   #7
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Hello MacCathain,

Can you provide a picture from your sword in the view I have shown my two examples? It would be helpful to compare the blade shapes.
Also a picture from the spine near the handle would be great!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 26th March 2020, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
Completely agreed with Detlef and Jose. To add- I believe this particular antique sword (I'd say pre-ww2) comes from Iriga, Camarines Sur, one of the provinces in the Bicol region. Iriga is reputed to be the oldest among the many smithing towns in Bicol; they would call this blade profile as 'binakla.' Roughly translated, it means 'to be made gay.' The reason for this label is that the blade is a cross-breed between a minasbad and a ginunting (ginunting is generally a pointed-tip blade, with different variations per town). The foremost indicator of a binakla is a clip-point. I'm attaching a sample of a vintage binakla, as gleaned from the Facebook page "The Minasbad Shop."

The owner of the Minasbad Shop also explained that the reason why the sword is treated as 'gay' is because it's a union of male and female. The minasbad is viewed in Bicol blade culture as male, while the ginunting is female.


Hello Xas,
Most interesting, thank you again for sharing your knowledge.
So I have found a name for this both swords from my collection, binakla!
I have two other possible Bicol swords with a different blade shape, maybe you will be able to tell me more about them.
And a third binakla from my collection.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 26th March 2020, 10:38 AM   #9
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And here another binakla from the above given thread, in the meanwhile went this one in the collection from Robert.
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Old 26th March 2020, 10:52 AM   #10
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And here one which get sold by ebay a long time ago.
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Old 26th March 2020, 11:17 AM   #11
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What I learned today is that Zorro really shouldn't have had a rapier, he should have had a binakla.

In all seriousness though, this is wonderful information.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 26th March 2020, 03:26 PM   #12
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Thank you, all, for your thoughts on this binakla.

Detlef, here's a better view of the blade profile. A shot of the spine will follow.
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Old 26th March 2020, 06:20 PM   #13
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... and the spine.
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Old 26th March 2020, 06:57 PM   #14
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Yes, no doubt, the same blade shape! Like said, I would give it some care, clean the blade, oil the horn handle a polish up just a little bit the brass, it's worth the effort.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 27th March 2020, 12:10 AM   #15
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Maraming Salamat Xas!

Good point Rafngard! (get it - good point? )
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Old 27th March 2020, 02:46 AM   #16
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And one more that may not be as old as some of the examples shown here.


Ian
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Old 27th March 2020, 08:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
And one more that may not be as old as some of the examples shown here.


Hi Ian,
Nice example! Can you provide a close-up from the handle? I assume that the spine is similar thick as by the other examples?
It seems that you now convinced.
Maybe Xas will be able to tell us something to the other both examples I've shown in post #6. Both blades are much more thin at the spine (attached picture show one of them with two binakla) and what I have noticed, the handle deities don't have the ears all the binakla handles show. I assume they come from an other Bicol region.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 27th March 2020, 10:51 AM   #18
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Hi Detlef,

That one is in storage and I will need to find it for more pictures. Don't recall if it is very thick at forte. I think it is another example of what we have been looking at in this thread.

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Old 27th March 2020, 11:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
That one is in storage and I will need to find it for more pictures. Don't recall if it is very thick at forte. I think it is another example of what we have been looking at in this thread.


Hi Ian,

I think that you will find that it's similar thick at the forte since I am sure that it is indeed a another example however we name it.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 27th March 2020, 11:39 AM   #20
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Here a overview of all similar examples which could be maybe named binakla we have suitable pictures from.

BTW, I have found that my two examples I have by hand have a tang which went complete through the handle. It was difficult to determine since the ends are rotted away.
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Last edited by Sajen : 28th March 2020 at 09:19 AM. Reason: add picture
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Old 27th March 2020, 12:05 PM   #21
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What we have until now:

1. The handle is from wood or horn and shows a deity with a teeth showing grin
(one example is simplified), the ears are visible. From 7 examples have three
finger grooves.

2. The tang went through the hilt and is peened at top.

3. The blade spine is very thick near the handle (over 10 mm).

4. The blade shows a "strangling" approx. 20 mm after the handle and broaden
until the blade clipped again to the point. The clipped point can be longer or
also very small (Robert's example).

Last edited by Sajen : 28th March 2020 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 27th March 2020, 03:05 PM   #22
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Here a new taken picture from the two examples I have by hand side by side.

Upper one:
Overall length: 59,9 cm
Blade length: 47 cm
Max. width: 3,8 cm
Thickness behind handle: 11,4 mm

Lower one:
Overall length: 58,8 cm
Blade length: 45,5 cm
Max. width: 3,5 cm
Thickness behind handle: 11,9 mm
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Old 27th March 2020, 09:39 PM   #23
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Thanks Detlef for summarizing the features of these swords. As Xas noted, they appear to be a distinct category that we have not recognized well before. I would simply add that it has no guard (unlike a minisbad which does).

A quick question for Xas. What is the animal/deity depicted on these? I have heard it described variusly as an aso (dog) or bat motif.

Ian
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Old 28th March 2020, 08:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Thanks Detlef for summarizing the features of these swords. As Xas noted, they appear to be a distinct category that we have not recognized well before. I would simply add that it has no guard (unlike a minisbad which does).

A quick question for Xas. What is the animal/deity depicted on these? I have heard it described variusly as an aso (dog) or bat motif?


Hi Ian,

Yes, I agree with you. But the sword from Robert has a small guard. His sword seems to have some exceptions, handle is simplified, it has a small guard and the clipped point is very short.

The deity hilt was once described from Bankaya as: "As for the figural carving, he described this type seen on this thread as inaso or aso (dog) faced carving. The other figural style is called sawa which I believe is more of a crocodile or naga form." in this thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=bicol

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 28th March 2020, 05:30 PM   #25
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It is hard to tell bat or dog. However, if I understand right, there were early contacts between Bicol region and Borneo. In fact, some Bornean princes came to Bicol long ago. If true, then the Bornean influence of the aso (dog-dragon) got exported to Bicol as well.

Then could there be a merger with the Bakunawa deity? Possible since Bicol and the Visayas are culturally connected.
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Old 28th March 2020, 05:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Then could there be a merger with the Bakunawa deity? Possible since Bicol and the Visayas are culturally connected.


Good point Jose! Here the hilt pommel from one of my Visayan blades (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=minasbad)
Possible Waray? In the thread you can see other similar handles.
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Old 29th March 2020, 11:57 PM   #27
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I'm pleased my inquiry led to the sharing of the great information in this thread. Thanks to all of you who replied.

Any additional thoughts as to the holes in the dog's cheek? It doesn't seem to be a common feature, though there are one or two examples shown in the related threads. Perhaps evidence of the existence of a "retention strap ring" is a clue to age?

M
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:11 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCathain
Any additional thoughts as to the holes in the dog's cheek? It doesn't seem to be a common feature, though there are one or two examples shown in the related threads. Perhaps evidence of the existence of a "retention strap ring" is a clue to age?


Hello MacCathain,

The last shown sword in post #8 has the holes as well. I've seen them mostly by dinahong-palay and sinampalok, see here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=bicol
I think they are not deep enough for rentention strap ring, but maybe a sign of age, newer ones seems to have this holes.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:28 AM   #29
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I assume the larger hole in your hilt goes through completely? Then there seems to be a high probability that a retention strap (or a cord holding such a piece of cloth) ran through it. I doubt it has seen a lot of service though.

The example shown in post #8 also seems to have a similar hole; I can't remember any with typical minasbad though.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...id=196090&stc=1
Based on the quite rare occurrence and apparent differences in age, I'd be inclined to vote for personal preference rather than indictors for age/origin.

BTW, the smaller holes indicate losses of decor.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 30th March 2020, 08:29 AM   #30
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Red face

Detlef typed faster again...
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