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Old 17th October 2021, 02:10 PM   #1
tanaruz
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Default Bicol Ginunting

Hi all,

Our first Bicol blade, a ginunting. With an over-all length of 32 inches, with a 23-inch blade. The hilt is made from carabao horn and the scabbard, a hardwood called balayong (barayong).

But the point of interest for us is the mythical creature on the pommel. The son of the former owner informed us that according to his late father, the design on the pommel is an Onglo (hence, an Inunglo). When we started asking people who are knowledgeable on Bicol blades- they shared their opinion that the creature on the pommel might be of a 'pinaniki' design(in the semblance of a bat).

But the son of the former owner insists that it is an Onglo (Onglo is a mythical beast in semblance of an ape). And looking at the flaring nosetrils- it does look like an ape (to us), ha ha.

What do you think?

Note: this Bicol ginunting came from Matnog, Sorsogon.

Enjoy,

Yves
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Old 17th October 2021, 03:02 PM   #2
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Hi,

I'm no expert in Bikol blades, I've never seen a hilt design like that before. But I'll show my minasbad's hilt which also has a figure with flared nostrils, I just forgot to ask the maker the specific term when I commissioned it. I always though it's pinaniki, but I reconsidered when I saw yours.
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Old 17th October 2021, 03:55 PM   #3
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Nice and rare sword, any clue or guess how old it is?

Here are two from my collection, both are antique and very thick at spine, near the handle, 12 and 11,5 mm.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th October 2021, 07:17 AM   #4
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Default Bicol ginunting

Hello Sir,

The son of the former owner is around 45 years of age. The father (original owner), passed at age 75. So, if the father had this blade commissioned when he was 20 years old (assuming), he was 55 when he passed. The age of the son is 45 so this blade must be in the minimum of 100 years old.

But if the father had this at a much younger age of 20, then it hit the 100+ years mark.

Kind regards

Yves
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Old 19th October 2021, 07:19 AM   #5
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Default Bicol ginunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by chmorshuutz View Post
Hi,

I'm no expert in Bikol blades, I've never seen a hilt design like that before. But I'll show my minasbad's hilt which also has a figure with flared nostrils, I just forgot to ask the maker the specific term when I commissioned it. I always though it's pinaniki, but I reconsidered when I saw yours.
If it's ok with you Sir, I will show these pictures to Bicol bladesmith who's quite knowledgeable on these type of blades. We can have his idea on the mythical fiture on your hilt.

Regards

Yves
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Old 19th October 2021, 02:13 PM   #6
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Default Bicol Ginunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by chmorshuutz View Post
Hi,

I'm no expert in Bikol blades, I've never seen a hilt design like that before. But I'll show my minasbad's hilt which also has a figure with flared nostrils, I just forgot to ask the maker the specific term when I commissioned it. I always though it's pinaniki, but I reconsidered when I saw yours.
Hi,

The pommel of your Bicol blade is an INUNGLO (Onglo- a mythical Bicolandia beast-just like mine, that resembles an ape. In some other local folklore- it is sometimes referred to as a tikbalang, a monster with the head of a horse).

Try to google what a tikbalang is.

Regards

Yves
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Old 19th October 2021, 02:16 PM   #7
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Default Bicol ginunting

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Originally Posted by tanaruz View Post
Hello Sir,

The son of the former owner is around 45 years of age. The father (original owner), passed at age 75. So, if the father had this blade commissioned when he was 20 years old (assuming), he was 55 when he passed. The age of the son is 45 so this blade must be in the minimum of 100 years old.

But if the father had this at a much younger age of 20, then it hit the 100+ years mark.

Kind regards

Yves
Hello again,

According to a local bladesmith who does Bicol blades- these two are not Bicol blades. In my opinion (only mine)- they could be Aklan tenegre/tinegre talibongs.

Regards

Yves
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Old 19th October 2021, 05:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanaruz View Post
According to a local bladesmith who does Bicol blades- these two are not Bicol blades. In my opinion (only mine)- they could be Aklan tenegre/tinegre talibongs.
Hello Yves,

I am a little bit confused, about which two blades you are speaking here?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 20th October 2021, 01:08 AM   #9
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Default Bicol ginunting

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Hello Yves,

I am a little bit confused, about which two blades you are speaking here?

Regards,
Detlef

Hello,

The ones you're posted ( 2 blades and 3 pommels pictures). I've asked a long-time Bicol bladesmith and they're not from Bicol.

Regards

Yves
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Old 20th October 2021, 07:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanaruz View Post
The ones you're posted ( 2 blades and 3 pommels pictures). I've asked a long-time Bicol bladesmith and they're not from Bicol.
Hello Yves,

What do you see by yourself? Compare your blade with my two blades, do you see the same blade shape? Do you don't see the same pommel style? Same scabbard style?

I personally would call all three blades as binakla from the Bicol region, see this very informative thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=bicol

Best regards,
Detlef
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Old 20th October 2021, 01:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen View Post
Hello Yves,

What do you see by yourself? Compare your blade with my two blades, do you see the same blade shape? Do you don't see the same pommel style? Same scabbard style?

I personally would call all three blades as binakla from the Bicol region, see this very informative thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=bicol

Best regards,
Detlef
Hi Detlef,

Aside from Bicol, there are two other places which may have made the pieces you posted- Masbate and Samar. They have been known to make figurals similar to Bicol's (and even have the minasbad blade profile). So there's the possibility that yours may have come from those areas.

Yves, I don't think your blade is 100+ years old. The sure 100+ years Bicol blades would be those with D-guards and old-school figurals. If basing on the samples gathered by the minasbad researcher / trader known as The Minasbad Shop, your sample would be around WW2 era.
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Old 20th October 2021, 02:15 PM   #12
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Another example of similar style. I don't have better pictures at present, but will try to post details of the hilt shortly. The hilt looks like a bat to me.
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Old 20th October 2021, 06:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix View Post
Aside from Bicol, there are two other places which may have made the pieces you posted- Masbate and Samar. They have been known to make figurals similar to Bicol's (and even have the minasbad blade profile). So there's the possibility that yours may have come from those areas.
Hi Xas,

You were the one who has identified this type of sword as binakla, yes there are slight differences in the handle styles but generally they could get named as inaso, dog or bat style. Blade style is by nearly all examples (this thread and the one I posted) nearly similar. So when one gets called binakla I call a very similar sword as well as binakla, also when it gets called in Masbate or Samar differently. It's a cultural and linguistic related region.
So when a knowledgeable person would say it's very similar but maybe from Masbate or Samar but simply saying it's for sur not Bicol at last is courageous IMVHO. I for my part have described my both swords as binakla from the Bicol region and don't want to change it now but keep in mind that also Masbate and Samar could be a possibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix View Post
Yves, I don't think your blade is 100+ years old. The sure 100+ years Bicol blades would be those with D-guards and old-school figurals. If basing on the samples gathered by the minasbad researcher / trader known as The Minasbad Shop, your sample would be around WW2 era.
Agree with you, the reason I've asked Yves before, the scabbard bands from aluminium could be a later replacement but like you I noticed the handle style. But we would need to see better pictures.

Regards,
Detlef

Last edited by Sajen; 20th October 2021 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 26th October 2021, 09:01 AM   #14
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Here are the additional pictures of the blade I posted above. The thickness of the spine just in front of the hilt is 8.5 mm measured with a micrometer. The width of the blade tapers quickly moving away from the hilt, and the cutting area of the blade is about 3-4 mm wide for much of its length, tapering further to 1-2 mm wide near the tip. The clipped spine has a sharp back edge for about 20 cm. Both the regular and back edges are razor sharp and symmetrically V-ground (not chisel-ground). The regular cutting edge has been quench hardened.

The hilt has finger cut outs and what appears to be a bat's head for the pommel. The hilt is full tang.

Length of blade = 48.0 cm (18.9 in), length of hilt = 13.8 cm (5.4 in).

.
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Old 29th October 2021, 01:46 PM   #15
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Default Bicol Ginunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen View Post
Hello Yves,

What do you see by yourself? Compare your blade with my two blades, do you see the same blade shape? Do you don't see the same pommel style? Same scabbard style?

I personally would call all three blades as binakla from the Bicol region, see this very informative thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=bicol

Best regards,
Detlef
Hi Sir,

I've done some searching and queries. I may have a solid answer to the question on hand. But I need you to send me some pics of the 'BARAT' or the TANG RIVET. This (and some other aspects of the blade), according to a very knowledeable person on Bicol blades would determine the answer to our questions.

The 'barat' is the rivet at the tip of the hilt.

Regards

Yves
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Old 30th October 2021, 11:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanaruz View Post
I've done some searching and queries. I may have a solid answer to the question on hand. But I need you to send me some pics of the 'BARAT' or the TANG RIVET. This (and some other aspects of the blade), according to a very knowledeable person on Bicol blades would determine the answer to our questions.

The 'barat' is the rivet at the tip of the hilt.
Hi Yves,

First, thank you for your response! I will post pictures from top of the hilts but I guess that they won't be of great help, both tang ends are rotted away from corrosion. Just give me some time to take pictures.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 30th October 2021, 12:00 PM   #17
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Hi Yves,

The "barat" from my third binakla you can see by the attached pictures.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 30th October 2021, 12:53 PM   #18
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Default Bicol ginunting

Hello Sir,

Will be forwarding these reference pics to my contact in Bicol.



Kind regards

Yves
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Old 30th October 2021, 03:07 PM   #19
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Will be forwarding these reference pics to my contact in Bicol.

Hello Yves,

First, I would prefer when you call me Detlef instead of "Sir"!

Secondly, thank you.

And here are the pictures from the sword in above with wooden handle, like said, the barat is rotten away, I've attached some more pictures from the handle.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 30th October 2021, 03:20 PM   #20
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And here the handle from the sword in down with horn handle, the barat is as well gone due corrosion but with a little bit imagination you can see the form and where it was situated.
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Old 31st October 2021, 09:36 AM   #21
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Default Bicol ginunting

Hello Detlef,

Here are some inputs from my contact in Bicol:

1) the blade profile is indeed a 'binakla,'- even in the absence of a 'manok-manok' (serrations on the blade). A minasbad indeed;

2) It might have been forged in the Province of Sorsogon (that's in the Bicol Region). Now looking where Sorsogon is (southernmost part of Bicol)- your blade certainly have a very clear Visayan influence (your third binakla). This 3rd binakla blade has a kinabayo hilt- with, of course, a ginunting blade;

3) But the scabbard on the 3rd binakla is not Bicol. But rather of 'Visayan influence' as made mention in # 3. It would have been much nicer, he says, if the scabbard is Bicol;

Hope this clears the air a little bit. ha ha ha.

All the best,

Yves
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Old 31st October 2021, 11:54 AM   #22
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Thank you Yves!

Regards,
Detlef
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