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Old 7th June 2023, 12:08 AM   #1
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Default Barung or keping-type sword, re-handled?

New addition to the collection. Hoping to get some input on this. Can I call this a barung or keping? Blade is pretty thin, slightly tapered. I suspect itís an older blade thatís been re-handled. If so, can anyone identify the sword the hilt would have originally belonged to? I noticed the blade has a ďxĒ mark similar to my Luzon Hundang. I was able to wiggle the hilt off with little effort. Overall feels like a well-used piece. I feel it might be from Palawan? Thanks!

Dimensions: 52 cm overall length, 41 cm by 6 cm blade.
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Old 7th June 2023, 02:57 AM   #2
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At first look I thought it's from Palawan as well, mainly because of the rattan weaving. If it's indeed from Palawan, they call it badung.
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Old 7th June 2023, 06:57 AM   #3
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Hi WW:

Interesting piece you have there. I took your picture and outlined where the maximum width of the blade occurs. It is actually on the hilt side of the blade rather than further towards the tip. A Palawano badung has a much more forward-weighted blade, with the maximum width closer to the tip than the hilt. Thus, this is not a Palawano badung IMHO. It is more in keeping with a Sulu blade that has been dressed in another fashion.

In the following picture, I have shown the line of maximum width on your blade and also two arrowed features of your scabbard: one is the slanted area of attachment for a string belt; the other is a small "wing" to the throat of the scabbard on its bottom side.

Name:  Chavacano bolo 2.png
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Now compare this arrangement with a Zamboanga bolo. There is the same slanted attachment for the belt and a similar wing on the scababrd. Also, the hilts are made from similar light-colored hardwood and are consistent with a Zamboanga origin.

Name:  Chavacano bolo.jpg
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Here are some further pictures of that bolo, which is probably of WWII vintage.

Name:  Chavacano bolo--blade-2.jpg
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Name:  Chavacano bolo--blade-1.jpg
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And here is an old picture of Chavacano men wearing these bolos. The similar scabbard styles to yours are readily apparent.

Name:  Chavacano men with bolos.jpg
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To summarize, I think you have either a Sulu barung blade dressed in Chavacano fashion, or a bolo made and assembled in Zamboanga.

Last edited by Ian; 7th June 2023 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 7th June 2023, 11:10 PM   #4
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Thanks everyone! I appreciate the input. This forum is such a great resource for folks who appreciate ethnographic edged weapons!
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