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Old 30th September 2020, 02:50 PM   #1
Gustav
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Default Kris - Sulu, Maguindanao, or...?

Gentlemen,

for your consideration a kris, blade 58,3 cm, 21 Luk.
Is it a Sulu or perhaps a Maguindanao kris? Your age estimations?

There are remnants of green colour on handle bindings. The pommel is quite substantial.

Your comments are welcome.
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Last edited by Gustav : 30th September 2020 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 30th September 2020, 05:38 PM   #2
Battara
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I would say Sulu from the late 19c - early 20c.
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Old 1st October 2020, 09:52 AM   #3
Ian
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I agree with Battara. Probably late 19th/early 20th C Sulu kalis. Quite a heavy and long (23.5") blade for a Sulu kalis.
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Old 1st October 2020, 10:40 AM   #4
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Jose and Ian, thank you!

Exactly, the bigger size is a point.

Regarding this kris, I am particularly interested in the feature, which Javanese call "elefants lip" on Keris, under the "trunk" and "tusk". It's quite defined, and I am looking for krisses with similar feature. One, which of course is much more refined and older, is this one, made before 1835.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ight=kris+spain

Besides the well defined lip, my kris shares with it a quite elaborated fretwork on gangya, the style of it being different of course.

I know that in Cato's classification this one should be Sulu, based on angle of "elefants tusk". But perhaps there is a possibility that Sulu and Maguindanao were closer or more mixed still around the middle of 19th cent.?

The last possible year of aquisition for this kris is 1891, it belonged to Valeriano Weyler, who was Governor-General of the Philippines from 1888 to 1891 and brought this kris to Spain. He conducted an offensive against Moros in Mindanao.
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Old 1st October 2020, 02:09 PM   #5
Ian
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Gustav,

Another thing that persuades me that this is a Sulu blade, rather than Maguindanao, is that the long axis of the blade is in line with the hilt. If you look at Mindanao kris from this period, both the Maguindanao and Maranao forms had the long axis of the blade angled forward of the axis of the hilt. This is readily apparent if you lay a late 19th C Sulu blade next to a late 19th C Mindanao blade.

Attached are pictures of one of my Maguindanao kris. It has an inscription from Datu Piang to Dr. W.A. Christensen who was a U.S. Army physician. Datu Piang was a powerful leader of the Maguindanao at the beginning of the 20th C. Although this blade is slightly curved, making it difficult to draw its long axis, the midline of the peripheral one-third of the blade, when extended towards the hilt, is clearly tilted down relative to the long axis of the hilt. Compare orientation with the subject of this thread, and it is apparent that the blade of the Sulu kalis is in line with the long axis of its hilt.

Xasterix pointed this feature out to me a while ago. I have found it to be a consistent distinguishing feature between Sulu and Mindanao kris/kalis of the late 19th C. I don't have sufficient examples to comment confidently on earlier swords.

Ian.


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Old 2nd October 2020, 12:51 AM   #6
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I guess there are a number of Datu Piang kris around. I have 2 for example. Ian's your's is the third.

BTW Gustav, I also look at the pattern of the back of the ganga as well as the front, scabbard, and other characteristics. Some of these are not in Cato's book.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 01:14 AM   #7
Ian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I guess there are a number of Datu Piang kris around. I have 2 for example. Ian's your's is the third. ...
Hi Jose,

Yep, Datu Piang was a well known figure who had a lot of non-violent contact with the U.S. Army in Mindanao, and we have talked about him before. I posted this kris on the old forum, but that post is now gone. I bought it at auction from the estate of Dr. Christensen's daughter. The good doctor served in the Philippines during the first decade of the 20th C, and IIRC he was in southern Mindanao at the old Spanish fort of Reina Regente in South Cotobata during 1901-1903. Datu Piang had his compound nearby, and I suspect that it was during this period that he presented the sword to Dr. Christensen.

This sword was included in the Museum of Macau's "History of Steel" exhibition.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 01:20 AM   #8
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Ah................I acquired mine after the exhibition.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 10:31 AM   #9
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Ian,

actually my blade also has this angle (called Condong Leleh on Javanese Keris), and a Maguindanao blade I have has almost exactly or exactly the same angle.

It may be true on 20th cent. blades. I don't know, how far esthetical considerations are involved making Moro Kris, but on Javanese Keris you will never find a high quality blade with hilt in line with blade. It would be called Kaku - stiff.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 10:53 AM   #10
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While searching, I did find an interesting thread.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=sulu+kris

Both blades presented here have roughly the same style of Greneng as mine. The Gangya of original blade (Maguindanao with Sulu style hilt) of that thread has a similar strong bend like mine, while the CCUAL's blade (Sulu) has a similar "elephants trunk" area.
The hilt-blade angle of the first blade (Maguindanao) seems to be quite small and similar to mine.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 12:23 PM   #11
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Hi Gustav. The engraving on your blade reminds me of one of mine. I haven't ascertained from which Bangsamoro group my blade belongs to.

I reset this blade and retrofit a temporary asang-asang. Sharp blade length is just short at 18 inches.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 01:53 PM   #12
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Hi Gustav,

The geometry of these blades is hard to eyeball I think, and different camera angles can be tricky. It's also difficult to determine the medial line for a blade that has waves. That's why I draw the lines and see how they fit.

I did this with your example (attached), and I can see only a very small angle of deviation of the medial line of the blade and the corresponding line of the hilt (which I have not drawn but I think it is fairly obvious that there is little deviation). Perhaps I should amend my earlier statement and say that the orientation of Sulu blades deviate less from the medial longitudinal line of the hilt than Mindanao blades.

It seems there is room for study of this feature with measurement of the angle of deviation using pictures shot from directly above the sword. Comparison of clearly Maranao, Maguindanao and Sulu pieces should provide the answer.

Ian

P.S. Thank you for the terminology as it applies to keris in regard to this feature.


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Old 2nd October 2020, 02:17 PM   #13
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Ian, thank you.

I wasn't accurate enough while taking the first pictures - they aren't taken from exactly abowe the Kris, and Kris itself doesn't lay perfectly parallely to the ground.

Here is a comparison with a Maguindanao piece.

I suppose, generally we possibly would find out that later Kris tend to be "stiffer" in all regions.
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Old 2nd October 2020, 10:23 PM   #14
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Thanks Gustav. I do think there is room for more research on this feature, which I think may reflect the fighting style used with these blades.
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