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Old 16th June 2010, 01:52 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default A Filipino Oddity....A Pir-Rong???!!!

When I found this piece I recognised what an anomaly it was and at first thought it was some sort of presentation piece or touristy conglomeration. But having now handled the piece it's clear it has been much used, has a heavy patina all over, and the carved belt loop still has fiber remains inside. This piece was all "born together", and was meant to see service. The seller said it was a WW2 bring back and at first I thought 'no-way...maybe 1960s'..., but now I see no reason to doubt the original description.

I am calling it yet another form of Pir-Rong(part Pira, part Barong), as I did a thread several years ago on a different combination by the same name.

Note:

*Moro Pira style blade. It's thick, heavy and very sharp.

*The hilt has a Moro barong style pommel with poorly executed "crests", but the ferrule and short guard is Bogobo or T'boli in style and is cast.

*The scabbard is clearly an attempt to immitate a barong scabbard, with added belt loop and brass dragon crests and floral motifs pinned on.

Would love to hear any and all opinions!!
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Old 16th June 2010, 02:38 PM   #2
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Charles

This is a strange composite the blade seems nice but the hilt ferrule and that crudely made guard screams tourist to me.
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Old 16th June 2010, 02:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew
Charles

This is a strange composite the blade seems nice but the hilt ferrule and that crudely made guard screams tourist to me.

I am not convinced that anything necessarily "screams tourist" here. Composite pieces can sometimes happen within cultures based on needs and available supplies. In fact i find the crudely made guard more an indication that this may have been intended for local use more than the tourist market.
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Old 16th June 2010, 03:33 PM   #4
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This is composite with a purpose; I agree with David.

I have no idea why these various features are found together but they show too much wear, tear, and heavy patina to have been exclusively tourist.

I have no idea what the answer is, but it is no typical toy or souvenir.
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Old 16th June 2010, 07:02 PM   #5
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Hello Charles,

I have followed this strange sword on e-bay also and have been sure that all is "original" old. When I see it now by your better pictures I am convinced by this opinion. I think that we only can guess how this Pira blade get this handle and sheath. Maybe break the handle and sheat and the owner give the blade this strange dress by what reason ever.
I personally like this sword, congrats for this nice addition to your collection.

Detlef
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Old 16th June 2010, 08:02 PM   #6
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I think it should be called Bapiraong.
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Old 16th June 2010, 10:34 PM   #7
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Default Refitting of an old blade

I think that this blade started in one live in one place, was damaged in use and the next life was re-fitted with parts from another area in travel and then finally in its third life it was finished with the last part the sheath. I have heard that some blades had parts made by three people and if a blade was broken then it would be fixed whereever they were at that time.
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Old 16th June 2010, 10:56 PM   #8
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Great Composite piece! Love the Pira style blade.
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Old 17th June 2010, 12:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
This is composite with a purpose; I agree with David.

I have no idea why these various features are found together but they show too much wear, tear, and heavy patina to have been exclusively tourist.

I have no idea what the answer is, but it is no typical toy or souvenir.


Charles the wear and tear could have happened after it was brought home. That square guard just looks slapped on to me with it's pointy edges and the brass work on the scabbard does not strike me as Philippine tribal? It just looks like it was put together from spare parts a good pira blade a hilt from a barong and the ferrule reminds me of the recent Moro stuff you see on ebay these days. This is probably Vietnam era or a bit earlier IMO.
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Old 17th June 2010, 12:20 AM   #10
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Charles, that's an interesting sword. Thanks for sharing.

I have a pira (pic below) which blade is similar to yours. Maybe they are contemporaries.
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Old 17th June 2010, 02:19 AM   #11
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Actually later piras morphed into this form of blade. I would say that it is a pira with a barong hilt. The hilt does not seem Bagobo or Tboli but later Moro. The brass pierced pieces on the scabbard are Moro done in older traditional style.

Nice later Moro piece.
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Old 25th June 2010, 03:35 AM   #12
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I just picked one up with a hoof-shaped handle. Ebay number will be provided when I get to it.....Sheath on mine is in style of kris sundang.
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Old 25th June 2010, 03:37 AM   #13
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ebay #370390711941
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Old 25th June 2010, 05:03 AM   #14
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Tom I'm not sure this is the same thing...
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Old 25th June 2010, 05:07 AM   #15
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Another note: sometimes you will see a barong hilt on other Moro pieces, like for example a barong hilt on a bankung blade......
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Old 25th June 2010, 10:16 AM   #16
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Battara, Can you bring over pictures of mine from ebay? Will anyone do this for us? I don't know how.
IMHO there is no such thing as a barong or kris handle as such. There is a cockatoo handle (true) and the "fully developed cockatoo" which I'm pretty sure is a flower at least on some level and the hoof and others. Kris sundang and Moro barong seem to share the same types of handles.
Mine certainly has the same curved yelmanned blade.
BTW note the squarish guard like on a Lumad sword.
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Old 25th June 2010, 10:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
Charles, that's an interesting sword. Thanks for sharing.

I have a pira (pic below) which blade is similar to yours. Maybe they are contemporaries.


Migueldiaz, what is the cross-section like on your sword? Is that a "shandigan" blade with a thickened reinforced cutting edge?
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Old 25th June 2010, 10:21 AM   #18
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BTW, I like when Moro sheaths are together with pegs; it's a bit unusual to other cultures, even in the region.
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Old 25th June 2010, 05:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hyle
Battara, Can you bring over pictures of mine from ebay? Will anyone do this for us? I don't know how.
IMHO there is no such thing as a barong or kris handle as such. There is a cockatoo handle (true) and the "fully developed cockatoo" which I'm pretty sure is a flower at least on some level and the hoof and others. Kris sundang and Moro barong seem to share the same types of handles.
Mine certainly has the same curved yelmanned blade.
BTW note the squarish guard like on a Lumad sword.

Tom,

I was unsuccessful in trying to get pictures off eprey. Sorry.

On the other note on hilt styles, I will only say that I disagree with you, though some hilts are used on others and the terminology I use is not strict but more descriptive for lack of better wording.
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Old 25th June 2010, 06:33 PM   #20
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I see an awful lot of kris sundang and barong with both types of cockatoo and with hoof handles. There seems no division as to blade, other than re asangs/bacas/clamps. The true cockatoo as I call it is also not only Moro, but is seen in other cultures of the region, notably Visayan. The hoof type handle is even more widely distributed. Of course a Visayan one or a Batangas one (for instance) can be identified from a Moro one, but they are still clearly hoof and cockatoo handles. Unlike the "fully developed cockatoo" which seems to be modelled on the sex organ of a plant (it has no beak, it has no cheeks, it has no eyes, it is widest at the top). IMHO this relates to Japanese plant-based heraldry, for instance.
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Old 26th June 2010, 10:08 AM   #21
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Here the pictures:
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Old 26th June 2010, 11:19 AM   #22
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Thank you, Sajen!
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Old 26th June 2010, 08:33 PM   #23
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Sajen how'd you do that?
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Old 26th June 2010, 09:22 PM   #24
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Thanks Sajen.

I don't see much similarity here with the piece originally posted, unless the angle of the last photo hides the contours of the blade.
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