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Old 29th February 2020, 07:21 PM   #1
drac2k
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Default Two new Philippine Acquisitions to share

The first one is a Moro Kris and the other is an interesting dagger, named and dated to a Corbett Meeks from Tx. , with a date of 9/11/1935, with a location of Baguio, Philippines. The seller included a picture of a 1st. Sgt. Corbett Meeks from Tx. who served in WW1 & WW2, but I haven't been able to find any mention of his service record in the Philippines, so this may or may not be the same guy.
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Old 29th February 2020, 11:12 PM   #2
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Sgt. Meeks did have a Philippines connection.

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_Department
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Old 1st March 2020, 01:40 AM   #3
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Thank you very much!
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Old 1st March 2020, 08:34 AM   #4
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You are welcome.
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Old 1st March 2020, 09:16 AM   #5
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Hi drac,

Two nice weapons there. The kris blade appears to be Maranao in origin, probably late 19th/very early 20th C. The fighting knife is interesting, and I would like to hear what xasterix has to say about its origin. However, given the Baguio inscription on the sheath, it likely comes from northern Luzon in which case I would say it is Ilokano/Tinguian in manufacture.

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Old 1st March 2020, 01:25 PM   #6
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Thanks. I found the decoration on the knife pommel somewhat unusual.
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Old 5th March 2020, 12:12 AM   #7
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Default Kris Blade & Baca Baca Questions

Hi All,

I have a number of kris with a one piece baca baca (or asing asing as the case may be). On all of these kris, the ganja (to use the Indonesian term) is either part of the blade proper (ganja iras) or, as is on the kris shown in this thread, so closely fitted to the blade that the line of separation is almost invisible. I assume that the one piece baca baca made its appearance in the late 19th/early 20th century? The other question I have is about the closely fitted ganja. Is this tight joint indicative of a manufacturing technique that is markedly different from that used to forge the older kris blades and is the tight joint an inevitable result of the new technique? If this is the case, does anyone know how it was done?

Sincerely,
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Old 5th March 2020, 12:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hi drac,

Two nice weapons there. The kris blade appears to be Maranao in origin, probably late 19th/very early 20th C. The fighting knife is interesting, and I would like to hear what xasterix has to say about its origin. However, given the Baguio inscription on the sheath, it likely comes from northern Luzon in which case I would say it is Ilokano/Tinguian in manufacture.

Ian


Thanks for the redirect Ian =)

Short answer- in my conjecture, the knife comes from Apalit, Pampanga, as the hilt and scabbard combo is consistent with other Apalit blades from a certain time period =)

Long answer- I don't think it's Tinguian. To my knowledge, most of the weapons that the Tinguians possessed were acquired via barter, usually from Ilocos Norte. There were certain weapons produced, however, that were distinctly Tinguian-made, and this is identifiable via the scabbard and hilt (which is not the case with this sample, there's no distinct Tinguian signature). This was also the case with the Negritos, who bartered most of their weapons from Apalit, Pampanga. Same goes for the Lumad tribes in Mindanao, who acquired blades (sometimes even the whole sword) through barter from the BangsaMoro tribes, then personalized it according to their unique tribal signatures. The Baguio-marked blade has a similar build to other Apalit blades I've seen.
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Old 5th March 2020, 02:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
To my knowledge, most of the weapons that the Tinguians possessed were acquired via barter, usually from Ilocos Norte.

Aha! That's what I have been saying for years. Thus I questioned that "katana" origin from the Tinguians.
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Old 5th March 2020, 02:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT
Hi All,

I have a number of kris with a one piece baca baca (or asing asing as the case may be). On all of these kris, the ganja (to use the Indonesian term) is either part of the blade proper (ganja iras) or, as is on the kris shown in this thread, so closely fitted to the blade that the line of separation is almost invisible. I assume that the one piece baca baca made its appearance in the late 19th/early 20th century? The other question I have is about the closely fitted ganja. Is this tight joint indicative of a manufacturing technique that is markedly different from that used to forge the older kris blades and is the tight joint an inevitable result of the new technique? If this is the case, does anyone know how it was done?

Sincerely,
RobT

Hi RobT,

Very early kris (1700s) had ganga that often looked very separate from the rest of the blade. As time went on though, the ganga production got better to the point that the style was to have it look contiguous with the rest of the blade. It would seem that integral gangas started to appear in the roughly 1920s and then an engraved line to hint at a separate ganga in the 1950s. Rough estimates, but these are my observations.

Another observation is that often gangas were made of the same steel, or even earlier, of a separate laminated billet, with the laminations being perpendicular to the rest of the blade.
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Old 5th March 2020, 03:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
... To my knowledge, most of the weapons that the Tinguians possessed were acquired via barter, usually from Ilocos Norte. There were certain weapons produced, however, that were distinctly Tinguian-made, and this is identifiable via the scabbard and hilt (which is not the case with this sample, there's no distinct Tinguian signature). ...
Hi Xas,

A quick comment on the Tinguian based on the anthropological studies of Fay-Cooper Cole who lived among them in 1907-1908 and later published his work in the U.S. I've written here about his work before. Cole has reproduced in line drawings the knives he observed during that visit, and I showed the relevant figures in my post. It is possible that these were obtained by trade with Ilocos Norte, but one of the blades is of the katana form and I think you have said previously that the Ilocos Norte smiths did not produce this style. As to the ability of Tinguians to produce knives and other edged weapons, the following comment also comes from Cole:

Quote:
The blades are by no means of equal temper or perfection, but the smiths of the Tinguian-Kalinga border villages seldom turn out poor weapons, and as a result, their spears and head-axes have a wide distribution over northwestern Luzon.
Perhaps current standards have fallen compared with a century ago.


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Old 5th March 2020, 05:46 AM   #12
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Hullo Ian,

The bolo-types, such as those shown in that picture, were definitely obtained by trade with Ilocos Norte. The blunt bolo you were referring to in the picture is not the 'katana' type, but rather closer to the 'talunasan' type, which is made by the smiths of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte (up to present day). It's different from the 'katana' which is of Apalit, Pampanga manufacture (and which is seemingly extinct, unless I come upon a modern version).

The other bolos in that particular illustration are still made by San Nicolas pandays nowadays.

As for the head-axes, yup those are definitely of Tinguian make, that's why I said most (not all) of their blades =) I haven't had the honor of venturing into their territory yet, and I heard they are very wary of outsiders; thus I have no idea of their smithing capabilities as of present-day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hi Xas,

A quick comment on the Tinguian based on the anthropological studies of Fay-Cooper Cole who lived among them in 1907-1908 and later published his work in the U.S. I've written here about his work before. Cole has reproduced in line drawings the knives he observed during that visit, and I showed the relevant figures in my post. It is possible that these were obtained by trade with Ilocos Norte, but one of the blades is of the katana form and I think you have said previously that the Ilocos Norte smiths did not produce this style. As to the ability of Tinguians to produce knives and other edged weapons, the following comment also comes from Cole:

Perhaps current standards have fallen compared with a century ago.


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Old 5th March 2020, 07:36 AM   #13
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Thanks again for the clarification, Xas. So we have the Tinguian/Kalinga forms (head axes, spears) that are produced locally plus the imported Ilocos Norte knives shown in the figures of Cole. The distinction between the blunt ended knives and swords from the various areas is rather subtle. This is making more sense now.

Which means that the knives shown with choils are Ilokano, but from Ilocos Norte. Correct?

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Old 5th March 2020, 08:25 PM   #14
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Not exclusively Ilokano, I would like to think. There's a time period wherein the Apalit pandays fancied that hilt work too. Although theirs usually had a sun at the hilt base, especially for the fancier weapons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Thanks again for the clarification, Xas. So we have the Tinguian/Kalinga forms (head axes, spears) that are produced locally plus the imported Ilocos Norte knives shown in the figures of Cole. The distinction between the blunt ended knives and swords from the various areas is rather subtle. This is making more sense now.

Which means that the knives shown with choils are Ilokano, but from Ilocos Norte. Correct?

Ian
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Old 6th March 2020, 01:10 AM   #15
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Default Thanks For The Explanation

Battara,

Thanks for the clarification. I rather suspected that the tight ganja was a structural improvement over the earlier style. For the dagger sized Indonesian keris which was a point weapon, the entirely separate (and often rather loosely attached) ganja didn't matter too much because the blade would be subjected to fairly low torque but for the cut and thrust sword sized Philippine kris, torque would be an important issue. I have a feeling that the one piece baca baca is also an improvement over the older two piece type. By the way, one of the tight ganja kris I have shows lamination running perpendicular to the blade.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 6th March 2020, 03:03 AM   #16
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Glad to be of some small help.
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