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Old 19th August 2010, 12:14 PM   #1
Lee
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Thumbs up Moro Budiak with a bit of baling wire

If I recall correctly, I bought this spear head at a local flea market several years ago. The old tag reads:
Quote:
Tagalog spear and Moro spear head -
Philippine Islands.
(Presented to Col. Cavanaugh at Fort McKinley, P.I. in 1907.)
Is believed to be very old.

The overall length (tip of blade to tip of tang) is 16.5 inches; there is no suggestion of a twist core.

I had always thought the twisted 'baling' wire to which the tag is tied was a later addition, but learned that I was wrong with that assumption the Brimfield flea market this past Spring...
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Old 19th August 2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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Lee

The wire bailing helped anchor the blade to the shaft. I had one of these years ago and mine had a rattan binding from the blade to pole. You also see the same technique used on Moro kris.
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Old 20th August 2010, 05:06 AM   #3
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What a nice piece - maybe not twistcore, but looks laminated and definitely a good budiak spearhead.
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Old 20th August 2010, 03:21 PM   #4
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Thank you both!

I arrived at the Spring Brimfield market on the Tuesday and in the morning I saw someone walking away along the highway with a sheathed spear at a distance. I had been lucky in getting that long yari the preceding year and I know I cannot even frequently be the first to find these fresh-to-market treasures. It is so nice when it happens though.

But my luck had not soured, as the next morning I found this same spear was now among some other nice ethnographic items for sale in another spot in a newly opened field. Even better, the gentleman selling it had bought it "right" and was passing it along with only a nominal markup.

As you shall see below, it is another budiak, slightly larger, and with the substantial benefit of retaining not only an interestingly carved old pole but even retaining a scabbard for the blade. As with your observation Lew, the purpose of the wire becomes clear on this example. Battara, this one also shows no signs of a twist core and is also a well-made hand-forged piece.

I suspect that it is probably of the same era as the spear above.
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Old 20th August 2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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Nice pieces Lee!

Thank you for sharing these budiaks!
I had never seen a budiak with this kind of "baling" wire.

Maurice
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Old 20th August 2010, 05:12 PM   #6
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Congrats Lee. Nice pieces. Is the other budiak with a complete shaft?
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Old 21st August 2010, 01:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Congrats Lee. Nice pieces. Is the other budiak with a complete shaft?


Yes - - I would never cut off a pole, except in a photo closeup.

I will get a full length picture taken and posted as the pole itself is also interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
I had never seen a budiak with this kind of "baling" wire.


Nor have I, except for these two examples. The tangs are surprisingly short. I am guessing this wire reinforcement may have been a 'wartime' modification to make the spear more robust, but I suppose securing the head would also be useful for hunting.
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Old 21st August 2010, 04:39 AM   #8
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Actually I have seen these wire sections done more in woven or twisted brass in the past.
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Old 22nd August 2010, 12:45 AM   #9
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Here you go Lee

This was in my collection a few years back.
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Old 23rd August 2010, 09:39 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

Very nice, Lew. Perhaps the concentric groves on some sockets may reflect this practice. I'll have to keep my eyes out for an example with woven/twisted brass...

Below is an overall picture and a close up of the shaft. At regular intervals, the circumference is reduced and then allowed to slowly expand moving towards the base. This would seem to be helpful from keeping the spear from sliding back on a thrust.
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Old 29th August 2010, 05:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
Below is an overall picture and a close up of the shaft. At regular intervals, the circumference is reduced and then allowed to slowly expand moving towards the base. This would seem to be helpful from keeping the spear from sliding back on a thrust.


This is very similar to designs of the Peninsula Malay Lembings (javelins). There... Spear designs akin to the one shown here is generally deemed to be designed as a missile weapon ie to be thrown... the aerodynamic fetures of the blade and the grroves are carved into the stems may act as a means of giving the wielder a better grip when the weapon is thrown... ad perhaps better aerodynamic qualities?

A spear meant for thrusting... a tombak is distinctive in that the stem is does not feature this design... the spear heads are broader too..

Very nice Budiaks...
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Old 29th August 2010, 07:58 PM   #12
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Actually many of these budiaks were more for thrusting in hand to hand combat. I'm sure they could be thrown too.
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Old 1st September 2010, 06:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Actually many of these budiaks were more for thrusting in hand to hand combat. I'm sure they could be thrown too.


Yes many spears can be thrown.. but not all.. Throwing a spear that is specifically design for thrusting needs a lot of compensatory adjustments made in how it is thrown by the wielder to the point that most perhaps would not bother.

Thrusting spears are also usually build with a counterweight at the other end. it is very unlikely that a counterweighted thrusting spear could be thrown well or at all. The counterweight just upsets the whole balance of it. The flight of the thrown spear and penetration would be greatly affected by the counterweight.
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Old 1st September 2010, 09:13 PM   #14
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Hi BigG,

You do have a point (great pun ). If there is a large counter weight, then it is a lance in fact and not a spear. Moro spears/lances do not have large counter weights on the ends all the time, but the size of the blade is very heavy. Thus most of these, especially the budiaks, I would call lances.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 04:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Hi BigG,

You do have a point (great pun ). If there is a large counter weight, then it is a lance in fact and not a spear. Moro spears/lances do not have large counter weights on the ends all the time, but the size of the blade is very heavy. Thus most of these, especially the budiaks, I would call lances.


Malay spears have a what I have seen as 2 distinct type. The thursting spears (tombak) with large and broad spear heads, even rectangular stems and usually simple or very ornamental counter weights... or javelins (lembings) with thinner more aerodynamic heads and shaped stems tapering towards the but without a counterweight wth similar looks like your budiaks... though not as long.

Nice budiaks & love to get one in the future..
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Old 12th September 2010, 07:18 PM   #16
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Thumbs up After thoughts

The budiak that retains its pole weighs just under 1.1 kg (2.4 lbs) and in the hand, the weight feels very much up towards the spearhead. So, it would indeed be most throw-able, but that bit of baling wire suggests to me an intended use as a lance, as a user throwing it at an adversary who could throw it back should prefer it come apart after his (first) toss. Krieger mentions that some warriors would carry two spears - one to throw and the other for final hand-to-hand; he also suggests arms for the hunt were usually simple in embellishment compared with weapons for combat and ceremony.

I had left the budiak-head with the tag on a shelf, rather than properly putting it away. From this angle I then saw the tang in a different light and it suddenly struck me that the tang was corroded much like the tang of a Japanese sword. The tag tells us that it was without a pole in 1907 and the exposed, polished surface has remained in good condition in the century since it was presented. So that brings up the question of just how old are these spearheads of this design...
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