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Old 14th September 2010, 06:58 PM   #1
Lee
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Question Pattern-welded (twist core) Budiak

The discussion on Maurice's gorgeous budiak with a Sulu provenance got me to thinking about an old pattern-welded spearhead I have had for many years.

The pole was gone before I encountered the spear, which also included a very thin and fragile silver cylinder. Someone had tried to repair this with epoxy, but that had already failed. Clearly this would have been most stunning when intact and mounted.

The cross-section of the neck of this spear is very much a square on end and the neck of Maurice's spear reminded me of this one.

Does the form of this spearhead and the decoration on the ferrule reveal where this spear is from and allow any of you to enlighten me?
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Old 14th September 2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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Could one imagine a base under that silver like the left hand spear shown ?

No one ever really nailed this one down to a particular tribe IIRC .
The ferrule style is quite different from yours .
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Old 14th September 2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
The discussion on Maurice's gorgeous budiak with a Sulu provenance got me to thinking about an old pattern-welded spearhead I have had for many years.

The pole was gone before I encountered the spear, which also included a very thin and fragile silver cylinder. Someone had tried to repair this with epoxy, but that had already failed. Clearly this would have been most stunning when intact and mounted.

The cross-section of the neck of this spear is very much a square on end and the neck of Maurice's spear reminded me of this one.

Does the form of this spearhead and the decoration on the ferrule reveal where this spear is from and allow any of you to enlighten me?

Very handsome budiak Lee!
It must have been a status piece, looking at the silverwork, and it must have had an awesome look when compleet with pole...

I guess to track the origine, we must hope to find similar pieces like this in a museum with provenance.

Maurice
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Old 14th September 2010, 10:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Could one imagine a base under that silver like the left hand spear shown ?

No one ever really nailed this one down to a particular tribe IIRC .
The ferrule style is quite different from yours .

Hello Rick,

I only can post this image of these spears in a spanish museum.
Unfortunately I have no description of the spears, but maybe a spanish collector can tell more about the tags or what they are saying in the museum....
I only have this image!
Depicted are several spears, some with very plain silver ferrule (but with other bands/rings like yours).
Especially the second one of the left....the base looks very similar to me in comparison with yours, although your blade is a bit slimmer.

Maurice
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Old 14th September 2010, 10:16 PM   #5
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Interesting form of budiak. Not seen this length of blade before. Love the twistcore.
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Old 14th September 2010, 10:22 PM   #6
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Thank you Maurice .

I don't see any that are similar; I think the one you mention goes to round at the base .
I see no rings on the ferrules that match .

Anyway, if the base of Lee's example is angular this might be something to work with ...... or just coincidence .

I see a resemblance :
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=11670
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Old 14th September 2010, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Thank you Maurice .

I don't see any that are similar; I think the one you mention goes to round at the base .
I see no rings on the ferrules that match .

Anyway, if the base of Lee's example is angular this might be something to work with ...... or just coincidence .

I see a resemblance :
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=11670
Rick, sorry I don't see your statement.
If I give it a close look, the one I mentioned indeed is round and yours is square.
But just above the round base and up to the tip I am surely see some similarities.
Indeed the rings on your ferrule look very beautifull and different, as I mentioned before, and I never have seen them like this on budiaks nor Borneo spears. I have seen several Borneo spears with provenance which had silver ferrules and silver rings, but all different as yours, which look very finely made.

It looks like Lee's budiak's base is also square...
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Old 15th September 2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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Hi Maurice .
Could this be a more archaic form of Moro spear ?
Or a distinctly Sulu style ?

I rarely see these compared to the examples I show .

Rick
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Old 15th September 2010, 03:21 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Malaysian Spears

Thank you all...

Rick, the base is much like the one you picture on the left, but a little less robust. As to both of your examples - drool...nice...drool...

Maurice, I have scanned in one of the plates from Krieger (1926) below and have labeled the spears with the tribal associations given in the text. Numbers 8 & 9 appear to have a square neck, but are Bagabo & Moro, respectively. Similarly, the etched panels on the blade faces are present and absent with both associations. The text describes the ferrules of these examples as being of brass or iron.

I suppose that these Malaysian spearheads would have spread throughout the region by trade and capture and so can no more be precisely placed geographically than a European winged spearhead of the 9th - 10th century (socketed instead of tanged, but of about the same size and with sometimes with similar pattern-welding!) Mountings would clearly help, when present, in the rare cases where examples of known provenance are available for comparison. Hopefully, some day the chronology and regional variations will be worked out for these most impressive artifacts.
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Old 15th September 2010, 05:36 PM   #10
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Default maybe the okir is the key?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Hi Maurice .
Could this be a more archaic form of Moro spear ?
Or a distinctly Sulu style ?

I rarely see these compared to the examples I show .

Rick
Hello Rick,

It would be just a guess when I should say it is archaic.
But Lee's example looks very old and different....maybe somebody else can enlighten us?

I don't know much about okir design and region, but maybe there is somebody able to tell anything about the region when looking at the okir design on the silver shaft? (Battara maybe?)

Maurice
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Old 15th September 2010, 05:51 PM   #11
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Nice spear head.

The silver shaft can be fixed partly I think.
Than it would be a (even more) attactive piece
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Old 15th September 2010, 05:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee

Maurice, I have scanned in one of the plates from Krieger (1926) below and have labeled the spears with the tribal associations given in the text. Numbers 8 & 9 appear to have a square neck, but are Bagabo & Moro, respectively. Similarly, the etched panels on the blade faces are present and absent with both associations. The text describes the ferrules of these examples as being of brass or iron.

Lee, thank you for the scanned Krieger plate. I do have the Krieger images on my computer, but in a smaller format, so it is more clear to see now.
Bagobo & moro, panels present and absent, I think a lot of work and research can and need to be done here to find out more about these great pieces...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
I suppose that these Malaysian spearheads would have spread throughout the region by trade and capture and so can no more be precisely placed geographically than a European winged spearhead of the 9th - 10th century (socketed instead of tanged, but of about the same size and with sometimes with similar pattern-welding!) Mountings would clearly help, when present, in the rare cases where examples of known provenance are available for comparison. Hopefully, some day the chronology and regional variations will be worked out for these most impressive artifacts.

Yes I agree with the trade and capture part. Therefore it is harder to track down the origine for us.
I hope there is somebody able to study the regional variations.
I once started a thread about provenanced pieces. But I was the only one it seemed who was interested in, cause there were no reactions or postings from others. This could enlighten a lot and would be a great threat as reference material and might be an important "Sticky".........but forumites need to post their pieces first...:-)

Maurice
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Old 15th September 2010, 09:05 PM   #13
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Well, I was wondering if this was an earlier form of budiak myself.

As far as the okir is concerned, I was thinking that the okir is not of the same quality of that I see in Mindanao for example. Also the type of okir is more reminiscent of Sulu rather than that of Mindanao. I would cautiously place it therefore as Sulu work.
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Old 15th September 2010, 10:54 PM   #14
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Is this then possibly an early Sulu form ?

Oh for some provenance .

Even the spears I acquired from the Bandholtz collection were labeled as Budiak !!

Confusion seems to be everywhere on this subject .

We need a book on spears of the area .
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Old 16th September 2010, 03:44 PM   #15
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I am going pretty far out on a flimsy limb, but, I do agree with the suspicions stated above and I believe this is well the oldest of my budiaks if I am to judge by blade surfaces. All of them have been taken care of over the years, but there are always little lapses that accumulate and leave their marks. (I have one more budiak to share.)

Similarly, while out on that limb, I will speculate that something like this budiak could have 'evolved' through the features we see in Maurice's Sulu budiak on the way to Rick's example on the right. But then I am ignoring Rick's example on the left.

Rick - It turned out to be simple and harmless to expose the base of the neck of my spearhead and it remains a simple square. Asomotif - I believe that, despite the tears and dents, very little silver is missing from the ferrule and that you are correct that it remains very restorable and deserves restoration. (If I can find copper pipe of the correct diameter, that might provide a definitive underlying support.) Battara - I have tried to give a better view of the okir below:
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:57 AM   #16
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I hesitate to call it a true budiak since it does not have the usual chiseling for a budiak.

However the twistcore and the way it is done as well as the okir still indicates to me so far that this is an early Sulu spear.
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Old 18th September 2010, 12:34 PM   #17
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Lightbulb So I will call it ... a protobudiak

Battara - So, if I understand correctly, Rick's spear on the left up in reply #2 would not be called a budiak as it lacks the chiseled panel, and only the 4th from the left in the panoply shown in Maurice's post (#4) would qualify for the name budiak.

In a playful vein, I shall, for the moment term this old Sulu spear as a protobudiak.

I have built a composite picture below - not to precise scale and digitally bleached to bring up more detail in the bases - in order of similarity of features. Our protobudiak is fullered and has no elaboration at its base; the blade tapers into a square cross section. (Maurice's splendid provenanced Sulu spear would come next in this sequence.) The second spear from the left below has a shallow chiseled panel which carries into a square neck as a line before an abrupt, but slight expansion into a round base. The two on the right are proper budiaks with a well developed chiseled panel and the thicker edges terminating in a classic floral? curve. These have rings around a round neck and re-expand substantially to meet the ferrule (or be partially covered by it in the right example).

Krieger's plate 6 does strongly suggest both forms (chiseled with complex base and non-chiseled with square base) remained in use by both the Moro and Bagobo until the early 20th century. So chronology versus geography (of manufacture) or more likely a bit of both.
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Old 24th September 2010, 02:28 PM   #18
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Wink Just for kicks: Compare this with a mid to late Viking Age (Carolingian) winged spear

This protobudiak was my very first 'Malaysian' spear. I bought it in a small (now sadly perished) private arms and armour museum in Kutztown, Pennsylvania in the late 1990s. I collected it as a superb example of pattern-welding for a small group of comparative ethnographic examples I was building. It was so out of place in the museum's small coop shop and it cost me less than a hundred dollars. I still delight in my memory of finding it. I have over the years mislaid that delicate silver ferrule cylinder on more than one occasion, but shall be careful not to again lose it, and I indeed look forward to seeing it put back together again.

So, ironically, the protobudiak gets to be the reference point as I pull something from the opposite side of the globe and a millennium further back out of the armoury to compare with it, namely a mid to late Viking Age (Carolingian) winged spearhead. The big, obvious differences are that the winged spearhead is socketed (with two small protrusions or 'wings' arising from the socket) and the tanged protobudiak has more pronounced fullering. In functional impact, however, these two spearheads are nearly identical in length (protobudiak 355 mm; winged spearhead 345 mm - measuring from where each blade begins to expand out from neck to the tip) and in mass (protobudiak as pictured including partial mounts and epoxy 469 grams; winged spearhead 409 grams with some losses from the socket on the opposite side).
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Old 24th September 2010, 11:08 PM   #19
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If we are going to follow the thought train that this is an early Budiak; I think I might be able to show a transitional design with elements of both old and new .

Left hand spear in post 2, fifth picture down .
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=12569
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Old 20th October 2010, 12:03 PM   #20
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Thumbs up Budiak variations - is it time or geography or both.

Thanks Rick, I think that is about all one could hope for in terms of a missing link ... now is it time or geography or both.

I had missed that detail in the wealth of that museum photo tour, but worse I had totally missed Bill M's fabulous examples resurrected in Freebooter's thread - just look at the combination of features in the first pictured spear as well as the intact silver ferrule. Gorgeous!

Anyway, my protobudiak is about to head out the door for restoration and preparatory to this I have dissolved away the failed epoxy repair and revealed the end of the tang and fractured remain of the pole.

And just a trace of fall foliage reflected in the silver.
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Old 20th October 2010, 08:45 PM   #21
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Glad you were able to get that thing off. Now it can be worked on easier.
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Old 1st November 2010, 02:43 AM   #22
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Hi everyone,

Here is a Moro or Bagobo spear with similar lozenge flaring at the base. The blade is pattern-welded but not twist-core. I find the braided wire work quite interesting.

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Old 1st November 2010, 02:08 PM   #23
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The head seems almost identical to the left one shown in post #2 .
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Old 1st November 2010, 11:41 PM   #24
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Yup, that's why I posted it . If I followed the discussion correctly, is there budding consensus that this is an early form of budiak?
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Old 2nd November 2010, 01:21 AM   #25
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I've got my doubts about that .

I expect we need a workable, generally acceptable descriptive definition of 'Budiak'; is it just a generic term for 'Southern Philippine Muslim Spear' ?

Anyone ?
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Old 2nd November 2010, 01:35 AM   #26
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Well it depends. I have heard that on the one hand it is a Sulu term for spear, but that type of spear as the chiseling we have been speaking of and the flair. However, other Moros have similar types of spearhead as well as other spears. I go with the last version until proven differently.

On this last spear presented, no, I would classify it more as Lumad, perhaps Bagobo.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 01:51 AM   #27
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Arrow So .......

What's bugging me here is this question :

Did ALL the S. Philippines tribes regardless of religious orientation possess the same level of metalworking skills ??

If not; could these spear heads have possibly been sourced from other groups or areas ?

The uniform quality of workmanship begs this question IMO .

Rick
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Old 2nd November 2010, 03:28 AM   #28
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I know that the Lumad tribes traded with Moros and acquired twist core, for example, and other steels. For this reason, I would say that when it came to steel, probably the Moros were closest in access and trade with their Indonesian cousins and thus had better access to steel techniques (again twist core for example).

Also the forms change between different tribes, but the workmanship is still good.
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Old 15th November 2010, 12:45 AM   #29
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Various Moro spears ...
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Old 15th November 2010, 12:47 AM   #30
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Some more pics ...
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