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Old 5th February 2012, 11:19 PM   #1
Sajen
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Default Weird Philippine sword/bolo

Just bought another Philippine sword or bolo. The pictures are not very good but what I can see appealed me so much that I tried the gamble.
Is someone able to tell me by the few better pictures what I buy?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/18080996647...984.m1431.l2649

Regards,

Detlef
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Last edited by Sajen : 6th February 2012 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 5th February 2012, 11:40 PM   #2
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I need to double check but I believe it is from Batangas region. Same family as the minisbad.
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Old 6th February 2012, 01:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I need to double check but I believe it is from Batangas region. Same family as the minisbad.



Thank you Jose for the first information! Have checked some older threads by searchword minisbad/minasbad and have seen that the hilt and scabbard style is very similar so that Bicol as origin seems nearby. But I haven't seen one with a similar blade shape.
Now I am very very curious to get more informations about my new toy!

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 6th February 2012, 02:03 AM   #4
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You've got a recently made Bicolano blade. Quality of these made today are about the same except that they now shellac the wood scabbards and the grind marks on the blades are more obvious/apparent on newer ones. I'm guessing yours is recent but not as recent as this, as in post WWII, but pre 1970's. Like Jose said, made in the same region as the Minasbad, but lacks the trademark shape and d-guard to be an actual Minasbad.

Older pieces have iron fittings instead of brass and the carvings are much smoother/rounder rather than angular.

Interesting to note about this piece -- Bicol is located in the southern region of Luzon, almost the Visayas, so blades from this area have an amalgam of features from both regions. The figural hilts and blade shapes typically seen in Visayan blades are a feature used on many Bicolano blades, whereas the blade geometry is more similar to Luzon, in its double-beveled "lenticular" shape rather than the visayan single bevel.
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Old 6th February 2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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Hello Dave,

the seller told me that it is a bring-back from WWII but will contact him to get further informations.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 6th February 2012, 03:51 PM   #6
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And here a picture from the back of the sheath where is visible that the fittings are from iron.
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Old 6th February 2012, 06:09 PM   #7
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Hi Detlef ,

I don,t know noting about these swords but i realy like the blade form !!
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Old 6th February 2012, 06:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for the correction Pepperskull - I meant Bicol not Batangas (sleeping again at the 'puter ).
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Old 6th February 2012, 10:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePepperSkull
You've got a recently made Bicolano blade. Quality of these made today are about the same except that they now shellac the wood scabbards and the grind marks on the blades are more obvious/apparent on newer ones. I'm guessing yours is recent but not as recent as this, as in post WWII, but pre 1970's. Like Jose said, made in the same region as the Minasbad, but lacks the trademark shape and d-guard to be an actual Minasbad.

Older pieces have iron fittings instead of brass and the carvings are much smoother/rounder rather than angular.

Interesting to note about this piece -- Bicol is located in the southern region of Luzon, almost the Visayas, so blades from this area have an amalgam of features from both regions. The figural hilts and blade shapes typically seen in Visayan blades are a feature used on many Bicolano blades, whereas the blade geometry is more similar to Luzon, in its double-beveled "lenticular" shape rather than the visayan single bevel.


Don't the recent ones have "Philippines" stamped in the blades? Or the scabbard saying Philippines with some special inlays. I see a lot of recent, even WWII blades this way. But I don't know.
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Old 7th February 2012, 03:29 PM   #10
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After some research in old threads I come across a picture posted from Zelbone in April 2006. The swords are labeled as Batangas Bolos. These two swords are very very similar in all parts, blade, handle and sheath.
So I hope that Zel see this thread and will be able to tell me/us more to the origin and estimated age.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 7th February 2012, 09:41 PM   #11
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Zel is no more a part of this forum (unfortunately) and I think later research said these were from Bicol. Need to double check with Lorenz.
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Old 8th February 2012, 08:42 AM   #12
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Jose is correct, it is a bolo from Bicol.
Yesterday I have had contact with Zel by email and this is what he write me:

As for your bolo, it's from Bicol...most likely the Rinconada area. As for age, it looks more modern...WWII and later.

And furthermore:

The type you have is I believed called a sinampalok....I don't have my notes with me right now. Sinampalok is term also used elsewhere in Luzon, but I've heard referred to this blade type in Bicol. I wouldn't get too hung up with the exact name of the blade type. There are hundreds of different blade types in the Philippines and the same blade can have different names even in the same region. What's important is that it's from Bicol...but it's not a minasbad.

When you read this, thank you again Zel!

But it will still be very intersting what Lorenz can tell us/me about this bolo.


Regards,

Detlef
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Old 8th February 2012, 01:15 PM   #13
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Sajen/ Battara, I agree with Zel - the sword is from the Bicol region of Luzon.

As to its name, I'm still figuring it out. In Marcos de Lisboa's [MDL] 1754 Spanish-Bicol dictionary, as cited in Mintz, we see these archaic Bicol terms for the Bicolanos' common swords:

báˈid - (typ‑ knife, short, wide); MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to cut s/t with a cutlass; MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN to cut s/t off from s/t with a cutlass [MDL]

salabay - cutlass, used only in narratives and verse in place of báˈid (Note: salabay is listed only as part of the entry for báˈid and is not a separate entry in Lisboa) [MDL]

káris - sword; MAG‑ to carry a sword; to duel; to fight with swords (two people); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to wound s/o with a sword; to arm o/s with a sword; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to arm s/o with a sword [MALAY keris] [MDL]

sundáng - bolo, machete [MDL: a knife (general term); any instrument used for cutting; suró-sundáng small knife or one made from wood or bamboo]

tabák - bolo, machete [MDL: knife (typ‑, also used as a weapon)]

Am just guessing but if we are to speculate, it looks like baid fits the bill most closely -- short and wide knife.

Thanks btw for posting the pics!

Lorenz

PS - The above was quoted from here.
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Old 8th February 2012, 03:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
Sajen/ Battara, I agree with Zel - the sword is from the Bicol region of Luzon.

As to its name, I'm still figuring it out. In Marcos de Lisboa's [MDL] 1754 Spanish-Bicol dictionary, as cited in Mintz, we see these archaic Bicol terms for the Bicolanos' common swords:

báˈid - (typ‑ knife, short, wide); MANG‑, PANG‑‑ON to cut s/t with a cutlass; MANG‑, PANG‑‑AN to cut s/t off from s/t with a cutlass [MDL]

salabay - cutlass, used only in narratives and verse in place of báˈid (Note: salabay is listed only as part of the entry for báˈid and is not a separate entry in Lisboa) [MDL]

káris - sword; MAG‑ to carry a sword; to duel; to fight with swords (two people); MA‑, ‑ON or MAG‑, PAG‑‑ON to wound s/o with a sword; to arm o/s with a sword; MA‑, ‑AN or MAG‑, PAG‑‑AN to arm s/o with a sword [MALAY keris] [MDL]

sundáng - bolo, machete [MDL: a knife (general term); any instrument used for cutting; suró-sundáng small knife or one made from wood or bamboo]

tabák - bolo, machete [MDL: knife (typ‑, also used as a weapon)]

Am just guessing but if we are to speculate, it looks like baid fits the bill most closely -- short and wide knife.

Thanks btw for posting the pics!

Lorenz

PS - The above was quoted from here.



Thank you Lorenz!
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Old 9th February 2012, 02:50 PM   #15
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I think that I will post the "story" which was now told to me by the seller who told me that the bolo was a WWII bringback from his great uncle.

This is the story my father was told by my Great Uncle Harry Buck. Harry was a Marine stationed on the Phillipines in WWII. My father recalls there were ten marines out on patrol and were ambushed by some Japanese. They had a fire fight for some time and the marines ended up killing most of the Japanese. The bolo was taken of a Japanese officer who had been killed in the firefight. It became a war trophy for my great uncle who gave it to my dad. I have no idea of the year but it was in the thick of things in WWII.

If the story is true like this I don't know but it seems believable that the bolo is from time of WWII. But want to post this story as well.

Regards,

Detlef

Last edited by Sajen : 9th February 2012 at 04:20 PM. Reason: bad english writing from the seller!
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Old 14th February 2012, 05:31 PM   #16
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^ I have heard very similar stories regarding many WWII era philippine blades. I wonder if this was because the Japanese soldiers preferred to use the enemy's Bolos as opposed to their own blades. I don't know much about their wartime-produced swords aside from the fact that they were mass produced and ssupposedly of lesser quality than than of a traditinally-made nihonto. Did they have a habit of breaking? Were the blades too long? Or was it just that the length of blade was too much for jungle warfare? I am not sure, but hopefully someone can illuminate this discussion.

Speaking of bicolano blades, Here's one that just ended on ebay (And that I missed out on bidding because I thought it ended tomorrow instead of today. D'oh!)

Congrats to whoever won it. I'm not sure exactly if this is a bicolano piece (The sheath carvings look different to me, as well as the blade being a single bevel as opposed to souble bevel like all of the other bicol blades I have seen.)

Another thing to note is that the sheath is Kamagong on one side and on the other side a lighter toned wood (I think it's either Molave of Yakal). This is a feature that you see in Philippine blades from Luzon even today, Mainly I believe it's because Kamagong is expensive and more coveted than other woods.
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Old 14th February 2012, 06:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePepperSkull
^ I have heard very similar stories regarding many WWII era philippine blades. I wonder if this was because the Japanese soldiers preferred to use the enemy's Bolos as opposed to their own blades. I don't know much about their wartime-produced swords aside from the fact that they were mass produced and ssupposedly of lesser quality than than of a traditinally-made nihonto. Did they have a habit of breaking? Were the blades too long? Or was it just that the length of blade was too much for jungle warfare? I am not sure, but hopefully someone can illuminate this discussion.

Speaking of bicolano blades, Here's one that just ended on ebay (And that I missed out on bidding because I thought it ended tomorrow instead of today. D'oh!)

Congrats to whoever won it. I'm not sure exactly if this is a bicolano piece (The sheath carvings look different to me, as well as the blade being a single bevel as opposed to souble bevel like all of the other bicol blades I have seen.)

Another thing to note is that the sheath is Kamagong on one side and on the other side a lighter toned wood (I think it's either Molave of Yakal). This is a feature that you see in Philippine blades from Luzon even today, Mainly I believe it's because Kamagong is expensive and more coveted than other woods.


Hi Dave,

I have seen this sword as well and asked the seller if he will ship to Germany but he don't want, otherwise it will be now mine!
IMHO it is a Bicol bolo when I look to the hilt carving (batman ). Nice old sword and from me also congrats for the winner.
Have you noted that the sheath from my sword is made from two different wood as well?

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 19th February 2012, 12:30 PM   #18
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Received the bolo knife and have had some surprise. First I have thought that it is bigger but it is rather small, 44 cm inside the sheath with a blade from 28,5 cm. Handle is from horn and the blade have on front some engravings. The bands are from brass like from Dave supposed. He is also correct that there is shellac in front of the scabbard. So we can assume by the way of making and the information of the seller that it is a WWII area piece. Here some additional pictures.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 7th May 2012, 08:31 PM   #19
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This one ended recently by ebay. I am not the winner but I recognize the "bucao" stampon the blade. What will be the meaning?
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Old 8th May 2012, 04:32 AM   #20
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Thanks for the pics. There's a "Bucao" street in Iriga City, Albay province in the Bicol region, which province is known for producing traditional Bicol blades. And Bucao is a family name.

Iriga City by the way is a place to go to, if one is looking for newly made traditional Bicol blades.
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Old 8th May 2012, 04:48 AM   #21
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And bocao also happened to be a Bicol term for a knife or tool, per the entry below in Marcos de Lisboa's 1754 Bicol-Spanish dictionary.

Perhaps our Spanish-speaking friends can translate the entire definition under bocao?
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Old 8th May 2012, 05:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
Thanks for the pics. There's a "Bucao" street in Iriga City, Albay province in the Bicol region, which province is known for producing traditional Bicol blades. And Bucao is a family name.

Iriga City by the way is a place to go to, if one is looking for newly made traditional Bicol blades.


Thank you for the further informations!

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 9th May 2012, 12:08 AM   #23
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From Malcolm Mintz's Bicol-English dictionary (thanks to Nonoy Tan):

bukaw [pronounced BOO-cow] - referring to a knife or other tool or implement which is in the process of being forged or an earthenware pot which is in the process of being worked; MA-, -ON or MAG-, PAG--ON to be in the process of working on a knife, took, pot [MDL, i.e., Marcos de Lisboa]
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Old 9th May 2012, 02:06 AM   #24
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A work in progress; steel or clay ?
Something is missing .
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Old 9th May 2012, 04:36 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
A work in progress; steel or clay ?
Something is missing .

That's all that those two dictionaries can offer

Hence the "Bucao" engraved on the blade must be referring to the owner's family name...
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Old 9th May 2012, 05:40 AM   #26
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Seeing as it can refer to a knife, tool, other implement or pot being worked (possibly at a certain stage) could it just be a term for heat treated ??

Robert
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Old 14th May 2012, 02:33 AM   #27
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This Bicol blade is from Vandoo's collection.

The engraved "duggan" text on the blade can mean two things once again - either the family name of the former owner, or the name of a process in making the blade. On the latter, we see this definition of duggan or dugang from the Bicol-English dictionary by Mintz:

dugang - 'to cool and harden (metal after it has been cast) [MDL]'. 'MDL' refers to Marcos de Lisboa's 1754 Bicol-Spanish dictionary.
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Old 18th October 2012, 05:26 PM   #28
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Default SMALL VISAYAN KNIFE ,BICOL REGION

I JUST PICKED UP THIS LITTLE GEM. IT HAS A VERY WELL CARVED HORN HANDLE WITH A BRASS POMMEL CAP, BRASS FERRULE AND BRASS THROAT ON SCABBARD AND ONE BRASS BAND. NICE CARVED WOOD SCABBARD AND A CHISEL GROUND BLADE WITH FLORAL DESIGN ENGRAVED ON BLADE. 13 INCHES LONG IN SCABBARD, 7.5IN. BLADE. SOMEONE CRUDELY SCRATCHED IN "MADE IN P.I." ON SCABBARD WW2 BRING BACK.
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Old 18th October 2012, 05:58 PM   #29
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Nice one Barry. Maybe our new member Bangkaya will be able to tell us more about this small bolos!?

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 18th October 2012, 06:22 PM   #30
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Hello,
Though are a number of variations of blade style in Bicol, there are basically 4 prevalent types:

Minasbad
Dinahong-palay
Ginunting
Sinampalok

This was all explained to me by a panday from Tabaco, Albay in Bicol. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take photos since I left my camera at my friends house (we were in search of pili nuts and just happened to run into the panday.) Most of the swords pictured on this thread are sinampalok or dinahong-palay (dahon palay in tagalog=rice leaf.) The minasbad is the long sword sometimes with an elaborate guard. The ginunting has a blade that is recurved but not hooked down like the modern Ilonggo or Marine Recon ginunting. The dinahong-palay and sinampalok are similar, however, the blade on the sinampalok tapers towards the hilt where the dinahong-palay maintains a constant width then abrubtly tapers usually with a hook like projection or goosenecks to the ricasso (much like a tinamban sansibar from Leyte.) As for the figural carving, he described this type seen on this thread as inaso or aso (dog) faced carving. The other figural style is called sawa which I believe is more of a crocodile or naga form.

Regards,
Bankaya
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