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Old 25th June 2013, 11:46 PM   #31
RSWORD
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When considering outside possibilities in regards to twistcore influences in the Philippines I would toss in China. You find very fine twistcore blades in Chinese swords, both in double edge jian swords as well as single edge dao swords. The question, however, for both China as well as any Middle Eastern source, such as the Turkish Yataghan, is in how far back do you find examples with twistcore. In both the Turkish and Chinese examples, you are hard pressed to find examples that date prior to the 18th century. Perhaps you could stretch this back a century and say 17th century. So perhaps in the Phillipines, the "perfection" of twistcore may have been a Chinese influence from the 18th or 19th centuries. Of course, twistcore dates a long ways back. You find early Viking swords with complex and fine twistcore blades and they were a nautical bunch so who is to say that technology didn't find it's way half way around the world. Then again, where did the Vikings learn and develop such complicated twistcore technology. I'm pretty sure it wasn't ancient aliens as some US shows would like to hypothesize. But in any event, I'm rambling but it sure is a fun ramble!
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Old 26th June 2013, 01:35 AM   #32
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Yes, twisted manipulation of iron is not unique. In fact, it is one of the basic methods used in times past in a number of places to remove impurities from iron in order to make it fit for use.

However, when we consider these Philippine or Moro blades we have one window in time, and a very limited number of windows in opportunity to transfer skills.

Within the convergence of these two windows the highest probability of source lays with Jawa/Madura. This probability is strengthened by the knowledgeable appraisal of the style and technique of manufacture.

Here we have the difference between possibility and probability:-

anything is possible, only a very limited number of things can ever be probable.
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Old 26th June 2013, 09:10 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSWORD
So perhaps in the Phillipines, the "perfection" of twistcore may have been a Chinese influence from the 18th or 19th centuries. Of course, twistcore dates a long ways back. You find early Viking swords with complex and fine twistcore blades and they were a nautical bunch so who is to say that technology didn't find it's way half way around the world. Then again, where did the Vikings learn and develop such complicated twistcore technology. I'm pretty sure it wasn't ancient aliens as some US shows would like to hypothesize.


The aliens were, as in most cases in Europe, the Romans. One of the best sources for roman swords with elaborate welding patterns is the moor of Illerup. If you try to search "Illerup Adal swords", you perhaps will find something. There is also a very good book in two volumes.

Yet the most likeable, actually undisputable origin of twistcore and other elaborate patterns is the Middle East. The Romans adapted this technique only after the wars with Parthians, together with longer swords.
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Old 26th June 2013, 02:54 PM   #35
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Properly speaking this sampir style in Kelantan is known as a sampir "pucuk kacang". My understanding at this point is that the term Ku Sriwa is an attribution to a group of kerises with this style of sheath to an aristocractic Kelantanese of that name. Ku (Tengku) Sriwa is supposed to have lived around the turn of the 20th century and is reported to be an historic figure. I have not however had a chance to follow up this in archival records. Hopefully I will get a chance to visit Kelantan soon and follow up.
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Old 26th June 2013, 07:24 PM   #36
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For me a problem to accept Madura smiths as initial propagators of twistcore on Philippine blades is, as I wrote, the lack of other more elaborate patterns. We see only twistcore with exeption of some very rare Adeg patterns.

I also doubt, there are Madura blades at all, which have rows of more then 3 twistcore stripes, seen on Kampilan and sometimes on Kris. Yet the normal keris blades are much narrower, of course.

Here is a thread about a twistcore Yataghan in SEA dress:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=7622

Here is a thread about twistcore Mandau:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...14243&highlight

Also pictures of a Kampilan and two Yataghans, one of them (the upper one) dated 1592.

Regarding Sendai Keris, I have the same picture, the best available at the moment. The keris is out of stain, has a polished and in some areas slightly rusted surface, so it is difficult to be judged and no categorical statements can be made. Yet I would say, there is at least a possibility of a pattern welded Pamor Miring, even if the Pamor material isn't of high contrast.
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Last edited by Gustav : 26th June 2013 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 26th June 2013, 11:47 PM   #37
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Yes, agreed, there is always the possibility of a miring technique having been used to weld the Sendai Keris.

There is always the possibility of anything.

Javanese and Madurese blades do exist that display multiple bars of twisted material welded together. I have owned a number of these, mostly pedangs.

There is a possibility that the technology used to weld twist patterns in the Philippines did come from the Middle East --- as I have said:- anything is possible.

However, I do feel that we would need a a little more evidence of trade links between the areas where these Philippine blades were produced and the Middle East. I have never looked specifically at this local area, the Philippines, so I do not know what the trade links were.

If we wish to assign origin of technology to somewhere other than the obvious source then what we need is evidence of trade links. Not just itinerant preachers, but solid, continuing trade. If we can show that existed then there is a good chance that the technology came into the Philippines from the Middle East.

We know that there there were trade links between Jawa and virtually all of Maritime SE Asia. Why do we need to look further afield? The most obvious source of the technology is Jawa, but there is always the possibility that the technology could have come from somewhere else.
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Old 27th June 2013, 03:09 PM   #38
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very informative and interesting thread so far!
the triangular trade between india, china and southeast asia in the mid 1700's in turn developed Sulu into a major trading center and transshipment for the zone (Warren, the sulu zone, 1768-1898).
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Old 27th June 2013, 11:36 PM   #39
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This post is a comment on the possible source of technique and technology necessary for the production of pattern welded blades in the region under the control of the Sulu Sultanate.

As already noted, I have very little interest in this geographic area or this subject, however I have spent half an hour or so looking at web sources with the assistance of Dr. Google. In fact, there seems to be quite a lot of information available online that deals with the history of this area and its trade links.

Cursory review of the available information indicates that until the arrival of the Spanish and conflict with them there was not inconsiderable contact with Islam through both Middle Eastern and Chinese Muslim merchants and preachers. Thus it is reasonable to assume that there was a direct transfer of technology in metal working from Chinese and Middle Eastern societies to craftsmen within the Sulu Sultanate, just as there was in Jawa.

There was diplomatic and mercantile contact with China on a reasonably large and consistent scale, and also contact with Sufi traders from the early 15th century.

Against this background it is reasonable to assume a similar transfer of skills to that which took place in Jawa.

With the arrival of the Spanish it appears that trade links between the Middle East & China (to a lesser extent) and the Sulu Sultanate declined, but the trade and cultural exchange between the various entities of regional Maritime SE Asia continued.

It seems that two distinct influences contributed to metal working techniques and technology in the Sulu Sultanate, first direct contact with peoples from both China and the Middle East, and a lengthy and continuing contact with peoples from within Maritime SE Asia.

What I have written above is the product of no more than 30 minutes web browsing. It may be correct, substantially correct, or incorrect. But it does indicate that there is a very adequate quantity of information available for research by anybody with an interest in this subject --- and that's just the on-line stuff. Get involved with real, live, genuine printed matter and there's no telling what you might discover.

Is anybody even remotely interested in looking for factual historical information to supplement their interest in the weaponry of this area?
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Old 28th June 2013, 03:13 PM   #40
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Quote:
Is anybody even remotely interested in looking for factual historical information to supplement their interest in the weaponry of this area?


in regards to the source of technology, evidently not. but as far as the trading that happened prehispanic and eventually, during the arrival of the spaniards, this has been discussed early on.
now,for those of us that are into this particular area or subject and would like some refresher, we can type in "scott", "warren", "laarhoven", "majul", "saleeby", etc. in the search query on this forum, for starters.
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Old 28th June 2013, 03:43 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
...for those of us that are into this particular area or subject and would like some refresher, we can type in "scott", "warren", "laarhoven", "majul", "saleeby", etc. in the search query on this forum, for starters.

Complete names will certainly narrow down searches and make it a bit easier on the researcher.
Najeeb M. Saleeby, Cesar Adib Majul, James F. Warren, Ruurdje Laarhoven, William Henry Scott
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Old 28th June 2013, 10:34 PM   #42
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Thanks Spunjer, these authors are perhaps a good place to start for anybody who wishes to do the necessary work.
Over my morning coffee I've had a quick look at these people, and although their published works do not seem to indicate any specificity in respect of the matters raised here, they do indicate that a selective search and perusal of those works could assist anybody with any interest and commitment.
I did not search the Forum, but rather went to net searches. Here are my notes made from those searches:-

Najeeb M. Saleeby, Cesar Adib Majul, James F. Warren, Ruurdje Laarhoven, William Henry Scott

Najeeb M. Saleeby --- writings in history, law, religion

James F. Warren, --- archival historian --- The Sulu Zone: The Dynamics of External Trade, Slavery and Ethnicity in the Transformation of a Southeast Asian Maritime State, 1768-1898

Cesar Adib Majul --- modern history--- Muslims in the Philippines, University of the Philippines Press (1973, 1999) ISBN 971-542-188-1

Ruurdje Laarhoven --- cultural anthropology---professor at Hawaii Pacific University, several publications

William Henry Scott--- extensive writings --- highly regarded

I know I must sometimes sound like a broken record, and I apologise for this, but I do believe that those of us who have an interest in the material culture of any culture or society can only benefit by gaining a better understanding of that culture or society.

The weapons of any people are the physical objects produced by those people which display the highest degree of technology available to them. This is as true of Stone Age Man as it is of our present time:- flint knives to modern weapons that are so secret that we are not even allowed to know they exist. State of the art technology for the time.

If you have an interest in the weaponry of any people you are doing yourself a very great service by learning more of the way in which that weaponry came into being and of the society and culture which produced it.
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Old 1st July 2013, 11:21 AM   #43
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Quote:
I know I must sometimes sound like a broken record, and I apologise for this, but I do believe that those of us who have an interest in the material culture of any culture or society can only benefit by gaining a better understanding of that culture or society.


^this.

couldn't have said it any better, Alan! a lot of misconceptions are still lingering due to not understanding the culture. it starts off as nothing major or significant; the problem is when these misconceptions becomes the accepted truth..
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