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Old 15th December 2013, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default Yakan Barong??

I believe this to be a Yakan barong, in fact a pretty classic one. This one features a horn ferrule, a shandigan blade and nice pattern weld.

The scabbard is new.
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Old 15th December 2013, 08:03 PM   #2
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I would call this a Yakan barong. Nice piece. The scabbard is is new?
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Old 15th December 2013, 10:41 PM   #3
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Striking wood handle and beautiful pattern welded blade, Charles! The scabbard is nice form too, even if more recent. I had to educate myself on what a makes it a Yakan. Here is what I found and share with others who don't know:
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Old 15th December 2013, 11:12 PM   #4
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I bet that pommel has some flashing grains to write home about.
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Old 16th December 2013, 02:21 AM   #5
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Default Yakan Barong

Charles: A beautiful barong with one of the nicest random patterns i have
ever seen. I'm with Jose. I think it is a later scabbard but definitly a
really nice one.........Dave
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Old 16th December 2013, 11:24 AM   #6
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heck of a barung you got there, Charles! what stands out as well is the unque style of the pommel. not too many yakan barungs out there. the unique horn ferrule is definitely a plus! with a shandigan blade like that, is it fairly light?
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Old 16th December 2013, 11:36 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input guys. As mentioned originally the scabbard is new.

Spunjer, the blade is very heavy, surprising for a shandigan.

Kino, those are nice flashing grains, and if you look at the portion of the hilt just behind the ferrule you can see the maker chose to use a portion of knotted wood.
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Old 16th December 2013, 08:05 PM   #8
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Hello Charles,

Let me play advocatus diaboli: What features of the hilt clearly support a Yakan origin (assuming that the nice shandigan blade doesn't offer any additional hints)?

I have no qualms with the barung in Cato being Yakan: It has the very short punto (as in antique pira) and the long crest is also very similar to a pira pommel (keeping its heft towards the tip with blunt end and even getting a bit broader towards the tip if looked at from above).

Your hilt as well as many of the similar ones exhibit a very elongated punto though! (Quite a few of these made from horn which is usually only seen as rather thin spacers)

Moreover, while the flow of lines share limited similarities in side view, the carving of the crest is very differently done with gently flowing lines and a design more based on a triangular cross-section rather than a pira pommel/hilt.

I dunno the whole design strikes me as being completely different with only a few "accidental" similarities compared with Yakan hilts. For sure, I'd love to see more close-ups of antique Yakan pieces being shown for comparision!

It's a fact that these type of hilts are often found in colonial Dutch and British collections (with barung being not common at all) while they seem to be very rare in the US (despite loads of antique barung available). This is probably the main reason (including a few provenanced museum pieces) to attribute these barung to northern Borneo (as well as Kalimantan Timur and northern Sulawesi). OTOH, there are also some pieces that came out of US-controlled areas.

Incidentally, this is pretty much the same situation as with the old style kampilan hilt! This was first suggested to come from Borneo but the more plausible hypothesis is that it is an old style that got mostly replaced by later styles on Mindanao while it got preserved in the expat communities on Borneo. I believe, we're looking at a similar situation here with an older style of barung hilt being replaced by new style(s) in the Tausug/Samal (and possibly Yakan) cultural centers while staying in vogue for a longer time at the southern periphery of the Sulu sultanate.

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