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Old 20th February 2006, 05:30 PM   #1
VVV
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Default Borneo Parang Nabur or Visayan Bolo?

Hi all,

This beauty arrived today.
According to Stone p.482 this is supposed to be a variation of the Parang Nabur.
Tirri p. 429 says the same.
In Charles Buttin pict 898 there is a slightly resembling sabre (mix of this one and a "traditional" Nabur) that he describes as a Malay demi-sabre, probably Borneo Dayak.
I haven't found any references to this variation of Nabur in any of the Indonesian or Borneo weapon articles and books?
In the huge collections of f.i. Leiden there are lots of different Nabur, but none even slightly resembling this one.
To me it looks much more Visayan than Borneo.
Could this be a mistake by Stone?
Does any of the Filipino specialists recognise this sword?

Michael

PS The scabbard also looks more Visayan than Borneo to me?
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Last edited by VVV : 20th February 2006 at 07:00 PM. Reason: PS
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Old 20th February 2006, 07:16 PM   #2
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Yummy, how old is this. It looks as if there is a lot of European hanger influence. Tim
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Old 21st February 2006, 01:33 AM   #3
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Greetings Michael,
Now I know who it was that out bid me on this. Congratulations on your win!!! I'm just glad that it was someone from the forum that got it.(That way I get to see more pictures of it) My vote is that it is a Parang Nabur probable dating from the 19th century. Could the animal depicted on the hilt possibly be a bat?



Robert
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Old 21st February 2006, 03:42 PM   #4
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My guesstimate is also 19th C - early/mid.
I have no idea what kind of animal it is on the hilt?

I revisited this great reference thread on PI weapons in Spanish Museums.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=Spanish+Museum

What's interesting is that this kind of sword is part of the Filipino collections of the two Madrid museums together with other Visayan weapons.

I have enclosed the relevant pictures below.

Michael
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Old 21st February 2006, 04:29 PM   #5
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michael,
you make my head hurt.
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Old 21st February 2006, 08:53 PM   #6
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Great sword. Is there anywhere in the Visayan Islands that peaned the tang? Is that a coin the tang goes through? Can we see a picture of the engraving on the guard cup?
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Old 22nd February 2006, 04:15 PM   #7
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Bill,

Here is a close up of the guard cup.
Probably the piece on the top once was a coin but as you can see there
is nothing left of any identification on it.

Michael

PS Sorry about messing up with your head Shelley.
Next time you meet "Uncle" you can ask him...
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Old 22nd February 2006, 07:11 PM   #8
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quite sure that is Picasso's work on the guard.
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Old 22nd February 2006, 08:05 PM   #9
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Ahhhhh!!
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Old 23rd February 2006, 04:30 AM   #10
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Hi this is not from borneo it is a malay weapon the parang nabur is also a malay weapon that was also used by the seadayaks so not (home made)from borneo
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Old 23rd February 2006, 07:13 AM   #11
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Ben,

By "Malay weapon" do you also include the Philippines as a possible place of origin?
I fully agree that it doesn't look like made in Borneo.
But I don't think it looks like made in other parts of Indonesia or Malaysia either.

Michael
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Old 11th November 2006, 12:52 AM   #12
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This just arrived today
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Old 11th November 2006, 05:49 PM   #13
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I have been confused by these puppies. However, Erik Farrow has this to say about this type being Visayan:

http://www.eriksedge.com/PH189.html
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Old 11th November 2006, 06:38 PM   #14
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I agree with Erik that these swords are made in the Philippines, but looking at the blade profile... is it Visayan? I do not believe that Erik makes a direct reference to the sword being Visayan.

If indeed it is Visayan, there should be many other examples of this blade type in the Visayan region... I have not seen any. The closest examples to this sword are Parang Naburs. I think the sword presents a bit of a puzzle.
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Old 12th November 2006, 06:15 PM   #15
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YOu have a good point BSMStar (like the on top of my head ). I don't know. I would like to see more evidence on this.
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Old 12th November 2006, 06:47 PM   #16
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The discussion of this sword actually continued in this thread.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...p?t=1792&page=3

Batangas was brought up as a probable origin of this, by Stone, incorrect labeled sword.

Michael
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Old 13th November 2006, 05:56 PM   #17
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Hi Michael,

(You have an awesome collection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I think if you compare the sword that Spunjer had, with mine and yours... you will see some similarities, but many more differences.

Spunjer's blade is very different (not the same profile at all).

The hilts look similar (like the ears and the rings on the grip)... but you compare them in detail, the hilts are very different by design (not just due to variation in manufacture). Yours and mine are different because of normal variation, but they are the same hilt (minus the D-guard and clam shell - the only variation of this sword that I have seen) Our swords have the same blade profile.

Spunjer's sword may be a cousin (or 2nd gen), but it is not the same sword.
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Old 13th November 2006, 06:19 PM   #18
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Hi BSM Star,

I agree that the blade and hilt of Spunjer's bolo is a bit different but I still think they are from around the same area.
It also seems like Ian thinks so in the other thread?
After this thread started I found another one of those bolos and that scabbard (haven't had time to fix it yet) also seems to be of Filipino origin.
Unfortunately I don't know enough to be sure from what region.

Michael
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Old 13th November 2006, 06:33 PM   #19
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VVV,

how sure are you that the scabbard is original with the sword? i.e., does it fit well? i'm assuming if you remove the white rattan (j/k) you could clearly see the form where the blade rest.

if this is original to the blade, well, another bleeping monkey wrench...
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Old 13th November 2006, 06:53 PM   #20
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Spunjer,

You are correct that the scabbard isn't original.
I removed the rubber rattan and checked.
Sorry for posting it before I had time to go through it properly.

Where do you think this bolo comes from?
No scabbard, with a resembling hilt made of rhino(!?).

Michael
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Old 13th November 2006, 09:48 PM   #21
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Hello Michael,

Quote:
Where do you think this bolo comes from?
No scabbard, with a resembling hilt made of rhino(!?).

These nice hilts seem to be all related regardless of some stylistic differences.

Does the horn show the rhino microstructure? I'd have guessed at aged carabao from the pics but you can verify with a magnifying glass...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 14th November 2006, 04:50 AM   #22
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michael,

it's really hard to say where it's from. i could guess, but what's the point? this class of swords has been the brown belt sudoku version of the filipino sundangs, or indos for that matter. the jury is still out on this one. like kai said; u sure it's rhino???
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Old 14th November 2006, 07:24 AM   #23
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Hi Kai and Ron,

I only do blackbelt Sudoku boards so that's why I would like to give it a try.
Riddles are supposed to be solved.

So far two forum members has mailed me that they think the last one could be from Bicol.
The only thing I am sure on is that it isn't from Borneo, an area where I feel more comfortable having an opinion about the different sword variations. And that none of the bolos in this thread are Malay Parang Nabur.

On the rhino hilt I don't have the bolo around at the moment.
But Fred, who most of you probably know, described it as rhino when he sold it to me.
I assume he has some experience in evaluating this?
But I also found it strange and will have a closer look at it later this week.
I suggest we ignore that part and focus on the hilt and blade.
Does anyone have any bolo from Bicol that resembles this one?

Michael
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Old 14th November 2006, 12:48 PM   #24
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Michael,

The second "Parang Nabur" that you posted... does the hilt appear to have been replaced? The "style" seems a bit different.
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Old 14th November 2006, 01:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSMStar
Michael,

The second "Parang Nabur" that you posted... does the hilt appear to have been replaced? The "style" seems a bit different.


Not what I can remember.
I don't have the bolo here at the moment.
Only the pictures of it in my computer.
What specifically do you want me to check?

Michael
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Old 14th November 2006, 01:51 PM   #26
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Michael:

I was hoping that some of our Visayan experts would comment on swords of this style, but they have been quiet for some time and it appears that they're not going to reply to your questions.

A Visayan attribution seems unlikely for a couple of reasons. The bat or dog head pommel is not a typical Visayan form (at least not in this representation) -- more commonly seen in S. Luzon (e.g., Batangas). The full length, peened over tang is an unusual construction in the Visayas -- more typical of Luzon. The short octagonal ferrule is more typical of Batangas than Visayas, although that is not a strong distinction IMO. The V-ground blade (rather than a chisel-grind) is unusual in the Visayas -- more common in Luzon and elsewhere. The scabbard has some general features of a Visayan scabbarb, especially from the eastern areas -- the drilled-through "hanger" being common -- but again the style and carving are dissimilar from most Visayan work.

Erik has suggested a Batangas origin. I think S. Luzon is a good guess, and Batangas is one area that deserves consideration. Another is the Bicol region, and it seems that some suggestions about that area have also been offered to you.

If this sword is from the Philippines, and I think it is, then S. Luzon would fit most closely. Batangas or Bicol? I can't take it any further than that I'm afraid. But Visayas seems unlikely.

Ian.
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Old 14th November 2006, 02:45 PM   #27
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Ian,

Thanks for your comments and sharing your experience!

Michael
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Old 14th November 2006, 05:30 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Not what I can remember.
I don't have the bolo here at the moment.
Only the pictures of it in my computer.
What specifically do you want me to check?

Michael


Michael,

Carefully look at your original sword (D-guard clam shell) and my sword... at the hilts. Also look at the one like yours in the Madrid Museum. The details are amazingly similar.

Look at how they are peened.

Look at the second example that you posted... the detail of the face are a bit more crude (it does not show the same level of craftsmanship)... the peen appears to be a redo. I have seen "modern" Luzon peens that are done the same way, but none of the "original" examples (of this type sword) look like this. But I can not hold the sword in my hand to tell for 100% certain. It is possible that the original hilt was damaged and replaced... which is not a real big deal if true. It is still a great sword!

Also check to see, what is the hilt made from (it should be horn)...
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Old 18th November 2006, 09:06 PM   #29
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Can we agree to call this sword a Parang Nabur?

This is how the Spanish identified it in the Museum...
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Old 18th November 2006, 09:12 PM   #30
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To me this is the "bat-head parang nabur" of whose origins I've wondered. I once saw a chrome plated one marked "Phillipines"; not much help, I guess. It doesn't always have a full length tang, or something verrrry similar to it does not have a full length tang.
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