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Old 1st November 2018, 03:24 PM   #1
xasterix
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Default Budbud on Moro Weapons

Hello! I've always wondered what material is used as budbud (the coils usually found on the hilts of Moro swords). There seems to be at least 3 that I"m aware of: woven rattan, a black rope, and a gray, wire-like rope. I've also noticed that in some weapons, the hilt was prepped in anticipation of budbud (a deeper cavity was carved into the hilt to accommodate budbud, while in other pieces, budbud was obviously an add-on the original design; it thickened the hilt.

Would be most grateful if anyone can identify and illustrate good budbud for use on modern Moro weapon hilts.

Thanks very much in advance!
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Old 2nd November 2018, 02:40 PM   #2
Ian
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Hello xasterix:

Thank you for this question about Moro hilts. I have to admit I've not heard the term "budbud" before. Perhaps you could tell us where you found it.

If I understand your question correctly, you are referring to the narrow braided strips that can be found on the hilts of some Moro barung and kris (and occasionally other Moro edged weapons). If so, then the materials contributing to these strips seems to be quite varied in my experience. Plaited rattan, braided cord of various fibrous materials (hemp, piña, waxed cotton cord, etc.) or metallic wires (made from copper/brass, iron/steel, silver or other precious metals) come to mind.

It's my impression that these strips were much less common on Moro weapons before the late 19th C.

Ian.
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Old 2nd November 2018, 04:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hello xasterix:

Thank you for this question about Moro hilts. I have to admit I've not heard the term "budbud" before. Perhaps you could tell us where you found it.

If I understand your question correctly, you are referring to the narrow braided strips that can be found on the hilts of some Moro barung and kris (and occasionally other Moro edged weapons). If so, then the materials contributing to these strips seems to be quite varied in my experience. Plaited rattan, braided cord of various fibrous materials (hemp, piña, waxed cotton cord, etc.) or metallic wires (made from copper/brass, iron/steel, silver or other precious metals) come to mind.

It's my impression that these strips were much less common on Moro weapons before the late 19th C.

Ian.


Thanks much for this info sir! I got it from sir Lorenz Lasco's infomercial posted on his FilHistory page. Attaching the pic where I got the term from. As a follow-up question- which budbud do you like best on your barungs?


Moderator's Warning: The site referenced in this response (filhistory.com) has been flagged as problematic by Google. Please exercise caution if you choose to enter the site as it may be malicious. Ian

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Last edited by Ian : 3rd November 2018 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 02:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Thank you for this question about Moro hilts. I have to admit I've not heard the term "budbud" before. Perhaps you could tell us where you found it.

Ian, you can find this word amongst a list of terms that Miguel brought to our attention some time ago. I am uncertain of his source for this list of terms and definitions.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=budbud
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Old 3rd November 2018, 02:26 AM   #5
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The term can be found in a list of terms on this site as well.
http://atkinson-swords.com/nomencla...pine-terms.html
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Old 3rd November 2018, 02:44 AM   #6
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The term is also mentioned in this Wikipedia page on the culture of Basilan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Basilan

"An example of Tausug woodwork is the puhan (wooden handle) of bladed weapons which may be simple or decorated with gold or silver wires, strings, and rings. For the barong, the handle is wrapped in cord and metal at the far end, and carved and polished at the upper part. At the end of the grip is a protrusion carved with ukkil designs. The handle of the kalis, which the Tausug terms as daganan kalis, can also be profusely decorated, sometimes with mother-of-pearl. Taguban (scabbards) are beautifully carved and are covered with budbud (fine rattan). Other woodworks include kitchen utensils and furniture items like beds, chests, and wardrobes (Szanton 1973:51–54)."
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Old 3rd November 2018, 01:57 PM   #7
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David:

Thank you for noting your results for the term budbud in searches here and more widely on the internet. I had also performed the same searches and came up with similar results. The lists provided by both Miguel Diaz and the Atkinson web site are very similar and appear to come from the same primary source, namely the Tausug-English Dictionary (Kabtangan iban maana) by Irene Hassan et al. (1995).

The last attribution from Wikipedia states that budbud means "rattan." From my own research, the most common Tausug term for rattan is uway. (Languages of the Southern Gateway, The Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1979).

My reason for asking xasterix where he came across the term budbud was to see whether he had a source other than Hassan et al. (or someone quoting that source). I have had reason in the past to question some of the terms and definitions offered by Hassan et al. Looking at the list of terms provided on the Atkinson web site, for example, turns up some strange definitions. More importantly, when I consulted my Philippines' contacts a number of year ago about the accuracy of Hassan et al, they informed me that there were "many errors."

I was initially unclear what xasterix meant by budbud, although he seemed to be describing the rings of plaited material found on the hilts of some barung and kris. Whether these are called budbud in the native language is probably not particularly important because we now have a picture of what he was referring to, and they are indeed the plaited rings that Hassan et al. refer to as "shank collars." Again, this is not a term that I associate with edged weapons, but rather a plumbing term in relation to beer kegs.

But let's not get sidetracked into a pointless name game. Xasterix is asking what style of plaited rings do people prefer?

I don't really have a particular preference. Silver looks good with a silver punto, but that would be on higher end pieces. Waxed black cord is cheaper, easy to find, looks good, and is gentler on the palm and fingers than plaited wire.

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Old 3rd November 2018, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
But let's not get sidetracked into a pointless name game. Xasterix is asking what style of plaited rings do people prefer?

Well Ian, i didn't think i was sidetracking the conversation. You stated that you had never heard the term before. I was merely pointing out that it has appeared in this context both on our own site as well as in other places on the internet and in scholarly papers and literature on the area.
I also have no particular preference. It all depends upon the rest of the piece which material looks and seems most appropriate to me.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 09:38 PM   #9
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David,

I think the names of various parts of the blade and hilt of barung are interesting discussion points, and thanks again for those sites you found and linked above. It's easy to get into the names, however, and forget the original question that was asked. My comment was directed to what might happen here rather than what had been said already. Naming discussions have proceeded sometimes to the point of sidetracking other threads. I didn't want that to happen to our new member xanterix who is asking for opinions about barung hilts.

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Old 5th November 2018, 04:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
David,

I think the names of various parts of the blade and hilt of barung are interesting discussion points, and thanks again for those sites you found and linked above. It's easy to get into the names, however, and forget the original question that was asked. My comment was directed to what might happen here rather than what had been said already. Naming discussions have proceeded sometimes to the point of sidetracking other threads. I didn't want that to happen to our new member xanterix who is asking for opinions about barung hilts.

Ian


Thanks very much for the inputs, Ian and David! Actually I was curious because I've recently handled a Yakan barung made in Basilan as well as a Lubian barung made in Zamboanga [pics attached for reference; the Lubian is the one with the fancier hilt and shell triangles]. I compared their budbud to the 'feel' of migueldiaz / sir Lorenz Lasco's antique barung [pic also attached for reference], and I've come to the conclusion that the modern barungs are have much less budbud rings than the antiques. The antiques had more than the customary three rings; there were also thick portions wherein the budbud seemed to have been reinforced or thickened. This drives me to the following follow-up questions:

1. Does more-than-usual budbud on an antique blade mean that it is more likely to have been used in actual battle? While I have only used barungs for training (I'm a student of Mindanao silat with focus on Moro weaponry) and backyard cutting, I've noticed that the antiques- with their prolific amount of budbud- provide better grip, better 'feel', and I daresay even better handling balance, as compared to the modern ones which, even though they may be lighter, are more prone to grip slippage. I believe antique barungs with prolific budbud means that they were meant / most likely used in battle, as compared to other barungs that have just the usual three stripes.

2. Did the presence of budbud on Moro weapons influence the amount of cloth / grip enhancers of weaponry from Visayas? Of particular interest is the Pulahanes talibong's rattan weaving (this is also reflected in modern pinuti) that's strategically located on the upper half of the grip (or that's what I think, since that's its orientation on my antique). I'm attaching a picture of my talibong for reference.

3. Could budbud have been used to compensate for a hilt that was too small for a particular wielder? Budbud effectively increases the surface area of a hilt, helping the wielder acquire a snug fit, especially if the wielder's hands are larger than usual.
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Old 6th November 2018, 01:19 PM   #11
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Hi xanterix:

Thanks for raising these interesting additional questions. I don't know what the function(s) of the braided strips may have been in each case, but it seems that they could have served several purposes, including the following.
1. You mentioned earlier that these might have some function in retaining the ferrule (punto) on the hilt and stabilizing the attachment of the hilt to the tang. I believe I have seen examples where that is the case, especially on 20th C bangkung from Palawan and on 20th C. swords from the Lake Lanao region. That may also be true for Basilan/Zamboanga weapons of the same era, but I've seen fewer of those and don't have a clear sense of what is happening there.

2. Adding thickness or a roughened texture to facilitate gripping the handle. I think this is a very important function of these strips on the barung intended primarily for use rather than show. Blood on a grip turns into a slippery mess very quickly, and that could be a fatal problem in a fight. Sweat has the same effect. I have found the strips made of hemp or waxed cord to be good grip enhancers and to protect somewhat against the effects of sweat making the handle slippery. Strips made of braided metal wire, on the other hand, make for a very uncomfortable grip IMHO and I have cut my hand on several occasions trying to use barung with these style of hilts. I now wear a glove when testing barung with wire strips on the hilt.

3. As a decorative element. Especially on higher end barung with silver punto, a decorative function for the braided silver strips seems likely. Of course these weapons with silver adornment are still very functional, but precious metals usually indicate someone of importance who may have others who can do the fighting for him.
I've looked back through my collection of barung and found that nearly all of those for which I feel comfortable to attribute a 19th C. origin do not have these strips—those that do are higher end pieces with silver wire strips. It is possible that some strips on other old barung got lost over time. The hemp and waxed cotton strips show up on what I think are very late 19th C or 20th C pieces, but I don't discern any real difference in the number of strips over time.

My sample size is not huge (about 25–30 barung of various ages), and dating them is not an exact science, however I offer my observations at face value and without wishing to over-generalize.

Regards,

Ian
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Old 6th November 2018, 03:21 PM   #12
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Thanks very much for your inputs Ian! I shall ponder over these. You have fully satisfied my curiosity.
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