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Old 11th November 2017, 04:03 PM   #1
drac2k
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Default Unusual Panabas

I got lucky recently and I was able to acquire this panabas and add it to my small but growing panabai(?), collection.It measures 32" long, the blade is 20" by 3.5" at it's widest and 3/8" thick at the base of the spine.
What makes it unusual for me is the inserted metal bar near the tip, the inlay and the centipede or serpent carved in the blade on both sides.
It is very heavy and sharp and try as I could I have been unable to find a similar example.
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:10 PM   #2
Ian
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Hi Drac:

Most unusual. I've not seen another one like it. Good find.

I'm assuming the yellow metal fittings are brass or some other copper alloy. For such a heavy blade, the rings fixing it to the hilt would need to be especially strong--usually these are substantial iron mounts--so not likely to be a gold alloy IMO. No doubt a piece for someone of prestige.

Congratulations on finding it.

Ian.
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Ian,
It was just pure luck that I got it; only one picture and of poor quality.I knew that it could have been a thin, later made blade , purely for ceremony.
I believe the rings on the handle to be made of brass, with the interior rings made of copper, so that there is 5.5" of continuous metal holding the blade in, as you observed to give it adequate support.
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Old 12th November 2017, 01:57 AM   #4
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Yes great find! Like Ian, I've never seen this form before, and I agree that it is datu class.

Nice brass chasing and copper. The chasing work could be Maguindanao.

Also the engraving looks to be a centipede.
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Old 12th November 2017, 02:33 PM   #5
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Agree with Battara. The depiction is of the Philippine centipede (Scolopendra spinosissima) a poisonous form known to cause occasional deaths from its venomous bite. It can grow up to 25 cm in length.

I came across a few when traveling in the Philippines. Always important to shake out the shoes and clothing!

Ian.

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Old 12th November 2017, 03:00 PM   #6
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I think you guys are spot on with the centipede angle, especially when one sees that picture that you have provided and on this forum, we have seen the reoccurring theme of this insect from time to time.My question is what importance does the centipede play in the Philippine culture; is it based on mythology, etc.?I don't think that it would be my first choice, 2nd or hundredth to embellish a weapon with; especially going into battle when the guy next to me has got an eagle and the other guy might have a viper and they ask me what do I have on my blade and I answer a centipede.
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Old 12th November 2017, 05:42 PM   #7
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That's one of the finest panabas I have ever seen...congrats! It is surely datu class. Great craftsmanship from top to bottom!
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Old 12th November 2017, 05:54 PM   #8
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Thanks !!!
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Old 12th November 2017, 10:04 PM   #9
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What a beauty! Congrats!!
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Old 13th November 2017, 03:51 AM   #10
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Thanks again !!!
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Old 13th November 2017, 04:27 PM   #11
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Hi Drac:

I've known some folks who have been bitten by these things. They say it is extremely painful. One equated it to a sting by a scorpion (which are also present in the Philippines. In terms of envenomation, I think this guy is roughly equivalent to a bite from a black widow spider--probably won't kill an adult human but has killed children. They are definitely to be avoided.

Here is an extract from Facebook about the use of the centipede in tattoos. I don't know if it is true, but the material is interesting.
"Gayaman (centipede) and centipede-like tattoo designs are found in the Philippines and throughout the Pacific. In the Philippines the centipede was an omen animal. According to anthropologist Dr. Lars Krutak it is called, "bulbulun di mangayaw" in Kalinga, meaning "friend of the headhunters." Its appearance signified the presence of an ancestor spirits. (anito) In other contexts the centipede was a microcosm of a war party traveling single-file, or a chain of people and ancestors. The design may have originally been derived from the image of rows of people paddling a canoe. In Samoa the centipede tattoo was called "atualoa" commonly translated as the "long god", but the word loa could also mean, "from a long time since." In other words atualoa could mean god(s) from a long time since. This would correlate with the interpretations from the Philippines. Centipede designs were also found among the Chamorro people of Guam where it was tattooed vertically up the calves and shins as well as up the forearms. In ancient Tahiti, centipede-like tattoos similar to the designs seen here were tattooed in arches over the hips. The centipede tattoo was also found in Melanesia. It was truly a pan-Pacific tattoo, evidence of our common ancestry." (here)
Ian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
I think you guys are spot on with the centipede angle, especially when one sees that picture that you have provided and on this forum, we have seen the reoccurring theme of this insect from time to time.My question is what importance does the centipede play in the Philippine culture; is it based on mythology, etc.?I don't think that it would be my first choice, 2nd or hundredth to embellish a weapon with; especially going into battle when the guy next to me has got an eagle and the other guy might have a viper and they ask me what do I have on my blade and I answer a centipede.

Last edited by Ian : 13th November 2017 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 13th November 2017, 07:52 PM   #12
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Thanks, Ian, you nailed it! Now I can carry my panabas with pride.
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Old 14th November 2017, 04:09 AM   #13
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And if you every put in the trash can, please let me know...
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Old 14th November 2017, 04:43 AM   #14
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Will do.
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Old 14th November 2017, 05:31 AM   #15
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That is one absolutely beautiful panabas you have acquired Drak How about a group photo of your panabas family so we can all drool all over our keyboards? Great score !!!

Best,
Robert
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Old 14th November 2017, 11:54 AM   #16
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Thanks, Ian; that certainly is my panabas with the most "bling." I think I have posted them on this forum already, but I'll try to get them together for a group photo in the next couple of days.
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Old 14th November 2017, 05:16 PM   #17
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wow one of the most beatiful panabas have ever seen!! This is a piece to a museum!!!
Congratulations
Carlos
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Old 14th November 2017, 06:02 PM   #18
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Thanks !!!
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Old 14th November 2017, 06:25 PM   #19
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You mean to my small museum, right?
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Old 14th November 2017, 07:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
You mean to my small museum, right?


ir to my museum!
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