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Old 28th November 2017, 02:39 AM   #1
Marbel
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Default Unique Tboli / Maguindanao sword

Hello,

Would enjoy all input and insights on this interesting piece.

Provenance dates this piece to the early 20th century. The Tboli hilt is beautifully done, with great detail and a bold, gold coloration. On the sword, much of the guard has been removed, there is a small repair on the upper portion of the fully waved blade. Itís very sharp and shows lovely pattern welding. Not sure what to make of the triangular piece attached to the blade - a similar piece is on both sides. Since the guard is basically removed, Iím assuming it was converted and owned by a Tboli.

Thank you in advance for your comments.
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Old 29th November 2017, 12:40 AM   #2
Battara
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I agree with you. This is a repurposed Maguindanao blade with a T'boli hilt.

There was often a lot of trade between these areas, and there are several examples like this. This particular example also seems to have a large forging flaw or crack opening, making this unusable for Maguindanao fighting. Perhaps it was deemed usable enough for a T'boli or it is more a status piece for a T'boli. The blade looks to be from the last quarter of the 1800s.

I also noticed that the silver covering at the base of the blade has a crude repousse "magic square" and other talismanic symbols, placed at a later date.

Is there a scabbard with it?
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Old 29th November 2017, 01:18 AM   #3
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Hello Battara,

No scabbard with this one, Iím afraid. Can you say anything more about the silver triangle placed on the blade? Have you seen this before? Purpose? Meaning of the symbols? I donít recognize the symbols on the plates as being Tboli.

Thank you.
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Old 29th November 2017, 01:26 AM   #4
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I think the silver triangle is to mimic to an extant the triangular base section of some kris blades.

The symbols: I only recognize the top one which is Moro and could be representing the "magic square" used in many Southeast Asian Muslim weapons and scabbards. These symbols are talismanic in nature and are to spiritually protect the user of the weapon. Thus at least the "square" is not a T'boli symbol.
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Old 29th November 2017, 01:45 AM   #5
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For the triangular part, here is an example:
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Old 29th November 2017, 01:46 AM   #6
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Here are some magic square examples drawn:
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Old 29th November 2017, 01:51 AM   #7
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Now here are some magic square examples on Moro kris:
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Old 29th November 2017, 01:54 AM   #8
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Whoa.

Youíre an encyclopedia, man. Well done. Go ahead and drop the mic.


Thanks!
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Old 29th November 2017, 11:54 AM   #9
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After looking at the off-center way the hilt is mounted to the blade I am thinking that it is more likely that the silver plates were originally added to cover a tang repair than to imitate the triangular base sections seen on other kris blades.

Best,
Robert
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Old 29th November 2017, 11:42 PM   #10
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Oh I completely agree with you Robert. Good point and I think extremely likely.
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Old 8th December 2017, 07:42 PM   #11
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Robert and Battara,

Do you think the T'boli remounted hilt looks off center because the gangya has been removed? When I look at my own kris examples, it seems that mounting the hilt to a regular kris without its gangya would make the hilt appear to be asymmetrical. The integral T'boli guard peeping over the short side of the upper blade accentuates the asymmetry IMO.

Ian.
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Old 8th December 2017, 09:14 PM   #12
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Oh yes, Ian, think this quite likely.
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