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Old 7th January 2018, 08:29 PM   #1
ashkenaz
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Default Traditional Filipino adaptation of a "Karambit"

Another amateur question of mine.

I've read on some websites, including references to some reddit pages and some pages on fmatalk that there existed a historical Filipino (specifically Ilonggo) adaptation and variant of the Indonesian Karambit. And that depending on dialect, in can either be called a Lugod, Luhok or Lihok. It was a fish gutting knife as some say, and that the ring pommel was some sort of string instead and whatnot.

I am interested in researching for this specific type of historical Filipino karambit variant in the form of antique samples of such Filipino karambits I'm looking for, but all I see on the internet are merely text descriptive references of what it supposedly looks like and are all inconsistent. Some say that the Filipino historical karambit is supposedly shorter and stubbier than the original Indonesian one, others say it is longer while others say that it is double edged and that's what makes it different, I have no idea. Everytime I attempt to research for a picture of an antique historical Filipino karambit variant, I see pictures of literal Indonesian Karambits or pictures of modern looking made Karambits.

If such a "historical" Filipino karambit existed, I doubt it would look exactly the same generally at least.

I'm wondering if any of you good sirs have heard of such a thing.

Many say it's real, that it existed, including a respected Ilonggo FMA practitioner I once read into some time ago who studies Filipino blades said that it exists. But I see no antiques of such things ever even uploaded on the internet for me to see, to the point I'm starting to doubt in the back of my mind, that Filipinos probably never had a Karambit counterpart history, not just modern FMA adapting Karambit recently, because I can't find the evidence to it.

The verdict is, did a traditional Filipino Karambit ever exist? And if it did, what is the difference between the Filipino Karambit and the original Indonesian ones?

Another Amateur question,
so sorry

Thanks
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Old 8th January 2018, 10:38 PM   #2
Battara
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This is one case where I have never heard of such a critter, until recently. I am wondering if this is a recent urban legend............
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Old 9th January 2018, 12:34 AM   #3
kai
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Hello!

Quote:
Another amateur question of mine.

No worries, I like your critical thinking!


Quote:
I've read on some websites, including references to some reddit pages and some pages on fmatalk that there existed a historical Filipino (specifically Ilonggo) adaptation and variant of the Indonesian Karambit. And that depending on dialect, in can either be called a Lugod, Luhok or Lihok. It was a fish gutting knife as some say, and that the ring pommel was some sort of string instead and whatnot.

A double edged would make a rather bad fish gutting knife...
And even with tuna-sized fish specimens, folks across the globe seem to do well with multipurpose knives rather than having to resort to spending more money on specialized blades!


Quote:
I am interested in researching for this specific type of historical Filipino karambit variant in the form of antique samples of such Filipino karambits I'm looking for, but all I see on the internet are merely text descriptive references of what it supposedly looks like and are all inconsistent.

I also noticed the apparent absence of genuinely antique examples from the whole region. However, I have not systematically searched for Filipino examples though. I believe we need to consult Lorenz for an update on the current status regarding this issue!


Quote:
Some say that the Filipino historical karambit is supposedly shorter and stubbier than the original Indonesian one, others say it is longer while others say that it is double edged and that's what makes it different, I have no idea. Everytime I attempt to research for a picture of an antique historical Filipino karambit variant, I see pictures of literal Indonesian Karambits or pictures of modern looking made Karambits.

Short & stubby sounds more like the modern examples from the Malay Peninsula.


Quote:
Many say it's real, that it existed, including a respected Ilonggo FMA practitioner I once read into some time ago who studies Filipino blades said that it exists. But I see no antiques of such things ever even uploaded on the internet for me to see, to the point I'm starting to doubt in the back of my mind, that Filipinos probably never had a Karambit counterpart history, not just modern FMA adapting Karambit recently, because I can't find the evidence to it.

One would expect the Moro to have enough Malay contacts (including fairly intense interaction with Sumatran communities) to know about these blades. However, even from here I don't know of any antique example.

Even sickle-like blades don't seem to be that common. There sure are a few agricultural blades like the tuba knives which could also be utilized in a pinch.


Quote:
The verdict is, did a traditional Filipino Karambit ever exist? And if it did, what is the difference between the Filipino Karambit and the original Indonesian ones?

I for one will wait for an antique to surface before worrying too much about contemporary MA lore. It should also be noted that, at least in the US, there was quite some interaction between Silat and FMA...

There is one caveat though: While pieces may get passed on within families, traditional FMA practitioners I've been in contact with seem to despise of collecting old blades, especially from fallen foes or family alike. Such a notion will not really help to preserve cultural artefacts.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 9th January 2018, 03:24 AM   #4
Robert
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Possibly longer, maybe that might explain this piece. Original thread located here; http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18717
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Old 9th January 2018, 07:34 PM   #5
Ian
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I have never seen an old karambit in the Philippines, and I have asked several long time dealers in Manila if they have seen one. The answer has always been that the karambit is not a Filipino weapon--it is only used in Sumatra, Java and the Celebes.

I don't have an example of the modern ones that can occasionally be found in the Philippines. I do have this old one that I think is from Java--collected in Jakarta in 1968. It has rather a nice little pamor blade.

Ian.

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Old 10th January 2018, 06:39 PM   #6
ashkenaz
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Default Quotes from other websites that speak of the Lugod / Filipino Karambit

I just researched back, and culled up some quotes from other websites and forums like fmatalk that discussed the existence of the Lugod (Filipino Karambit) and everyone seriously seems to act like this thing is real. They even discussed dialectical variations of the name to the blade, and that this thing, to the Ilonggos can be called a "Lagut" according to their Tuhons.

One user even supposedly posted a picture of the "Lugod" comparing its differences with that of the Indonesian Karambit, but the post was like from 2008 and now, so the attached image link is all but broken and outdated and cannot be seen anymore. And given that these users are all but totally inactive, I can never get my full answer from them. So my theory is that there is an antique Lugod, we just can't get a hold on its data.

This is the user "R. Mike Snow" who is a traditionalist in Filipino blades in fmatalk, and is somewhat a critic of commercial blades.

Here's his statements about it. Every quote is in BOLD and quotation marks just to make it clear.

"We do not have Karambit techniques, that is not an Ilonggo weapon. We have the Lugod, longer and thinner than the traditional Karambit that originated in Sumatra." - Mike

"As for the Lugod, I have seen them all the way up to about a foot in length. Almost resembling a Karit(Arit)." - Mike

"Hi Brock, I can get you a Lugod from Talisay Negros, but it won't be until April. God Bless, Mike" - Mike

"Hi Brock, I guess it really depends on what you are lokiing for? If you want a real Lugod or Ginunting, they only come from Negros or Panay." - Mike

"It was only going to run you about 30 bucks to get an authentic Ilonngo Lugod from the mountians right next door to Talisay, Negros Occidental. - Mike

5. "As you can see, none of them are fluted and the Lugod is used out of respect for the Ilonggo culture instead of the now commonly used Karambits." - Mike

Now this is the part where it gets interesting.

"Here is the highly detailed comparison photo of a Lugod(top) and Karambit(bottom) that I have benn promising for months." - Mike

In the bolded quote above, Mike supposedly posts a picture of an antique Ilonggo Lugod against a Karambit in a comparison photo attached into his thread post, but unfortunately, the post is from 2008 and the picture is like link broken and can no longer be seen, in that the uploaded photo's data is outdated and forever lost. Given that, I probably lost my chance at ever retrieving lost information about the blade on the internet possible.

There's also another post from someone else.

"There's a picture of a lugod here:" - Arnisador

This quote supposedly links to a photo of a real Lugod as it claims, but the link is broken and leads to some ad website.

Here's someone else talking about alternate names of the Lugod.

8. "My dear friend Mike Snow. This is from Karl B in Boston. With all respect to you sir, there are Korambit tactics in Dekiti. Its just a matter of translating what we do with other weapons. You are correct that the Korambit is not an illongo weapon, but the lagut (spelling?) is...its the Filipino word for Korambit. I myself have trained with Tuhon Nene with a lagut and for me a most basic principal of Dekiti is that anything can be used as a weapon with our methods. "

Mike snow then replies.

9. "Nice to hear from you man.....long time since we have spoken. I too have been told in the past that Lagut was the Filipine/Philippine word for Karambit but GT Nene said that he prefered that I use Lugod. Not sure, but it almost seems like Hiligaynon has more than one sub diatlct or if certain words have just changed over time. Like "Binagon" in Panay, GT spells it as "Binonggong" in Negros and then Binagon became Ginunting." - Mike

If you don't mind, I can link to you the thread where the discussion on the Filipino Lugod takes place for some analysis.

This one quote from reddit, is from someone else entirely, is in a reply to someone asking if Karambits exist in FMA.

"The native filipino name for it (Karambit), or a similar type of knife, is Lihok (or transliteration variant thereof).
Can't remember the Malaysian name for it but there is one as well.
Doubtless it's the Pencak Silat currents that has brought it into popularity though."


Someone then replies.

"I've heard it referred to as lugod in hiligaynon/illongo."

And his answer again.

"You are absolutely correct! I should have stated "one of the native names" because as with anything Filipino I suspect the name could vary greatly between different regions and dialects.
(However, I would not be surprised if "lihok" and "lugod" are essentially the same word as the pronunciation can be made to sound very alike with the h and g pronounced far back.)"


Users from fmatalk who do know quite a bit about Filipino blades and martial arts seem to be under the doubtless established dichotomy that the Lugod/Lagut/Lihok is a seriously REAL Filipino adapted Karambit, specifically by the Ilonggos of Negros and that they are respectable Ilonggo blades alongside a Ginunting or Binangon and is one of the few websites this so called "Lugod" is ever referenced where everyone seems to understand that it exists for some reason where almost nowhere else does.

Now with respect for you guys and those at fmatalk, I'm not saying that the Lugod is totally real or not, I'm incredibly confused, because on the other hand, if the Lugod is real, why is it that so little people actually know about it, and even you guys, who know so deep about Filipino blades are not aware of its concept even. Either the Lugod is so rare that only a literal small handful of people ever know about it or that it is a recent vintage adaptation of an Indonesian Karambit which might explain why you might not know about this.

But all in all, I hope we can solve this odd mystery. Baby steps though.

Thanks,
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Old 10th January 2018, 10:26 PM   #7
Battara
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In the past 40 years or so, Indonesian pincat silat has infiltrated the Philippines and has even mixed into Moro martial arts.

Thus I am not surprised that later practitioners think that the korambit is indigenous in spite of evidence and older traditional guros don't even mention it.
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