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Old 30th May 2019, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Origin of these Kampilans? Moro or Bagobo?

Okay, so I found two Kampilan pieces from this site:

That claimed these two Kampilans are of BAGOBO origin. The Mindanao Tribe that is Animist/Pagan. But is it true?

I'm not so good in the judgy department when it comes to recognizing Kampilan variation origin, but would anyone happen to be able to determine if these really are Bagobo Kampilans?

Here are the pics.
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Old 30th May 2019, 04:55 PM   #2
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Yes the other Lumad Mindanao tribes like the T'boli and Bagobo did make their versions of the kampilan.

In this case, the top one appears to me to be actually T'boli and not Bagobo.

The bottom one could also be T'boli, though this one is a little harder to tell if it is T'boli or Bagobo for me.

Thanks for posting these 2 great examples. Maraming Salamat!
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Old 11th June 2019, 09:32 AM   #3
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Hello ashkenaz.

Thanks for posting these two interesting Lumad kampilan. They are firsts for me in terms of ornamentation. As Battara has noted, the top one looks T'boli--although not entirely typical T'boli work. The all brass (?) grip is certainly seen on the usual T'boli style of small kampilan (which they call a tok). The hilt on the top example above is much plainer and simpler in design than usual, but nevertheless consistent with T'boli work. The remaining section of the hilt similates the shape of a Moro kampilan and is clearly not traditional T'boli work.

The scabbard on this one is consistent with T'boli design, being rectangular in shape and having several wide strips of metal binding the two wooden pieces together. The carvings--comprising various orientations of straight lines, triangles, etc--are also characteristic of T'boli carving.

The second example is more puzzling. It's not really typical of either T'boli or Bagobo work. The little metal cylinders protruding from the hilt are often filled with glass beads or hair, and these hilt decorations are very much a Bagobo feature. However, nothing much else says Bagobo about the hilt, or for that matter the rest of this piece. The carvings on the scabbard include some "chip" work at the throat which is quite common on T'boli scabbards but less so on Bagobo. The flowing vegetative designs on the rest of the scabbard are more suggestive of Moro work than Lumad, while that rounded scabbard toe is unusual for either Bagobo or T'boli scabbards.

As far as the two blades are concerned, I think we can safely exclude these from Moro manufacture. a constant feature of Moro kampilan blades is that the bottom of the curved spike at the end of the blade meets the downward slanted section precisely in the middle of the blade. If one draws a midline of the blade from hilt to its end, the line will always pass through that intersection on a Moro kampilan. The two blades shown here do not observe that geometry (the junction point is more toward the spine of the blade than the edge), which makes me think they are of Lumad manufacture. The T'boli probably make the best small kampilan blades for their tok, but there is trade with other groups.

Truth be told, we really don't know a whole lot about Lumad weapons and knives, and the subtle variations in style and decoration that exist between the various groups. There seems to be more known about their textiles than their edged weapons.


Last edited by Ian : 11th June 2019 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 11th June 2019, 01:19 PM   #4
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Is it just the picture or are they really short?
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Old 11th June 2019, 04:07 PM   #5
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Mike I would say they are small. Lumad kampilan are smaller than their Moro cousins.
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