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Old 14th November 2008, 08:40 PM   #31
Tim Simmons
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I dare to question the value of discussion about the Kampilan in this thread. I am not trying to be rude or upset anybody but I do have doubts about the information especially as no body has noted that the bottom central weapon in this picture is African.
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Old 14th November 2008, 08:58 PM   #32
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Tim,

Here is another African example but what does that have to do with the discussion of kampilan?
Isn't it obvious that some curator made a mistake, like they often do.
And don't we all recognise which weapons that don't belong in the picture and which ones that do?

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Old 14th November 2008, 09:08 PM   #33
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Exactly!!! how trust worthy is the legacy left to us. Especially when it is 4 or more centuries ago. Museums are the depository of what we assume to be current knowledge. Which is cearly in question in some areas.
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Old 15th November 2008, 12:28 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
I dare to question the value of discussion about the Kampilan in this thread. I am not trying to be rude or upset anybody but I do have doubts about the information especially as no body has noted that the bottom central weapon in this picture is African.

Hi Tim,

There were no further comments because of "kampilan fatigue" perhaps?

Actually when those museum pics were first posted in PI Weaponry in Spanish Museums, forumites already commented that some items are misplaced (e.g., Battara's comment on African weapons being there).

And I've also been leafing through the old threads on kampilan in the archives and indeed, the kampilan discussions go a long way back. So perhaps some are not that interested anymore in reciting the same old stuff!

But me, I'm not tired yet because I've just started

Best regards to all.
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Old 15th November 2008, 08:16 AM   #35
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Tim,

I agree with you that there is a risk of misinformation if you only use one museum, one book or whatever as the only source of information. But if you combine it with other sources it's possible to discover the misinformation and find out which information that's credible.
Isn't the above mentioned procedure rather basic for all of us?

Michael
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Old 15th November 2008, 12:53 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Tim,

I agree with you that there is a risk of misinformation if you only use one museum, one book or whatever as the only source of information. But if you combine it with other sources it's possible to discover the misinformation and find out which information that's credible.
Isn't the above mentioned procedure rather basic for all of us?

Michael

Michael,

Indeed the process is like that of "triangulation" in locating a radio transmission, using several detectors that are located differently.

Each detector being imperfect will have its own margin of error. But when you combine the results of several detectors, the error of one will be lopped off by the other/s. And the result you'll get will be much closer to reality.

Also museum curators are jacks of all trades but masters of none. And this is understandable given the huge amount of items of all kind in their inventory ...
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Old 17th November 2008, 02:54 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hi Bill,
Some guy from my home town is now running an exhibition on Fernão Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellanvs) biography and his earth circum navigation.
One of the illustrations shows the Portuguese captain being eliminated by the Lapu Lapu chieftain, after being weakened by an arrow in his leg, among other wounds.
I wonder what is the age of this picture (painting?), and from where he did get it. He doesn't remember it either. But he promised to search his stuff and tell me.
I think this is a sugestive depiction of the weapon used by the native leader ... at least in the author's imagination.
Fernando

Hi Fernando,

I often see that painting in various publications here in Manila, but I'm still to find out who the painter is.

On a related matter, I'm now reading this book published by the local National Historical Institute, entitled Fernando Oliveira: Viagem de Fernao Magalhaes [The Voyage of Ferdinand Magellan].

Oliveira is a Portuguese linguist and maritime expert who between 1550 and 1560 interviewed one of the survivors of Magellan's crew who reached the Philippines.

The only existing original manuscript of the interview is kept in a library in Leiden, Holland. The copy of the first page and the two pages from where the quote below was lifted, are attached below.

The manuscript's French annotated edition was authored by Pierre Valiere in 1976. Then the transliteration and the English translation was done by Peter Schreurs in 2002.

I was looking for a description of the weapons Lapulapu and his men used against Magellan but Oliveira's interviewee didn't say anything about it:
"And so it came to pass that on the next Sunday, through the goodness and grace of God, the king [Humabon, of Cebu] and his wife the queen with some of the leading citizens were converted and asked for baptism.

During the next week, most of the inhabitants of the kingdom [in Cebu] were also converted. And because Ferdinand Magellan considered this a good opportunity for the conversion of the other kings, he informed them that they must either become Christians or obey the authority of the newly converted king. If they refused, he would make war on them and burn their villages and their palm plantations which served them for their sustenance.

Two of them pledged obedience to the Christian king when hearing what damage he might do to them. But the third [Lapulapu] let him know that he would do nothing of what he had ordered him to do and that if he would wage war on him he would defend himself.

When Ferdinand Magellan heard that answer, he thought that he might yet be able to change his mind by inflicting some damage on him, and he decided to go ashore with some men to attack his territory [in Mactan Island, where Lapulapu ruled]. He did so indeed and landed with sixty arquebus soldiers and started to burn huts and felling palm trees.

Then the king [Lapulapu] and many of the native came rushing out to prevent it and started to fight with them. But as long as our men still had gunpowder, the natives did not come near them, but when their powder was consumed, they started to surround them from all sides. And because they were incomparably greater in number, they were also much stronger.

Our men, unable to defend themselves or get away, fought to exhaustion, and some of them were killed, among them also Ferdinand Magellan.

Before when he was still alive, he had refused that his friend the king [Humabon] come to help him with some men whom the latter held ready just for that purpose. He had said that the Christians, with the help of God, were strong enough to beat all that scum.

But as soon as he had been killed, the king came to help the others who had been badly wounded. He ordered that they be brought to the boats because he was afraid that the whole rest of this enemies would unite and make them prisoners ..."

The words in brackets are my own annotations.

The other person who recounted the events was the Genoese pilot, Juan Bautista, who was with Magellan also. If anybody has the text of his account, then that might provide another lead on whether it was indeed the kampilan that was also used against Magellan.
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Old 17th November 2008, 03:54 PM   #38
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THERE ARE MANY MISTAKES IN AMONG THE GOOD WRITTEN REFRENCE INFORMATION AS WELL AS DISPLAYS IN MUSEUMS. WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS USE LOGIC AND OUR KNOWLEGE TO SORT THRU ALL OF IT AND DISCOUNT THAT WHICH DOES NOT FIT AND COMPILE THAT INFORMATION THAT DOES APPLY. THERE ARE MANY PICTURES AS WELL AS LOTS OF GOOD INFORMATION AND IDEAS ON VARIOUS SWORDS HERE IN THE FORUM POSTS.
PERHAPS SOMEONE WOULD LIKE TO GO THRU IT ALL AND SEPARATE THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF AND PURSUE SOME OF THE GOOD IDEAS TO SEE IF NEW INFORMATION COULD BE GAINED IN THAT WAY. THE INFORMATION COULD BE CONDENSED AND THEN FORM THE CORE FOR FURTHER STUDY.
AS TO WHAT THE SWORD LOOKED LIKE THAT KILLED MAGELLAN THOUGH AN INTERESTING TOPIC I FEAR IT WILL NOT SHED MUCH LIGHT ON THE KAMPILIAN AS IT WILL DEAL PRIMARILY WITH THE DEATH OF THE GREAT MAN FIRST AND THE ONE WHO DISPATCHED HIM SECOND THE SWORD WILL RECEIVE LITTLE ATTENTION.
A FRIEND OF MINE IS EXPERIMENTING WITH A NEW TYPE OF MACHINE THAT IS ABLE TO DETERMINE AGE AND ESTABLISH PROVENANCE WITHOUT DAMAGEING THE OBJECT. HE IS CURRENTLY WORKING WITH POTTERY ,STONE AND GOLD ARTEFACTS AS THERE IS A LOT OF GOOD ARCHELOGICAL INFORMATION ESPECIALLY ON THE POTTERY. PERHAPS WHEN IT IS ESTABLISHED TO WORK WELL AND THE BENCHMARKS ARE SET UP IT MAY BE POSSIBLE TO GAIN MORE ACCURATE INFORMATION ON SWORDS AS WELL AS OTHER ITEMS.

I SUSPECT THE KAMPILIAN EVOLVED FROM A SHORTER WEAPON SUCH AS THE MANDAU WHICH IS PRESENT IN BORNEO OR THE SIMULAR SWORDS USED BY THE TIBOLI AND BAGOBO IN MINDANAO. THERE ARE PROBABLY OTHER SIMULAR WEAPONS FROM MALAYSIA, INDIA, INDONESIA, ECT. THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHOPPING STYLE OF BLADE MAY HAVE ORIGINALLY CAME IN FROM ANOTHER AREA DURING THE VARIOUS WAVES OF IMIGRATION. BUT MOST EXAMPLES OF THE LARGE FORM KAMPILIAN WE RECOGNIZE AS A WAR SWORD SEEM TO BE MOSTLY IN THE PHILIPPINES AND BORNEO AREA. FOR THAT REASON I SUSPECT THE LARGE WAR SWORD KAMPILIAN ORIGINATED IN THAT AREA. GIVEN THE LARGER SIZE OF MORO WEAPONS (PANABAS, KRIS, KAMPILIAN) IN RELATION TO MOST OTHERS IN THE AREA IT IS LIKELY THEY HAD A ROLE IN ITS DEVELOPMENT.
THE MURUT SWORD IS ALSO LARGE BUT I SUSPECT THE FORM WAS INFLUENCED FROM ARABIC OR INDIAN SWORDS AS THE BLADE IS SO MUCH DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TRIBES IN BORNEO SO WILL DISCOUNT IT FROM THIS DISCUSSION. THE PISO PODANG ALSO FALLES INTO THIS CATEGORY WITH THE PAKAYUN BLADES, BOTH LIKELY WERE TRADE ITEMS ORIGINALLY.
AS TO THE FANG DAGGER AND THE TWO MOROCCAN DAGGERS YEP WE RECOGNIZED THEM BUT AS THE DISCUSSION IS ON KAMPILIAN I IGNORED THE MISTAKE AS IT IS NOT UNUSUAL TO SEE SUCH MISTAKES IN MUSEUMS.

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Old 17th November 2008, 04:26 PM   #39
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Hi Lorenz

Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
Hi Fernando,
I often see that painting in various publications here in Manila, but I'm still to find out who the painter is ...

This is the reason i didn't come back here with any helping info. The exhibition author confessed he picked the picture from a website and also ignores who the painter was.


Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz

Oliveira is a Portuguese linguist and maritime expert who between 1550 and 1560 interviewed one of the survivors of Magellan's crew who reached the Philippines.

The only existing original manuscript of the interview is kept in a library in Leiden, Holland. The copy of the first page and the two pages from where the quote below was lifted, are attached below..



Fascinating stuff ... quite readable, even having being handwritten five centuries ago.

Fernando
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Old 18th November 2008, 01:46 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hi Lorenz
... Fascinating stuff ... quite readable, even having being handwritten five centuries ago.

Hi Fernando,

Yes, going over these firsthand accounts is fascinating all right.

Here's more quotes from the book I mentioned, yet still no clue as to whether anything resembling a kampilan as we know it figured in the battle:
"Here we have arrived at the fatal day: that on which Magellan meets with death. After the refusal of the other kings to obey the Christian king and pay the required tribute to Magellan consisting of three goats, three pigs, and three sacks of rice, the latter organizes a punitive expedition on 27 April 1521 (some authors say 28 April).


"Let us listen to the Genoese pilot:
“In the morning of 28 April 1521, Ferdinand Magellan ordered three sloops to be armed with some sixty men. These went to the island where they came face to face with three or four hundred men who fought so furiously that Ferdinand Magellan was killed together with six of his men”.

"Gomara gives more details:
“Magellan was killed when he had been hit in the face by an arrow after he had lost his helmet which had fallen off after being hit by stones and lances. He was also wounded in the legs, and after falling down he was pierced by a lance.”

"Herrera is even more precise:
“Magellan had wished to attack immediately, but the king [Humabon], his friend, advised him to wait for daybreak, because he knew that they [Lapulapu’s men] had been digging several trenches wherein they had they had planted sharpened sticks and he thought that they should not take such a risk. When daylight had come, some of the men were ordered to remain behind in the sloops to guard them, after which he took off with 55 of his men. Upon arriving at the village, they found no people, but as soon when they had started to put fire to the houses, a group of Indios attacked them on one side, and while they were fighting, they were also attacked on the other flank by a second group of natives. The Spaniards were now split up in to groups, but they resisted the enemies with such force that they succeeded in closing ranks again. They continued fighting during a great part of the day, till the musketeers had no more powder and the crossbowmen no more arrows. Magellan was hit by a rock which knocked off his helmet. Then he was also wounded in one leg and hit by more rocks, and fell down. Lying on the ground he was pierced by one of the long bamboo lances which the natives used with great courage. That’s how the great captain died because he was too courageous and had tempted fate far too much. His death was a great blow to his men. Cristopher Rabelo, the captain of the Victoria, died also with six of his companions. This killing occurred on 27 April of that year wherein the Philippines were discovered for the first time.

"Jeronimo Osorio betrays a Portuguese viewpoint when giving Magellan a peculiar post mortem:
“During that expedition, he encountered a lot of dangers, because the Spanish captains and the soldiers wanted to get rid of him and plotted his death, on which occasion some of these men were executed, and this happened finally also to him. He had helped a certain local leader who had asked for it, but after a fight he was treacherously killed by that man on an island named Mata. That’s how one traitor punished another because of his treachery”

"On the other hand, the words of Pigafetta reflect a real affection for Magellan:
“I hope that Your Illuster Lordship will see to it that the fame of such a courageous and noble captain will not be effaced in our times. Among his other virtues, he was more firm than anybody else ever was in the middle of the greatest hardships and before important occasions. He endured hunger better than all the others, and he understood sea charts and navigation more accurately than any man in the world. This was clearly seen, for no other had so much natural talent nor the boldness and expertise to circumnavigate the world as he had almost done. But his magnificent plan ended for him in this battle.

"Gaspar Correia, like Jeronimo Osorio, writes that Magellan was killed during the banquet on 1 May 1521, but we know this to be mistaken."

I think I should buy the modern translation of Pigafetta's book, as he appears to be the most astute observer among those that with Magallanes at the time ... for sure we can find there more info as to what edged weapons the native Filipinos carried then ...

PS - For instance this is how Pigafetta described one Mindanao rajah he met:

"And he [Rajah Calambu, of what is now Agusan del Norte province in Mindanao island] was the most handsome person we saw among those peoples. He had very black hair to his shoulders, with a silk cloth on his head, and two large gold rings hanging from his ears. He wore a cotton cloth, embroidered with silk, which covered him from his waist to his knees. At his side he had a dagger, with a long handle, and all of gold, the sheath of which was of carved wood. Withal he wore on his person perfumes of storax and benzoin. He was tawny and painted all over. His island is called Butuan and Calaghan."

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Old 18th November 2008, 02:02 AM   #41
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Here's more speculation on my part ...

In all of the eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Mactan, all mentioned about lances and bamboo spears. But it was only Pigafetta who mentioned a scimitar/cutlass-looking sword as having been used. And the mention of that sword specifically referred to Magellan being inflicted with a blow from one, just before he died.

Thus it looks to me that the use of swords among the Visayans then was not prevalent (at least in Lapulapu's men).

Perhaps this would be because metals and steel were hard to come by.

Which would then mean that only Lapulapu and some of the nobles would have had swords.

Hence, I cannot help but conclude that it must have been Lapulapu himself (or one of his royalties) who personally inflicted one of the fatal blows to Magellan.

Now as to whether it was a kampilan or a kris (per WH Scott's Barangay), we still have to establish that ...
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Old 18th November 2008, 11:55 PM   #42
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Great input, Lorenz

I can see the legitimacy in doubting whether the sword/s used to strike Fernão Magalhães was/were a kampilan or a keris.
I had a look to the battle original narration by Piagafetta:

Quando visteno questo tutti andorono addosso a lui: uno con un gran terciado (che è como una scimitarra, ma più grosso) , li dette una ferita nella gamba sinistra, per la quale cascò col volto innanzi. Subito li furono addosso con lancie de ferro e de canna e con quelli sui terciadi, fin che lo specchio, il lume, el conforto e la vera guida nostra ammazzarono.

Interpretation is not so evident ... translation makes it worse (tradutore, traditore). Cutlass as being a curved blade (Alfanje-Alfange), versus terciado, a term which seems to have a castillian origin and, apart from the subjective (?) quotation from Piagafetta, is considered to be a short, broad straight sword (quoting Real Armeria and in general), therefore a sword with the shape of a gladius (if i may). In such case Piagafetta would not have been so "technical" in describing this weapon, by placing it between such a straight piece and a scimitar, a curved sword, again with a Castillian influenced name. On the other hand, could it be that, being envolved with Spaniards (and Portuguese) he tended to describe the weapons typology with an Iberian terminology?
Also peculiar is that, he expresses "un gran terciado, which is like a scimitar but larger", whereas the first should by all means be shorter than the late. Terciado (Terçado in Portuguese) derives from tercio (terço) meanning "third", reflecting that this weapon is one third shorter than a current (mark) sword.
If you find all the above to be nonsense, just please skip it over .
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Old 19th November 2008, 12:43 AM   #43
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Could I suggest that the peculiar slashing and chopping technique used with the kampilan may , (when described in action), due to the motions employed in use ; have been seen as a scimitar when in actuality it was not ?





Heat of the moment and all .
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Old 19th November 2008, 06:03 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
... AS TO WHAT THE SWORD LOOKED LIKE THAT KILLED MAGELLAN THOUGH AN INTERESTING TOPIC I FEAR IT WILL NOT SHED MUCH LIGHT ON THE KAMPILIAN AS IT WILL DEAL PRIMARILY WITH THE DEATH OF THE GREAT MAN FIRST AND THE ONE WHO DISPATCHED HIM SECOND THE SWORD WILL RECEIVE LITTLE ATTENTION ... I SUSPECT THE KAMPILIAN EVOLVED FROM A SHORTER WEAPON SUCH AS THE MANDAU WHICH IS PRESENT IN BORNEO OR THE SIMULAR SWORDS USED BY THE TIBOLI AND BAGOBO IN MINDANAO. THERE ARE PROBABLY OTHER SIMULAR WEAPONS FROM MALAYSIA, INDIA, INDONESIA, ECT. THE INFLUENCE OF THE CHOPPING STYLE OF BLADE MAY HAVE ORIGINALLY CAME IN FROM ANOTHER AREA DURING THE VARIOUS WAVES OF IMIGRATION. BUT MOST EXAMPLES OF THE LARGE FORM KAMPILIAN WE RECOGNIZE AS A WAR SWORD SEEM TO BE MOSTLY IN THE PHILIPPINES AND BORNEO AREA.

Thanks Vandoo for your usual informative and thought-provoking comments

Indeed on the one hand these blades tend to have a standard form.

Yet on the other hand, the form tends to be dynamic as the sword is continually made more responsive to its new environment (which environment happened to be dynamic also).

On the type/s of sword used by Lapulapu and his men against Magallanes, I have to agree that it will be difficult to definitively establish that.

But let's see if the indirect ways (e.g., studying what the prehispanic blades of the Visayans were in general, etc.) can at least bring us to something very plausible.

PS - On the idea of somebody collating all the previous discussions on the kampilan, it occurred to me already that maybe I can draft the kampilan FAQ. But problem is, my job gets in the way!

Anyway, it's in my to-do list. But if somebody can beat me to it, then that's even better.
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Old 19th November 2008, 07:49 AM   #45
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I believe that a visit to the Southwestern University in Cebu will provide a glimpse of the Visayan weapons during the pre-hispanic times.

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Old 20th November 2008, 01:37 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonoy Tan
I believe that a visit to the Southwestern University in Cebu will provide a glimpse of the Visayan weapons during the pre-hispanic times.

Thanks, and in a Filipino martial arts forum, they listed down two more universities to visit (re prehispanic Philippine blades):
a). The best place to look first would be the Cebu Normal University Museum, and the person you want to talk to is Dr. Romola 'Moling' Ouano Sebellan

b). Also visit Southwestern University, and their Aznar Museum.

c). And visit University of San Carlos, Cebuano Studies Center.

Cebu, here I come
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Old 20th November 2008, 03:00 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando

Quando visteno questo tutti andorono addosso a lui: uno con un gran terciado (che è como una scimitarra, ma più grosso) , li dette una ferita nella gamba sinistra, per la quale cascò col volto innanzi. Subito li furono addosso con lancie de ferro e de canna e con quelli sui terciadi, fin che lo specchio, il lume, el conforto e la vera guida nostra ammazzarono.

Interpretation is not so evident ... translation makes it worse (tradutore, traditore). Cutlass as being a curved blade (Alfanje-Alfange), versus terciado, a term which seems to have a castillian origin and, apart from the subjective (?) quotation from Piagafetta, is considered to be a short, broad straight sword (quoting Real Armeria and in general), therefore a sword with the shape of a gladius (if i may). In such case Piagafetta would not have been so "technical" in describing this weapon, by placing it between such a straight piece and a scimitar, a curved sword, again with a Castillian influenced name. On the other hand, could it be that, being envolved with Spaniards (and Portuguese) he tended to describe the weapons typology with an Iberian terminology?

Also peculiar is that, he expresses "un gran terciado, which is like a scimitar but larger", whereas the first should by all means be shorter than the late. Terciado (Terçado in Portuguese) derives from tercio (terço) meanning "third", reflecting that this weapon is one third shorter than a current (mark) sword.

Thanks Fernando, for taking us to the original language used! and your elaboration thereof.

I find it most helpful and I'm sure the others will find it like so as well.

Am not familiar with cutlasses and scimitars, but the little that I know of them is that they look like per attachment below.

Now on how to reconcile Pigafetta's descriptions of the sword used against Fernão Magalhães, can you please comment again based on the drawings below of scimitar-looking Tausug kampilans, as reproduced in The Sulu Zone, 1768-1898 (1975) by James Francis Warren?

We all know that Moros regard Lapulapu as a Tausug (a Moro group based in Sulu islands in Mindanao). We find this view for instance in the Wikipedia article on Lapulapu.

On the other hand, Lapulapu could have been an animist, like all ethnic Filpinos before the islands' Islamization in the 13th/14th century and Christianization in the 16th century.

But let's assume for the moment that Lapulapu was a Tausug (and perhaps that was also the reason why Rajah Humabon [the king Magalhães was able to befriend] and Lapulapu were not seeing eye to eye, i.e., on the further presumption that Humabon's tribe was an animist).

If Lapulapu was a Muslim Tausug, then couldn't it be that he and his nobles were armed with such curved kampilans, such that Pigafetta noted them as resembling a scimitar but only larger?

But on why Pigafetta used the term terciado [commonly translated as "cutlass"] to describe such a big sword still escapes me.

Perhaps in alluding to a terciado Pigafetta was not referring to the sword's size (hence he said "a large cutlass [terciado]"), but on some other feature of the terciado. What could it/they be?

PS -

Rick, what you mentioned is also possible of course. Given Warren's reference to highly-curved kampilans of the Sulu warriors, I'm now wondering whether the comparison with a scimitar was in fact on track. Hmm
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Old 24th November 2008, 12:06 PM   #48
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It is not unlikely that the Visayans were using some weapons similar to Borneo. The peoples of these two places had strong historical ties, as well as blood relations. Visayans lived in Borneo, and vice-versa. In the middle of the 15th century (this is before Magellan’s time) the king of Brunei (Sultan Mohammed) was Visayan, based on Hose and McDougall’s “The Pagan Tribes of Borneo.” His great grand nephew, Makoda Ragah (Sultan Bulkiah or Bolkeiah), a famous character in Bornean history is of mixed Visayan, Arab and Chinese blood. The peoples of Visaya and Borneo travelled extensively throughout the Southeast Asian archipelago; the Visayans even invaded a portion of Formosa (modern Taiwan), from where such Visayan chiefs of Formosa raided the Chinese coasts during the 12th century - but that’s another story 

By the way, the Tausug migrated from Northeastern Mindanao (in the area of Butuan), and later occupied the Sulu archipelago where they are now rooted. This movement (c.a. 1100 A.D.) occurred before the introduction of Islam into the country (c.a.1400 A.D.).
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Old 30th November 2008, 04:22 PM   #49
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Quote:
Please refer to the various images below. What is of particular interest to me is the sword the Tagalog noble is holding (the one with a zoomed-in image).

Given that at the time (pre-hispanic) Manila is governed by the Muslim Rajah Sulayman [he ruled over the present Tondo district], Rajah Lakandula, and Rajah Matanda [the latter two ruled over what is now the Malate and Ermita districts I think], the attire and weapons of the original Manilenos then would have Moro influence.

Now back to that sword with a bifurcated hilt and a seeming crescent shaped crossguard, doesn't that look like a kampilan?

What do you all think?

Thanks!


Very interesting thread; always interesting to see the generally-considered-distinctive weapons of the famous/"great" cultures placed in a proper context vis-a-vis their neighbors.
In reference to the sword in the picture with the T-shaped pommel; it more closely resembles to me "Machete Philipiana" (spelling? forum thread "bolo with wide blade and t-grip for identification") in shape, in size (it does not protrude beyond the wearer's body, I think), and in the brass-covered grip. Interesting early depinction of one of those, no?

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Old 30th November 2008, 04:37 PM   #50
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Of some interest (or confusion) are the words cutlass and scimitar. Cutlass is a very broad European sword category, also known as hangers, etc. This was the style of sword favored by/permitted to commoners. Examples I've seen are generally rather light and thin, certainly by SE Asian standards (of course, kampilan [per se] is a notably light thin sword by SE Asian standards, with a thin cutting zone rather like unto parang lading, in my limitted experience....). the term might be applied to any large knife/short sword, especially if single edged. Scimitar is an European word and seems to reflect popular,often false, European conceptions of foreign, particularly Islamic, swords. Persian shamshirs (thought to be the origin of the term) are light slashing swords with narrow tips. Though the concept no doubt owes much to the Tartaric yelman sabres, it seems to me that the swords (other than European falchions) that most closely reflect the concept are, in fact, Oceanic SE Asian. In any event, both terms certainly can be rather confusing, even to the point of uselessness, and this is of course just the sort of thing one encounters in old writings......I babble disorganisedly and that's the kind of thing one encounters in new writings
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Old 3rd December 2008, 01:28 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hyle
Very interesting thread; always interesting to see the generally-considered-distinctive weapons of the famous/"great" cultures placed in a proper context vis-a-vis their neighbors.
In reference to the sword in the picture with the T-shaped pommel; it more closely resembles to me "Machete Philipiana" (spelling? forum thread "bolo with wide blade and t-grip for identification") in shape, in size (it does not protrude beyond the wearer's body, I think), and in the brass-covered grip. Interesting early depinction of one of those, no?

Hello Tom,

Thank you for the comments.

Yes, it's beginning to look like the sheathed sword shown in the Boxer Codex is a machete of Indonesian ancestry.

As you made the above post, coincidentally I was looking at the Sumatran swords at Mytribalworld and Orientalarms. And said swords also look like the T-shaped hilted bolo discussed in Bolo with wide blade and t-grip for identification.

And given what Nonoy shared about the close ties the Philippine islands' had with Borneo, then it's really very plausible that the Philippine blade shown in the Boxer Codex has Indonesian roots.

That'a a very interesting thread by the way, on the T-grip thread. Learned a lot again by going over old posts. Thanks.
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Old 3rd December 2008, 02:12 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom hyle
In any event, both terms certainly can be rather confusing, even to the point of uselessness, and this is of course just the sort of thing one encounters in old writings...

Thanks again Tom for the comments.

I guess that's what happens when somebody is confronted with a totally foreign object for the first time (i.e., in the case of Pigafetta first seeing a new type of sword as wielded by Lapulapu and his men, and in a very stressful condition at that). Words fail and so would the accurate recollection of the object.

It is amusing for instance to go over the depictions of medieval travelers of mammals they never saw before. In the images below, how many can you recognize? You'll be surprised as to what some of those drawings are referring to!

Most of the pics came from this website.

Thus I agree that Pigafetta might just had been hallucinating

Yet on the other hand, he may have seen this Visayan sword (the one Spunjer is selling, below). And thus the 'scimitar' description might be on track after all??
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Old 3rd December 2008, 02:21 PM   #53
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For those feeling lazy checking out the answers to the medieval drawings quiz here are the answers: (A) mammoth; (B) tiger; (C) hippopotamus; (D) elephant; (E) hippopotamus; (F) giraffe; (G) giraffe; (H) elephant; (I) rhino; and (J) wild ass.
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Old 3rd December 2008, 02:56 PM   #54
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The "T-shaped hilted bolo discussed in Bolo with wide blade and t-grip" in an earlier post is an Ilongot bolo.

In the "Origin of the Kalinga Axe" thread, we can see a Panabas - not from Southern Philippines, but Northern Luzon (i.e. Ilongot).

The Borneoan influence (directly or indirectly) on the Ilongot, I believe has been largely ignored by historians.

I will look into it and share my findings in this forum.
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Old 3rd December 2008, 11:24 PM   #55
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Hi Lorenz
Quote:
Originally Posted by migueldiaz
... can you please comment again based on the drawings below of scimitar-looking Tausug kampilans ...


Indeed the earlier you pick on Kampilan examples the more they look like scimitars. The one you posted is perhaps a specimen latyer to the discussed period, with its knuckle guard provision.
On the other hand, the terçado remains a bit ambiguous, concerning its early form. Not that it is seldom mentioned; i have found a zillion quotations, in the works of Portuguese chronists, Castanheda, João de Barros, Fernão Medes Pinto. You have mentions on short terçados, naked terçados, adorned terçados with golden scabbards, even the ones carried by pages for their masters (like the King of Cambay), as also carried by women; all of these mostly belonging to the "Moors", but never a description on their form. Exception for the travels of Ibn Batuta (1346) who, when in the Maldives and according to the Portuguese translator (1840), saw the instructions of some Gadija being written in palm leaves (ola) with a curved iron, similar to a terçado. At a certain point i think the term was even used genericaly for sword ... a curved sword ... basicaly Moor. And maybe Pigafetta was used to see the the large version of it ... larger than the scimitar versions he had seen. Or he was hot minded with the event, which would be no surprise.
If i am not wrong, somebody mentioned the Moluco islands in a prior post.
I am inserting here an interesting picture, for general apreciation.
Fernando

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Old 8th December 2008, 05:11 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonoy Tan
he Borneoan influence (directly or indirectly) on the Ilongot, I believe has been largely ignored by historians.

Thanks Nonoy for sharing your findings on the Bornean connection of ancient Philippines.

And I agree with your supposition that even the Ilongots' and the Cordillerans' blades must had been influenced also by that link to Borneo.

I'm sure you've also read about this incident told by Pigafetta -- in their skirmish with a flotilla of praus [must be similar to the one below, taken from The Sulu Zone] in Borneo, they captured the captain-general of the Bornean king. And it turned out that the captain-general was the son of the king of Luzon, who at the time of his capture he just came from sacking a great (Bornean) city, which other king is the enemy of the king the Luzon prince is serving.

And said Luzon prince was to be married soon to a daughter of the Bornean king. So the ties with Borneo was intimate all right.

Also, "Luzon" or "Pozon", and that would be Manila in particular, happened to be the hub of activities in Luzon island. Thus from Manila, the Bornean influence must have easily trickled down to the neighboring areas.

So yes, the Bornean connection is definitely something that needs to be amplified.
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Old 8th December 2008, 05:39 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Indeed the earlier you pick on Kampilan examples the more they look like scimitars. The one you posted is perhaps a specimen latyer to the discussed period, with its knuckle guard provision. On the other hand, the terçado remains a bit ambiguous, concerning its early form. Not that it is seldom mentioned; i have found a zillion quotations, ...

Thanks Fernando for the additional info!

Still on trying to find out where Pigafetta was coming from when he described that large terçado of the ethnic Filipinos, I found the pics below of Spanish blades in Osprey's The Conquistadores.

The blades in the Battle of Mactan is truly an interesting "east meets west" kind of encounter
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Old 8th December 2008, 05:44 AM   #58
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Still from Osprey's The Conquistadores, images of 16th century Spanish soldiers ...
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Old 8th December 2008, 05:47 AM   #59
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Finally, some color plates from the same book.

I'm almost done reading Pigafetta's full account of the blades he saw throughout their landfalls in what are now Philippines and Malaysia (Borneo).

I'll post what I gathered as soon as my boss stops bothering me about some inconsequential reports that are due soon
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Old 8th December 2008, 05:33 PM   #60
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A BIT MORE SPECULATION
IN MANY PICTURES OF MORO DATAU YOU SEE ONE OR MORE SWORD BEARERS WHO HAVE A KAMPILIAN THEY ARE NEAR THE DATAU IN ALL THE PICTURES I HAVE SEEN. I SUSPECT THAT IN BATTLE THESE SWORDBEARERS WOULD BE RIGHT BESIDE AND AROUND THE DATU. IN THE PICTURES THERE IS USUALLY THE DATUS FAMILY OR OTHER DATU AND PEOPLE OF IMPORTANCE SO THE SWORDBEARER IS AT A LITTLE DISTANCE.
IN A BATTLE WITH VERY EXPERIENCED FIGHTING MEN WITH ARMOR AND LONG SWORDS SUCH AS MAGELLENS MEN IT WOULD BE SMARTER AND SAFER TO FIGHT THEM WITH SPEARS AND SHIELDS AND NOT TO GET IN TOO CLOSE. WHEN MAGELLAN WAS DOWN AND SEPARATED FROM HIS WARRIORS IT WAS SAFE TO APROACH AND FINISH HIM OFF.
PERHAPS LAPULAPU THEN CALLED HIS SWORDBEARER AND TOOK THE KAMPILIAN TO FINISH HIM OFF. IT MAY SHOW HONOR TO KILL A WORTHY FOE WITH THE KAMPILIAN RATHER THAN JUST TO STICK HIM FULL OF SPEARS OR IT MIGHT BE TO SHOW THE DATU'S POWER TO EXECUTE HIS ENEMY?. IT IS ALSO LIKELY THEY TOOK HIS HEAD SO A KAMPILIAN WOULD ALSO SERVE WELL FOR THAT. IS THERE ANY MENTION OF THEM TAKEING HIS HEAD OR IF MAGELLANS ENTIRE BODY WAS RECOVERED.?
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