Ethnographic Arms & Armour

Ethnographic Arms & Armour (
-   Ethnographic Weapons (
-   -   Small panabas; woman's or child's ? (

drac2k 23rd December 2013 03:55 AM

Small panabas; woman's or child's ?
12 Attachment(s)
I recently purchased a panabas at an auction that didn't give any dimensions; when it arrived, I was surprised at it's size.Overall length 22",the blade measures approx. 11" long, 2.5" at it's widest and 3/16" thick at the base.
It appears to be a hand forged blade, very sharp and it has some "age," to it ;had this been a heavy panabas like my others, I wouldn't have thought twice about.It still could be a formidable weapon.
Did the make these for women or even children or could it be a "tourist," piece?

CharlesS 23rd December 2013 12:46 PM

This is no tourist piece. The quality seems typical to late 19th century and early 20th century types and styles that have likely been in service far longer than that. It looks every bit a quality piece, even retaining its lime(?) fill. The patina speaks for itself.

A panabas is every bit as much a practical tool as it is a weapon. It is a classic chopper and used for cutting through brush, jungle etc.

It only makes sense that there are varying sizes for various jobs. I have seen ones far smaller than this one and in different styles.

Personally, I think far too much is made of the panabas being a beheader/executioner's axe. While it may have been called into duty for that once and a while, I think its primary purpose was as a tool, than a weapon. Panabases are relatively prevalent though they differ dramatically in style and quality....were they all intended as beheaders, there would be no Moros left to fight in the Moro Wars!!! :eek:

drac2k 23rd December 2013 02:01 PM

Thanks for the information ; interesting that there are panabas this small and smaller.Can I infer that the smaller panabas were primarily used for agriculture, and the larger ones for war ?

CharlesS 23rd December 2013 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by drac2k
Thanks for the information ; interesting that there are panabas this small and smaller.Can I infer that the smaller panabas were primarily used for agriculture, and the larger ones for war ?

I think we can assume(dangerous word!) that. But, that said, I have seen many shorter ones that were plenty battle worthy.

Sajen 23rd December 2013 06:50 PM

Nice panabas! Still look for one and would be happy with this nice example! :)



drac2k 23rd December 2013 09:35 PM

10 Attachment(s)
Thanks. If one waits long enough, usually, what one wishes for will come along ;I bet yours is just around the corner.I was fortunate enough to get a beautiful Moro spear at the same auction.8 feet long with a razor sharp 14 " head(possibly twist core ??), super straight.It is rare to get a spear in that long, as they were usually "barrack cut," for easier transportation back home.

CharlesS 23rd December 2013 11:01 PM

Superb budiak! So nice to find at this length!

I think I am seeing twist core and bet it will be, but sometimes it's a devil of a time trying to bring it out.

Is that a brass sleeve, or silver that has tarnished?? Looks like there may even be a coat of varnish on it....if so I would highly recommend getting that off and polishing the silver as it once will be an even more striking piece!

So you have already had QUITE a nice Christmas!!! :) Congrats!!

(You may want to consider a separate thread on this so it will show up in topic searches.)

drac2k 24th December 2013 02:15 AM

Thanks, I got lucky.I'm pretty sure it's brass. I wiped the grit and grim off the collar with an oily cloth ; I'm afraid to use a polish, because if it is brass , it will get that real shiny new look and I like a little patina.

Battara 24th December 2013 07:31 PM

On your panabas, it could also be a warrior's piece. Smaller panabas were used in warfare and not so much as beheading swords. Nice one.

On your budiak, great piece! Looks like it has some Chinese influence in the sleeve. You may want to polish just a very small section to see if it is silver or brass. If silver it needs to be polished. If brass, then what you did was find.

Looks you've had a great Christmas........

drac2k 24th December 2013 08:54 PM

Thanks, I'll give it a try. Christmas has been great;as a matter of fact, I think Santa got the wrong house because I haven't been that good !I've been on a great lucky spree and hope to share pictures later on with the forum.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my fellow collectors, both brothers and sisters !

Battara 24th December 2013 11:11 PM

After another look, I'm leaning toward it being brass or white metal - both have almost identical patina like this.

drac2k 1st January 2014 08:51 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Sometimes it is nice to be wrong.
As I was carrying the Christmas ornaments upstairs, that we removed from the tree, I kept looking at the spear.My space is the room over the garage and the stairs leading to the kitchen, where I am stopped cold; my wife laughed outright at the theory of "manifest destiny," and my being allowed to expand my collection into the rest of the house! Imagine that ! As I kept looking at that wonderful spear, I thought, maybe I was wrong and it could have a silver collar;after my chores were done, I grabbed the lance and hit it with a bit of silver polishing paste and here are the results.
Just sometimes, it is good to be wrong;thank you for the good advice and the push to find out.

Sajen 1st January 2014 09:52 PM

Beautiful! :) :eek:

CharlesS 2nd January 2014 11:49 AM

Looks like it really turned out nicely. Congrats!

drac2k 2nd January 2014 12:55 PM

Thanks,I got lucky;even a broken clock is right twice a day !

CharlesS 2nd January 2014 03:49 PM

My the way, though these naga motifs on Moro spear ferrules are certainly seen, they are heavily Indonesian influenced. The quality and detail of this one is about as good as it yet again, congrats!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:43 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.