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Old 15th February 2021, 09:43 AM   #27
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,688

There also was the notion that the panabas might be related to a family of bent blades from Borneo (buko, latok, pandat, sadap, tangkin). However, these exhibit pretty different handling characteristics and construction details; moreover, these were dedicated war swords while the panabas is widely acknowledged to have agrarian roots.

I don't think there is a direct link or a particular association between the two. The panabas as a weapon is thought to be derived from an agricultural tool known as a tabas--the two coexist today. This more basic tool seems to be an item found in various parts of Asia, being basically a long curved axe for chopping. I have seen similar tools in northern India and mainland SE Asia (e.g., Thai pra). It is possible that "stick swords" in the Malay world were derived from similar agricultural implements in their respective cultures. In Europe, long-bladed glave are probably another example of an agricultural tool of this general type finding its way into armories.
I'm with Ian in believing that many of these developments were local and that it needs very close similarities to suggest any adaptation from other cultures. There always have been migrations and other cultural influences. However, with blacksmithing already present for about 2 millennia throughout much of the archipelago, any common ancestor will often be very hard to establish.

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