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Old 27th February 2020, 03:02 AM   #1
xasterix
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Default Modern Ilocano blades

Sharing some modern blades from the Ilocos area of Northern Luzon. From top to bottom:

Sinan-olimaw yusoyos 'open field' or 'gentle wind'
Sinan-Gabriela panggaw-at 'for reaching'
Sinan-ulo ti kabalyo bulong unas 'sugarcane leaf'
Sinan-kapitan basiwang bulong pagay 'for tearing riceleaf'
Panggaw-at (1970s, marked cP).
Sinan-ulo ti kabalyo ganado.
Sinan-kapitan bulong unas.

The sinan- prefix refers to the hilt figurals.

Olimaw refers to the mythological creature of the Ilocanos which is similar to the bakunawa.
Gabriela Silang is a Philippine revolutionary hero.
Ulo ti kabalyo is Ilocano for horse-head.
Kapitan refers to another Philippine revolutionary hero, Antonio Luna.

Except for the top blade, all blades were sourced from Santa, Ilocos Sur, the town in the whole of Ilocos which has the biggest smithing industry. Blades from Santa are distributed across Ilocos.

The top blade is from Ilocos Norte, made by a family of smiths. It is difficult to find traditional smiths in Norte as compared to Sur. 'Yusoyos' has been pegged as a Japanese-influenced term. According to oral tradition, this weapon was used by the Ilocanos during the Battle of Bessang in World War II. The blade measures 28 inches, while the hilt and guard measures 8 inches. If anyone has an antique with similar or near-similar blade profile and/or measurements, would appreciate if it can be shared. Thanks!
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