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Old 13th February 2021, 11:34 AM   #1
xasterix
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Default Show us your Maguindanao panabas

Greetings, in the tradition of the other "show us..." threads, was curious how many members have panabas. To start off, here's mine. 17-inch blade, 14.5-inch handle. There are geometric patterns on the handle that provide a secure grip. Thickest part of spine is 0.5 inches or 1.27 cm. Looking forward to seeing more panabas, TIA!
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Old 13th February 2021, 06:22 PM   #2
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Hello Xas, that begs the question: How do you differentiate between panabas of Maguindanao vs Maranao origin? Thanks in advance!

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Kai
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Old 13th February 2021, 08:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Xas, that begs the question: How do you differentiate between panabas of Maguindanao vs Maranao origin? Thanks in advance!

Regards,
Kai
Hello Kai,

To my understanding, panabas is endemic to the Maguindanaons- the Maranaons don't produce it, except for tourist versions which can be differentiated by its over-intricacy, both in blade and fittings. The Maguindanaons even up to the present time retain knowledge of the panabas and the terms associated with it- warfare, duelling, execution, etc. In period pics, it was always the Maguindanaon datus who used kris, kampilan, and panabas as badges of office.

Hope this clears up things.
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Old 13th February 2021, 09:42 PM   #4
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Thanks, Xas, that makes things easier!

BTW, Cato does mention Maranao names for panabas parts - so, these would be later adapted or spurious? No need to dwell on the modern repros, indeed...

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Kai
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Old 13th February 2021, 10:06 PM   #5
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To start things off, here a few examples I'm currently taking care of:

(Pics courtesy of Gavin & Oliver)
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Old 14th February 2021, 01:54 AM   #6
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Are these related to what Van Zonneveld called "stick swords" from Flores?

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Old 14th February 2021, 04:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Thanks, Xas, that makes things easier!

BTW, Cato does mention Maranao names for panabas parts - so, these would be later adapted or spurious? No need to dwell on the modern repros, indeed...

Regards,
Kai
Hi Kai, the probable reason for this is because the Maranao and Maguindanao language are closely linked together; they come from the same root. The Maranao made tourist versions of the panabas, but up to present time, the Maguindanao pandays still make the 'real' panabas for agricultural use. It's a no-frills and usually smaller version of the old panabas, direct to the point.
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Old 14th February 2021, 04:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Are these related to what Van Zonneveld called "stick swords" from Flores?
Hi sorry, I'm not familiar with the names and context you mentioned- can you provide me a link or short summary? Thanks.
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Old 14th February 2021, 05:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interested Party
Are these related to what Van Zonneveld called "stick swords" from Flores?
Hi IP:

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.
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Old 14th February 2021, 06:56 AM   #10
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A Stick Sword or Toa from Solor.
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Old 14th February 2021, 08:11 AM   #11
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Here's mine. Interested to see what you knowledgeable folks think of it.
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Old 14th February 2021, 08:55 AM   #12
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Hello Chris,

Nice one! (Let me know whenever you decide to let it go... )

It sure does look like it was ready for a spike; seems it was originally intended without a spike though. Any hints from close examination?

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Kai
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Old 14th February 2021, 09:18 AM   #13
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No indication that it ever had a spike, looks like it was made this way. The blade is heavy duty, 1cm thick at the base - I would definitely not like to be in the way of anyone swinging this!

Are the copper filled holes common decoration on these?

Best,
Chris
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Old 14th February 2021, 12:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mefidk
No indication that it ever had a spike, looks like it was made this way. The blade is heavy duty, 1cm thick at the base - I would definitely not like to be in the way of anyone swinging this!

Are the copper filled holes common decoration on these?

Best,
Chris
Agreed, would hate to be on the receiving end of that! Uncommon decoration IMO, I've only seen 4 so far with that inlay, yours is the 4th. Great piece!
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Old 14th February 2021, 01:52 PM   #15
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I believe there are a couple of examples in the archives - some in the now defunct UBB forum though. Certainly not common but usually similar to decor on kampilan.

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Kai
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Old 14th February 2021, 02:18 PM   #16
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Nice examples so far gentlemen!
Here are my both examples, both are padsumbalin panabas, one big and a small one. The big one I don't have at hand but will receive it soon back with cleaned blade.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 14th February 2021, 02:30 PM   #17
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And I have this small one but only the blade, the handle which comes with it isn't the original one, it's a small one as well.
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Old 14th February 2021, 06:06 PM   #18
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Here’s a couple more to add.
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Old 14th February 2021, 06:34 PM   #19
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Here is a picture of my padsumbalin panabas that was documented in Cato and was stolen years ago from me. The bands are nickel-silver.
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Old 14th February 2021, 07:09 PM   #20
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Here is my current padsumbalin panabas with steel bands and okir butt.
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Old 14th February 2021, 07:10 PM   #21
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And here is my bading panabas with okir edge. Bands in copper with a silver strip around the end.
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Old 15th February 2021, 05:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mefidk
No indication that it ever had a spike, looks like it was made this way. The blade is heavy duty, 1cm thick at the base - I would definitely not like to be in the way of anyone swinging this!

Are the copper filled holes common decoration on these?

Best,
Chris
Hi Chris.

Not very common to see brass inlays on panabas and, as Kai noted, the same inlays occur on a minority of kampilan too. I'm not aware of any specific significance of brass dots on these weapons. Some of our Filipino members might be able to help.

Interestingly, inlaid brass dots appear on Lumad blades as well, especially on T'boli tok. Again, I don't know about their significance either.
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Old 15th February 2021, 06:05 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
And here is my bading panabas with okir edge. Bands in copper with a silver strip around the end.
Hi Jose,

Nice blade with carving on the end. This is now the third or fourth one of these I have seen, so yours is not alone. Any thoughts about the significance of this style variant?

As an aside, I have a very nice little Vietnamese or Malaysian chopper that is about 16-18 inches long and would pass for a miniature panabas (hilt is not typical thought). It has similar scalloped carvings to the end of its blade.

Ian.

P.S. Found a picture (not very good one) of that chopper.

.
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Old 15th February 2021, 06:09 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
Hi sorry, I'm not familiar with the names and context you mentioned- can you provide me a link or short summary? Thanks.
Xas, this is the little bit I know. It is from "Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago." Pictures 525 in particular and 526 somewhat reminded me of the panabas so I thought i would ask the experts.

Ian thank you very much for the explanation. It helped.
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Old 15th February 2021, 06:51 AM   #25
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Hi IP,

Thanks for showing the van Zonneveld pictures and text. I've taken the liberty of scanning the figures to try to get a clearer image. Afraid the original pictures are not very good.

Ian.
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Old 15th February 2021, 09:16 AM   #26
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Here's another example of the long version from eastern Flores; from handling, these are more akin to a kampilan (with the longer hilt compensating for the shorter blade). The blades were usually/often imported from SE Sulawesi and no hints seem to be extant suggesting any direct link with the Moro traditions.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 15th February 2021, 09:43 AM   #27
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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.


Quote:
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.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 15th February 2021, 02:13 PM   #28
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Sorry for the bad picture. I had lighting issues and was more interested in presenting the text. When I looked at the originals with a jeweler's loop 526 appeared to have a Indonesian or Sumatran style pamor. 528 had a cloudy line down the longitudinal center of the blade with a light towards the cutting edge and a dark side towards the spine. I can't tell if it is a lamination mark or a differential temper.

Thank you all for explaining the ancestry of these weapons. Am I correct in assuming that they occupied similar places in the relative martial traditions as heavy choppers? I would imagine that given proximity these are cultures that had some contact with each other. I have been noticing that posted examples have very little edge damage. Does this mean that there was little blade to blade contact in this martial arts system, i.e. no or few parries, or are surviving examples ones that did not see use?
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Old 15th February 2021, 06:44 PM   #29
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Sajen, what are the dimensions of your Panabas with the blue background?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Here is a picture of my padsumbalin panabas that was documented in Cato and was stolen years ago from me. The bands are nickel-silver.
Battara, where is this Panabas documented at, Cato’s book or Arts os Asia magazine?
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Old 15th February 2021, 08:04 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kino
Sajen, what are the dimensions of your Panabas with the blue background?

Hello Albert,

This small panabas was once discussed here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...hlight=panabas

It's 55 cm (21.65") long, blade is 31 cm.

Regards,
Detlef
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