Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 8th March 2021, 06:26 PM   #1
kino
Member
 
kino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 772
Default A silver pommel with silver inlaid blade Moro Kris

Sharing photos of my latest acquisition. The bottom of the ganya is embellished with a silver strip. Unpolished silver pommel. Fullered blade.
Anyone wants to hazard a guess on its age.
Attached Images
   
kino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2021, 12:52 AM   #2
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,714
Default

Wow! I was thinking that this is Sulu based on the front and back of the ganga, and the motifs on the swassa bands.

Age? - This has aspects of the late 1700s (ganga line, the band motifs) but characteristics of the late 1800s (size of blade, pommel size). So I would place the piece between the 1830s - 1850s?

BTW - by the patina I can tell that the silver parts are really silver, but are the swassa parts (lacking patina) truly swassa? Have you tested these?

Congratulations on this great example and thanks for posting this.

Maraming Salamat!
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2021, 07:56 AM   #3
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,168
Default

Kino and Battara,

I've looked at this one long and hard, and the first question I ask is whether this is Moro in origin?

Starting with the scabbard, it appears that the gangya of this kris/sundang is too big for the sampir of the scabbard, so I'd say it is not a match for this sword. Let's set it aside and just look at the blade and hilt.

The blade is straight and moderately wide with a central fuller. I've not seen a fuller on a well-provenanced archaic Moro kris. Old sundang, yes, but not Moro kris.

At the base of the gangya it does not have the customary "arrowhead" carving seen on archaic kris, but rather a series of incised semicircles filled with silver. We've seen these unusual markings before on sundang, but I've yet to see them authoritatively attributed to Moro swords (as opposed to sundang from elsewhere in the Malay world).

The line separating the two pieces of the gangya (gutlang katik, Tausug) is almost straight with only a minimal angle very close to the long edge of the gangya. Among Moro kris, Cato believes this usually indicates an archaic form (pre-1800), but the rest of this sword does not fit with a typical archaic Moro kris (length of blade, absence of arrowhead, no central "panel" that may be twist core).

The so-called "elephant's trunk" area of the gangya is also unusual for an archaic Moro kris. In another thread, Rick recently referred to a similar structure as looking more like a rooster than an elephant. In that same thread, it was also noted that the style of elephant's trunk seen here is unusual for Moro kris but can be seen (perhaps more commonly) on sundang from other areas of the Malay world, including Brunei, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, and Malaysia.

The general form of the kakatua hilt shown here is seen widely. There are similar examples from the late 19th C up to the present time on Moro kris, particularly those from Mindanao. Similar hilts are seen also on sundang from the other Malay areas noted above (and illustrated in A. van Zonneveld, Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago, p. 133).

So, is this sword a Moro kris? My inclination is to say it is not from the Sulu Archipelago or Mindanao, and therefore not Moro in origin. I think it is more likely from Brunei or Malaysia. If it is not Moro, then the use of the gutlang katik for dating is doubtful, and an archaic attribution seems unlikely. My own dating of the sword would be mid-19th C at the earliest, probably later, based mainly on the size (length and width) of the blade and on the form of the hilt (which, of course, may not be original).

It is a very fine sword and clearly well made.

Last edited by Ian; 9th March 2021 at 08:07 AM.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2021, 07:53 PM   #4
kino
Member
 
kino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 772
Default

Jose, I havenít tested the bands. Could be copper, although it hasnít been polished. I just gently cleaned the blade and the clamps with steel wool.

Ian, the sword fits into the scabbard, it was just pushed to one side thatís why the ganya looks oversized for the sampir. Fort identification, I agree the scabbard shouldnít be factored in since it looks like a replacement.

I agree with you and Jose on the dating ~mid 19th cent.
The motif on the bands and blade inlays looks Moro to me. I have seen seen similar on other Moro Krisí, of note the 4 petaled flower(?). Thank you both for your comments.

For comparison with a Kris thatís slightly older. A fullered blade, 1/8Ē in deficit at its widest area.
Attached Images
 
kino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2021, 11:48 PM   #5
xasterix
Member
 
xasterix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 290
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kino
Jose, I havenít tested the bands. Could be copper, although it hasnít been polished. I just gently cleaned the blade and the clamps with steel wool.

Ian, the sword fits into the scabbard, it was just pushed to one side thatís why the ganya looks oversized for the sampir. Fort identification, I agree the scabbard shouldnít be factored in since it looks like a replacement.

I agree with you and Jose on the dating ~mid 19th cent.
The motif on the bands and blade inlays looks Moro to me. I have seen seen similar on other Moro Krisí, of note the 4 petaled flower(?). Thank you both for your comments.

For comparison with a Kris thatís slightly older. A fullered blade, 1/8Ē in deficit at its widest area.
I agree, it's got Bangsamoro signatures, and an old one...very pretty kris!
xasterix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th March 2021, 03:38 AM   #6
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,168
Default

Hi Kino and Xas,


Please direct us to the evidence for identifying the inlaid marks on the blade of the subject sword to a confirmed Bangsamoro source. I know this can be difficult, and sometimes confidences can be an issue, but this is an important assertion and I would like to see further evidence please. There are other examples of these marks, but are they truly Moro in origin? It would also help to know what they mean.


Ian.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:30 PM.


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.