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Old 24th March 2023, 05:07 PM   #91
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Here's an example with a really diminutive pommel.

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Old 24th March 2023, 05:18 PM   #92
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Hello Gavin,

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I'm surprised no one picked up on this for the archives... an absolute stunner in every respect.
I agree that this is a great piece.

However, I believe it does not belong to this thread as the pommel is of a different style: Clearly this one is crafted in a highly decorated sarimanok/kakatua style.

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Old 24th March 2023, 06:12 PM   #93
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Hello Albert,

You already added pics of this piece earlier in this thread.
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Kai
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Old 25th March 2023, 12:11 AM   #94
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Hello Gavin,


I agree that this is a great piece.

However, I believe it does not belong to this thread as the pommel is of a different style: Clearly this one is crafted in a highly decorated sarimanok/kakatua style.

Regards,
Kai
Hello Kai,

I respectfully disagree with regards to exclusion.

Perhaps these images grouped together, they may highlight the importance of this example within context of the discussion.

Apart from the side panels highlighted, looking at the IFICAH example in detail there is a tiny little Bunja Tanjong flower where one may expect an eye to appear, (Refer to the other Sarawak carvings shared and the British Museum Kampilan notations).

In isolation it may mean nothing more than this is a Malay states thing, but seen in the last image, similar appear on the top faces of these Kris/Sundang too, and also within some side panels.

A recent discussion with a fellow collector pointed out that these may also be the Catmon flower seen in Visayan carvings, yet it seems 8 out 10 Visayan carvers do not include the Pistil in their motifs, nor is a weapon of this type typically found there.

Gavin
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Old 25th March 2023, 12:51 AM   #95
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Hi Gavin,

This is a very interesting observation that you make. I think that this picture is the most compelling evidence that you presented.

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The positioning and shape of the "flower" in each example is very similar indeed. Your thesis that the familiar kakatua pommel (or sarimanok as some call it) on Moro kris hearkens back to an earlier representation of garuda will set the cat among the pigeons so to speak.

An innovative idea and worthy of discussion, perhaps in its own thread.
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Old 25th March 2023, 01:57 AM   #96
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Hi Gavin,

This is a very interesting observation that you make. I think that this picture is the most compelling evidence that you presented.


The positioning and shape of the "flower" in each example is very similar indeed. Your thesis that the familiar kakatua pommel (or sarimanok as some call it) on Moro kris hearkens back to an earlier representation of garuda will set the cat among the pigeons so to speak.

An innovative idea and worthy of discussion, perhaps in its own thread.
Hi Ian,

I've not yet any foot in either camp as to what the symbolism actually is, only what I see with what was previously presented and how I view iconography within this thread.

I think the visual references in a number of threads I've provided do suggest that it could well be... but I make the propositions because I am interested in insights about such things and to promote discussion.

The truth of the matter is, without a time machine, we will never really know... however discussion is important to develop idea and look at parallels within regions that share different cultures.

Like that Biblical inscription on the Kampilan, although drawn from the Koran, a very atypical thing to find as was the notion that it's hilt could potentially have been a Garuda representation, just as these hilts/pommels could be... it's all chicken/egg stuff though...

A good perspective, a discussion that has been ongoing for two hundred years, perhaps longer.
https://ayalamuseum.org/collection/1...%20god%20Indra).

Looking at some of the humanoid "Jawa Demam exotic hilts presented, could they actually represent angels and the floral motifs and tree of life motifs or mirror panels be symbolic of paradise.
Gabriel is particularly noted in the Koran and is the most important angel in Islam. The Angel Jibreel’s main responsibility is to communicate the Words of Allah to His prophets.
That would be pretty potent symbolism to carry.

More thoughts on the subject.

Gavin
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Old 25th March 2023, 01:59 AM   #97
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Hello Gavin,

Quote:
Apart from the side panels highlighted, looking at the IFICAH example in detail there is a tiny little Bunja Tanjong flower where one may expect an eye to appear, (Refer to the other Sarawak carvings shared and the British Museum Kampilan notations).
Ok, I agree that there may be related/same motifs/etc. found in different types of hilts. Ian's suggestion to discuss such overarching concepts in a separate thread may help to avoid detracting from the pommel type discussed here. OTOH, it may be considered fair game here as well since this hilt type's underlying meaning probably can't be established without discussing missing links from all over the archipelago.


Quote:
A recent discussion with a fellow collector pointed out that these may also be the Catmon flower seen in Visayan carvings, yet it seems 8 out 10 Visayan carvers do not include the Pistil in their motifs, nor is a weapon of this type typically found there.
Such a motif may well hark back to pre-Christian as well as pre-Islamic times. Back then, the coastal areas of all southern and central islands will have been settled by pretty much the same seafaring peoples of Malay origin.

Again, the same motif can be found throughout Indonesia, too. Considering the variety of flowers represented in, for example, Malay iconography, I doubt though, that all of the stylised 4-petaled flowers necessarily refer to the same flower (nor possibly have the same meaning).


I'll try to address your earlier contributions later this weekend...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 25th March 2023, 02:45 AM   #98
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Hi Kai,

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Originally Posted by kai View Post
Hello Gavin,

Ok, I agree that there may be related/same motifs/etc. found in different types of hilts. Ian's suggestion to discuss such overarching concepts in a separate thread may help to avoid detracting from the pommel type discussed here. OTOH, it may be considered fair game here as well since this hilt type's underlying meaning probably can't be established without discussing missing links from all over the archipelago.
I'm in the OTOH basket... they've already been presented and the type require context. Further to this, from the type presented, there have been other related type thrown in because of regional crossovers.

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Such a motif may well hark back to pre-Christian as well as pre-Islamic times. Back then, the coastal areas of all southern and central islands will have been settled by pretty much the same seafaring peoples of Malay origin.Kai
Indeed, almost anything is plausible within the time and place parameters.

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Again, the same motif can be found throughout Indonesia, too. Considering the variety of flowers represented in, for example, Malay iconography, I doubt though, that all of the stylised 4-petaled flowers necessarily refer to the same flower (nor possibly have the same meaning).
Where the Malay states are concerned, I note The Spirit of Wood and the Bunja Tanjong flower. See Spirit of wood, page 10 and numerous other references in the index.


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I'll try to address your earlier contributions later this weekend...

Regards,
Kai

Thanks for the ongoing discussions.
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Old 25th March 2023, 04:48 AM   #99
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Just a little side line/note with the variations of these Kris/Sundang types seen within thus far.

I look at it like the Bugis Keris hulu.

I know this is not the keris forum, but entertain me for this post as purely an indicative representation.

I see within types, more a metamorphous of what they represent over an evolution of the type through time.

Point in case these three ivory Bugis Hulu.

When I see these three in context, which do cover most "general" aspects of the type, in a spiritual context of life's cycle, I see #1 growth upwards, #2 Maturing, eyes forward and growth/seeking, #3 Full maturity, the weight that it carries, and the decent back to where it all started...

Idle ramblings of a mad man, but perhaps something like this "metamorphous" can be applied to the type under discussion, perhaps even a status indicator of "lineage" within the region, an earn your stripes type of thing... from the simplest timber types of the worker bees, to the established and capable man about town with fine ivory carving and twistcore, to the elder who survived it all, made his way to the top and shows his wealth in precious metals like Datu Piang and no doubt others before him.

Edit note **Notice they all have the side "wings" within their carvings**
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Old 27th May 2023, 01:35 PM   #100
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Just because, and that I enjoy talking to myself... I get the most sense that way :-P

Spirit of Wood, page 128... Patani 19th century... abstract motifs aside, the shape of the figure is certainly there....
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Old 27th May 2023, 01:36 PM   #101
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I'll try to address your earlier contributions later this weekend...

Regards,
Kai
Still looking forward to your insights Kai....
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Old 28th May 2023, 01:24 PM   #102
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Still looking forward to your insights Kai....
Apologies, Gavin - too much on my plate and just forgot to follow up.
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Old 28th May 2023, 01:30 PM   #103
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Thanks, Gavin, for keeping this going!

Quote:
Spirit of Wood, page 128... Patani 19th century... abstract motifs aside, the shape of the figure is certainly there....
Yes, it has been my working hypothesis, that these hilt styles might likely be related. Not sure whether one developed from the other or possibly both from any earlier ancestral style.

There are strong historic links between the (especially eastern) Malay Peninsula, Brunei, and Bangsa Moro.

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Kai
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Old 2nd June 2023, 10:52 AM   #104
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Default A question of age

Another from the Thai Museum with similar but simple features.

Given the upright Royal Ligor types known too, I'm curious to know what is the oldest datable tapak kuda hulu type?
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Old 3rd June 2023, 07:25 AM   #105
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Hello Gavin,

Quote:
Another from the Thai Museum with similar but simple features.

Given the upright Royal Ligor types known too, I'm curious to know what is the oldest datable tapak kuda hulu type?
From the pics, it looks like a Sumatran keris that just ended up in a Thai museum. Exotic arms in general did quite commonly find their way into foreign rulers' collections.

The Melayu tapak kuda hilt doesn't seem closely related with the Moro hilt discussed here nor the latter's likely relative from NE Malay Peninsula. All appear to be quite old styles.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 3rd June 2023, 12:34 PM   #106
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Hello Gavin,


From the pics, it looks like a Sumatran keris that just ended up in a Thai museum. Exotic arms in general did quite commonly find their way into foreign rulers' collections.

The Melayu tapak kuda hilt doesn't seem closely related with the Moro hilt discussed here nor the latter's likely relative from NE Malay Peninsula. All appear to be quite old styles.

Regards,
Kai
Hi Kai,

I understand the hulu style discussed to be of Sumatran Origins that spread to other regions and became embedded in society.

The Upright Royal ligor styles also carry similarities.

The hulu styles are found on a keris type associated with the headsmen, ruling class of the regions.

Specifically looking at the crown on this last example and more overly the Spirit of Wood example, there is a remarkable likeness to several facets of these archaic Sulu hilts.

The one above for example, it is akin to the manner in which the top of the ivory ones in the very first post, albeit lacking a dorsal fin.
This is seen to within the precious metal Sulu types too...

There is deeper meaning to everything is centuries past.
Artistic licence aside, nothing was random and all art carried symbolism.
I am certainly curious as to the deep meaning of these crown like carvings which in turn may pave roads to further discovery.

There is a lot to ponder.

Gav
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Old 28th July 2023, 06:50 AM   #107
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Just because, and that I enjoy talking to myself... I get the most sense that way :-P

Spirit of Wood, page 128... Patani 19th century... abstract motifs aside, the shape of the figure is certainly there....
Gavin,

I wanted to take a second to thank you and others for the wealth of thought and effort put into discussing this topic and for the willingness to explore. I apologize for being MIA and will try to continue to at to the discussion as I find new examples and evidence. I still lean toward a root based outside the traditional muslin influence, but obviously a firm answer may not ever be attainable. However, there is joy in the journey!!
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Old 4th September 2023, 06:29 PM   #108
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Another popped up on social media recently, though to drop it in here.

Does anyone know the significance of the three binding rings around the base, waist and shoulders of these?
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Old 5th September 2023, 07:49 AM   #109
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Default A previous thread

A previous thread relating to one of the first in this thread presented here for discussion.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=4443

Seems a long time member previously owned it.

I'm definitely on board with Michael's Sabah assessment.

These continue to be discussed offline where more ideas and data are passed about.

I see them thus far as Labuan influenced too when looking at the top motif on the crown, it is a reoccuring theme from the region, just as that design is also seen in Sabah weaving too.

Some aspects of the motifs are seen in old Bugis drawings and carving which make sense given the large sea faring nation and the Maritime Silk Road running through Indonesia and SEA, but overall the style is unique.

Brunei being the longest power base behind the regions and the English disruptions in the 19th century, it makes sense when seeing these on both sides of the fence so to speak, as I believe there are a couple that saw service under the British navy, and others, as noted at the start of this thread as being taken from Sulu pirates on the Sabah coast lines by Naval staff on various vessels
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Old 6th September 2023, 07:12 AM   #110
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Just bringing a couple of past links with some relevance together.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?p=268885

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15307
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Old 12th September 2023, 01:30 AM   #111
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Other links of the material seen within this thread and others seen within.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2661

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14672
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Old 12th September 2023, 06:33 PM   #112
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Another popped up on social media recently, though to drop it in here.

Does anyone know the significance of the three binding rings around the base, waist and shoulders of these?
Well, i hate to sound so mundane, aside from their beauty, aren't they functional, for a better grip on the hilt?
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Old 13th September 2023, 09:36 AM   #113
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Well, i hate to sound so mundane, aside from their beauty, aren't they functional, for a better grip on the hilt?
I agree David. However, function can have some elegance to it.
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Old 13th September 2023, 10:59 AM   #114
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Thanks Gents.

I can appreciate this given space between 4 fingers, and be swayed to consider this but when you consider examples such as this;

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...9&postcount=13

There is no practical application like grip enhancement?

And this one in Kino's collection, does the odd spacing really provide that much of a better grip when the hooked pommel provides just as much?

Idle thoughts thrown out for discussion.....
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Old 17th September 2023, 07:36 AM   #115
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So, a long long road digging, looking, reading, speaking with others and today this presents whilst researching a Kampilan.... there mostly goes my Sulu origin thoughts about the hulu....

First, another old thread of Alberts unique Chevron Kris dressed in the same manner as the metal hilted one he has. LUCKY and diligent Chap!

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=piang

Albert's other stunner

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2661

Battara's Datu Piang Kris

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=piang

One Gustav discussed a while ago. One Chris had I believe.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13785

The golden one I was lucky enough to obtain.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showpo...9&postcount=68

A photo of Datu Piang, from the University of WI I believe.
A couple of zoom details clearly showing his entourage both wearing and bearing Kris with this hilt type.

SO, with consideration to the Holstein Sulu example, and others of the similar type, found in other materials, provenanced to the Sulu and Sulu coastal areas of Borneo... what's the relationship regionally and historically.
I understand the Maguindanao people are spread far and wide. It is the common thread of timeline of this design influence that intrigues me.

PS, THAT whalebone Kampilan and the stunning scabbard with carry handle may need it's own thread! Simply stunning....
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Old 18th September 2023, 01:24 PM   #116
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Gavin,

I think the gentleman front and center in your picture is Datu Ali (genuine Maguindanao royalty), while Piang was a commoner (albeit very powerful). In which case, most of the retinue probably belong to Ali. Technically, Piang was subordinate to Ali (hence Ali in the center of this picture). I recall reading somewhere (maybe 20 years ago) that the Maguindanao Sultanate was closely linked to the Brunei Sultanate in the late 19th/early 20th C..

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Old 18th September 2023, 01:35 PM   #117
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Gavin,

I think the gentleman front and center in your picture is Datu Ali (genuine Maguindanao royalty), while Piang was a commoner (albeit very powerful). In which case, most of the retinue probably belong to Ali.
Ok Ian.

Ali dies before this photo was taken.

https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpress...&brand=ucpress

https://maguindanaopride.wordpress.com/tag/datu/

Certainly looks like Datu Piang to me.

One of his known personal Kris is also being carried in the image.

The sheer depth and breadth of trade Datu Piang conducted throughout the the entire Sulu via trade merchants was vast... recent reading about the power and influence, tied with maritime entities and loyalties he had, could very well explain why these hulu are found as far and wide as they are.

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Old 18th September 2023, 08:22 PM   #118
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I have to agree with Gavin on this one Ian. That does not look like Datu Ali (see pic below) in the center and since he had been dead for 9 years when that photo was apparently taken (1914) it couldn't be him.
BTW, that looks like an entourage not to be trifled with.
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Old 22nd September 2023, 03:11 AM   #119
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Ok Ian.

Ali dies before this photo was taken.

https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpress...&brand=ucpress

https://maguindanaopride.wordpress.com/tag/datu/

Certainly looks like Datu Piang to me.

One of his known personal Kris is also being carried in the image.

The sheer depth and breadth of trade Datu Piang conducted throughout the the entire Sulu via trade merchants was vast... recent reading about the power and influence, tied with maritime entities and loyalties he had, could very well explain why these hulu are found as far and wide as they are.
Thanks Gavin. I guess the date of death eliminates Ali. Datu Piang is certainly present, standing on the right of the central figure. These pictures were often carefully staged, with the most locally important person in the middle. I will need to go back and look at my Datu pics from that era. Ali and Piang were raised together in the Sultan's household.
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Old 25th September 2023, 03:07 AM   #120
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Thanks Gavin. I guess the date of death eliminates Ali. Datu Piang is certainly present, standing on the right of the central figure. These pictures were often carefully staged, with the most locally important person in the middle. I will need to go back and look at my Datu pics from that era. Ali and Piang were raised together in the Sultan's household.
It will be interesting to see what you turn up there Ian.

I've some speculation about the young figures front and centre.

Datu Piang had many children to many wives. Data I suspect can be inaccurate, but within reason. I read that he had 19 wives & 34 children, although only a few reached any prominence.

Those young men front and centre could be family, as was the norm within Datu circles to appoint family, and provide with rank and title.

Given that the youth to the left, within the photo above, carries a kris with same hulu design as the Kris being carried by the sword bearer, I suspect he is very close to Datu Piang.

When I look at one of the better known image of Datu Piang from 1899, and the young boys brought forth for the photo, clothed as Datu Piang is, and a third child behind Datu Piang, it could be these two boys later in life who are pictured in the group. The gent to the far right could be Datu Piang's Pandita???
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