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Old 9th March 2022, 01:40 PM   #1
h0ll0wman
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Default Antique luzon blade need help in identifying

I am sharing my very first antique luzon blade acquisition. I do not know what it is called. Perhaps other members can enlighten me or the group about its correct name.
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Old 9th March 2022, 03:47 PM   #2
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WOW! I like that sword! I'm not a Filipino knife/sword expert, though I have quite a few weapons from there.

Dimensions, please?
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Old 10th March 2022, 12:29 AM   #3
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The blade looks Tagalog to me.
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Old 10th March 2022, 09:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kronckew View Post
WOW! I like that sword! I'm not a Filipino knife/sword expert, though I have quite a few weapons from there.

Dimensions, please?
Hello. The blade is 23 inches and handle is 6 inches.
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Old 10th March 2022, 10:58 AM   #5
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Hello. The blade is 23 inches and handle is 6 inches.
Thanks, I want one .
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Old 10th March 2022, 05:33 PM   #6
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Hi h0ll0wman.

That's a very nice sword. I notice that the brass areas were once darkened, which was not uncommon on swords from the revolutionary period and during WWII. It is somewhat longer than many Luzon swords of the revolutionary period (end of 19th C and start of 20th C), but I think it dates from around 1900.

It is very plain and utilitarian in it's design and may have come from several places in central Luzon or around Manila. The small hexagonal (?) ferrule leads me to think it might be from the Lake Taal/Batangas area or perhaps Cavite, although the ferrules and butt plates from those areas were usually iron. Brass is more commonly seen on Pampangan and Ilocano pieces.
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Old 11th March 2022, 12:48 AM   #7
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Hi h0ll0wman.

That's a very nice sword. I notice that the brass areas were once darkened, which was not uncommon on swords from the revolutionary period and during WWII. It is somewhat longer than many Luzon swords of the revolutionary period (end of 19th C and start of 20th C), but I think it dates from around 1900.

It is very plain and utilitarian in it's design and may have come from several places in central Luzon or around Manila. The small hexagonal (?) ferrule leads me to think it might be from the Lake Taal/Batangas area or perhaps Cavite, although the ferrules and butt plates from those areas were usually iron. Brass is more commonly seen on Pampangan and Ilocano pieces.
Thank you for the input Ian. It surely added some information regarding this blade. I am still wondering what it is called. It resembles the "uhas tari" blade.
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Old 11th March 2022, 01:19 PM   #8
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If it's Tagalog, then it would be called dahong bolo. I'm not familiar with the terminology used in Pampanga or Northern Luzon for that profile.

I'm doubting whether the peen and lock are original; they may have been later replacements. The damage at the end of the pommel hints that the original set might have been destroyed. The peen end and the lock don't seem to fit the butt-pommel convincingly, unlike other old Luzon blades I've encountered.
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Old 11th March 2022, 03:07 PM   #9
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Here's a pre-WW2 dahong bolo from the Tagalog region, a shorter and fatter version than yours, with a clip-point. Notice how secure the butt-pommel construction is.
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Old 11th March 2022, 03:26 PM   #10
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Forgot to attach the whole sword.
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Old 11th March 2022, 07:11 PM   #11
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Dahong bolo? I'm not framiliar with the term but is it synonymous with dahong palay? Where did that name originate?
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Old 11th March 2022, 08:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Hi h0ll0wman.

That's a very nice sword. I notice that the brass areas were once darkened, which was not uncommon on swords from the revolutionary period and during WWII. It is somewhat longer than many Luzon swords of the revolutionary period (end of 19th C and start of 20th C), but I think it dates from around 1900.

It is very plain and utilitarian in it's design and may have come from several places in central Luzon or around Manila. The small hexagonal (?) ferrule leads me to think it might be from the Lake Taal/Batangas area or perhaps Cavite, although the ferrules and butt plates from those areas were usually iron. Brass is more commonly seen on Pampangan and Ilocano pieces.
I am thinking the same. Cavite is a most probable hilt location
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Old 11th March 2022, 11:20 PM   #13
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Dahong bolo? I'm not framiliar with the term but is it synonymous with dahong palay? Where did that name originate?
The blade profile was documented and illustrated by Atienza (1917) in his thesis on Taal blades. It was also produced in several CALABARZON areas, but currently not being made anymore; it has been replaced by "dahong buho/buo" another entry in the leaf series of blades.

The bolo version is different than the palay. To my knowledge those are the three distinct versions: palay, bolo, buho/buo.
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Old 11th March 2022, 11:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix View Post
The blade profile was documented and illustrated by Atienza (1917) in his thesis on Taal blades. It was also produced in several CALABARZON areas, but currently not being made anymore; it has been replaced by "dahong buho/buo" another entry in the leaf series of blades.

The bolo version is different than the palay. To my knowledge those are the three distinct versions: palay, bolo, buho/buo.
If you don't mind can you please post the template?
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Old 12th March 2022, 12:25 PM   #15
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Forgot to attach the whole sword.
Hello. Isn't this what they call Sinungot Hipon/Sinungot Ulang that is common in eastern provinces of Tagalog region like Rizal and Quezon?

At least the ones from Rizal look like this; pointed blade with slight belly and a false edge halfway on the back of the blade.
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Old 12th March 2022, 08:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix View Post
The blade profile was documented and illustrated by Atienza (1917) in his thesis on Taal blades. It was also produced in several CALABARZON areas, but currently not being made anymore; it has been replaced by "dahong buho/buo" another entry in the leaf series of blades.

The bolo version is different than the palay. To my knowledge those are the three distinct versions: palay, bolo, buho/buo.
I apologize but who is this atienza? How does his thesis sway the names of the blades? I am from a long line from laguna and the name really sounds funny to me
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Old 13th March 2022, 12:53 AM   #17
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I apologize but who is this atienza? How does his thesis sway the names of the blades? I am from a long line from laguna and the name really sounds funny to me
Atienza made an ethnographic paper of blades and farm implements used in Taal around 1917. He did label two blades that are called "dahong palay" and "dahong bolo", but I never heard of the latter, it's probably a misheard "dahong buho" which is the other profile used today that has "dahon" in it.
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Old 13th March 2022, 03:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by chmorshuutz View Post
Atienza made an ethnographic paper of blades and farm implements used in Taal around 1917. He did label two blades that are called "dahong palay" and "dahong bolo", but I never heard of the latter, it's probably a misheard "dahong buho" which is the other profile used today that has "dahon" in it.
Thanks for this reply! Now I see! Yes dahong buho makes sense dahong bolo does not. It is good to scrutinize a thesis as it is "to be proved" thank you for the template aswell! Not all are willing to share info
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Old 13th March 2022, 03:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by chmorshuutz View Post
Atienza made an ethnographic paper of blades and farm implements used in Taal around 1917. He did label two blades that are called "dahong palay" and "dahong bolo", but I never heard of the latter, it's probably a misheard "dahong buho" which is the other profile used today that has "dahon" in it.
Wow this information is indeed useful. It is good you shared this information for the benefit of all. Like you and Bathala I also never heard of dahong bolo. I am also not well-versed in the classification of these kind of blades hence my call for help. Thank you for the contribution of everyone regarding my blade.
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Old 13th March 2022, 03:51 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by chmorshuutz View Post
Atienza made an ethnographic paper of blades and farm implements used in Taal around 1917. He did label two blades that are called "dahong palay" and "dahong bolo", but I never heard of the latter, it's probably a misheard "dahong buho" which is the other profile used today that has "dahon" in it.
I believe they are different- if you check the modern blades being sold in laguna and Quezon, there is dahong buho / buo, but it's of a different profile vs the dahong bolo as drawn by Atienza or the dahong bolo being sold in Quezon.

@bathala
Regarding the use of "thesis" it's different from "hypothesis" of the scientific method, which is to be proven. In this case, as with other theses, Atienza's is documentation. It would be nice if this were corroborated, but currently I'm not aware of any document from that era that has similar content
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Old 13th March 2022, 04:11 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by chmorshuutz View Post
Atienza made an ethnographic paper of blades and farm implements used in Taal around 1917. He did label two blades that are called "dahong palay" and "dahong bolo", but I never heard of the latter, it's probably a misheard "dahong buho" which is the other profile used today that has "dahon" in it.
I just found out that Atienza's scanned papers are publicly available online at the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. Here it is.
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Old 13th March 2022, 04:56 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by xasterix View Post
I believe they are different- if you check the modern blades being sold in laguna and Quezon, there is dahong buho / buo, but it's of a different profile vs the dahong bolo as drawn by Atienza or the dahong bolo being sold in Quezon.

@bathala
Regarding the use of "thesis" it's different from "hypothesis" of the scientific method, which is to be proven. In this case, as with other theses, Atienza's is documentation. It would be nice if this were corroborated, but currently I'm not aware of any document from that era that has similar content
I think that still this thesis should be taken with a grain of salt. As you can see with the templates both minasbad and sundang is in there. He might have not ben thorough or relied on second hand account that might have caused misunderstanding. Still for me I don't think the is a dahong bolo term. Bolo or itak would be sufficient. Besides bolo leaf does no make any sense.
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Old 13th March 2022, 05:51 AM   #23
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I think that still this thesis should be taken with a grain of salt. As you can see with the templates both minasbad and sundang is in there. He might have not ben thorough or relied on second hand account that might have caused misunderstanding. Still for me I don't think the is a dahong bolo term. Bolo or itak would be sufficient. Besides bolo leaf does no make any sense.
Minsabad, I can understand, but Batangas is not far from Bicol so it's still possible. As for Sundang, it's not surprising, the term sundang is Tagalog as well. It's just that most people associate the term with Visayans and Bicolanos because they use it more frequently in those regions.
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Old 13th March 2022, 06:05 AM   #24
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Minsabad, I can understand, but Batangas is not far from Bicol so it's still possible. As for Sundang, it's not surprising, the term sundang is Tagalog as well. It's just that most people associate the term with Visayans and Bicolanos because they use it more frequently in those regions.
Maybe not in the realm of impossible. Actually there is a lot of profiles here that can be used for identification but it is still confusing if you look at it straightforward. If we go by this xasterix sword look more like the sundang than the" dahong bolo:
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Old 13th March 2022, 12:20 PM   #25
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Maybe not in the realm of impossible. Actually there is a lot of profiles here that can be used for identification but it is still confusing if you look at it straightforward. If we go by this xasterix sword look more like the sundang than the" dahong bolo:
Sorry I couldn't see the pic. Your suggestion to salt-ify the document is noted, as I am always open to new and updated information. I guess that I prefer it as just my personal label, as I have no other term to call that particular profile. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 14th March 2022, 02:39 AM   #26
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Sorry I couldn't see the pic. Your suggestion to salt-ify the document is noted, as I am always open to new and updated information. I guess that I prefer it as just my personal label, as I have no other term to call that particular profile. Thanks for your thoughts.
Thank you aswell. I learned too from this discussion. I was wondering about a dagger profile I encountered recently. This these best describe that blade profile. " Punto dyamante!
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Old 15th March 2022, 03:02 AM   #27
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Just my take on this. Yes, his account give us an idea of blade typology or names during his time. But the question is, how accurate is the account? How credible is the author? Who was he? Was this peer reviewed? These questions arise cause the fact that it was only a thesis and not a published work makes this a bit sketchy.
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Old 16th March 2022, 02:49 PM   #28
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Just my take on this. Yes, his account give us an idea of blade typology or names during his time. But the question is, how accurate is the account? How credible is the author? Who was he? Was this peer reviewed? These questions arise cause the fact that it was only a thesis and not a published work makes this a bit sketchy.
Hi algrennathan,

I think that you will be searching long and hard to obtain many peer-reviewed/scientific publications that you are seeking. There are some American anthropological papers that are reasonably reputable, but these have problems too. What was observed in use by various ethnic groups were not necessarily of their own manufacture. For example, the account of Fox on the Negrito clans on Mt Pinatubo included various knives and swords that they acquired from Pampangan smiths. Also, the Tinguian in northern Luzon (see Faye Cooper-Cole's account) used some indigenous weapons but also knives and swords from the Ilokanos of Ilocos Norte.

The "name game" of trying to find specific indigenous names for a particular blade is often pretty fruitless because the same item can have many different names, depending on the local culture or preference. You will find many places in our Archives where discussions have highlighted different names for the same item, often with passionate arguments for various preferred names. Often there is no universally accurate descriptor for a particular blade, and to try to tease apart what it may be called among various social groups becomes difficult (even for those within the particular culture). A single blade form can have different names among different groups, and the same name can apply to different blade styles among different groups. When we translate many of the native terms, they often reduce to general descriptors, such as "knife" or "sword" in the original language, which is not very helpful. Consider, for example, itak, punal, sundang, bolo, talibong, espada, daga, etc.

Information on the local naming of blades is often so sparse that we are forced to take what we can get, imperfect as it may be.

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Old 22nd March 2022, 10:07 AM   #29
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Exactly. However what I am trying to get at is we don't know who Atienza is. If credible anthropologists already have errors in their work, more so for someone who has no credible background on a certain field. How can we trust such work to be accurate?
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Hi algrennathan,

I think that you will be searching long and hard to obtain many peer-reviewed/scientific publications that you are seeking. There are some American anthropological papers that are reasonably reputable, but these have problems too. What was observed in use by various ethnic groups were not necessarily of their own manufacture. For example, the account of Fox on the Negrito clans on Mt Pinatubo included various knives and swords that they acquired from Pampangan smiths. Also, the Tinguian in northern Luzon (see Faye Cooper-Cole's account) used some indigenous weapons but also knives and swords from the Ilokanos of Ilocos Norte.

The "name game" of trying to find specific indigenous names for a particular blade is often pretty fruitless because the same item can have many different names, depending on the local culture or preference. You will find many places in our Archives where discussions have highlighted different names for the same item, often with passionate arguments for various preferred names. Often there is no universally accurate descriptor for a particular blade, and to try to tease apart what it may be called among various social groups becomes difficult (even for those within the particular culture). A single blade form can have different names among different groups, and the same name can apply to different blade styles among different groups. When we translate many of the native terms, they often reduce to general descriptors, such as "knife" or "sword" in the original language, which is not very helpful. Consider, for example, itak, punal, sundang, bolo, talibong, espada, daga, etc.

Information on the local naming of blades is often so sparse that we are forced to take what we can get, imperfect as it may be.
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Old 26th March 2022, 08:38 AM   #30
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algrennathan,

I appreciate your desire to identify weapons precisely. However, I think this is ultimately a self-defeating exercise. Many times, there is no single accepted name for a sword or knife. Basically, the name of a sword or knife comes down to what the owner wishes to call it, or what the panday called it, or what the local custom may be at that time. The same blade can have many different names (e.g., see Cato, Moro Swords).

It appears that Atienza was a university student who wrote this paper for his thesis. I have no idea what the quality of education may have been at his institution in Batangas in 1907, but it is very likely that he pursued his task diligently, made accurate observations, and tried to write down the names as clearly as he could. His account appears to be purely descriptive, as many ethnographic studies of the time were. Relatively few Filipinos had the opportunity to go to university in the early 20th C, so he likely came from a relatively affluent family. I have been told that academic integrity was very high in the 19th C and early 20th C (probably higher than today) because the opportunity to attend university was considered a great privilege and honor, which reflected on you and your family.

Having worked closely with Filipino academics for 20+ years, they are overwhelmingly careful and accurate investigators. There are exceptions, of course, but most take great pride in their work and especially their teaching.

Returning to Atienza, I think he recorded his observations as faithfully as he could. Whether his work relates well to current day terms and blade forms is up to others to determine.
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