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Old 25th December 2007, 02:09 PM   #1
roshan
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Default Philippine sword...

My dad bought this sword while travelling somewhere to the south of Manila... What can you tell me about it?

I guess its just a wall hanger.

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Old 25th December 2007, 02:27 PM   #2
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If you put it on the wall, it is a wallhanger indeed. Just like the most of our swords we collect.

It is a bolo. But I'm not an expert on Philippine swords. I'm sure the more knowledgeable members will give their comment on this piece.
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Old 25th December 2007, 02:45 PM   #3
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True, I suppose. Im just not sure of the quality of the blade, or the age of the weapon, although I think its probably very recent. I tried chopping a coconut tree with it, it didnt go deep in at all. I dont know whether that was due to the coconut tree, the sword or me.

I did have better luck chopping up a malungay tree though:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25056169@N00/462705936/
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Old 25th December 2007, 03:45 PM   #4
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Mostly we don't chop trees with our swords. Although with a good sword and technique one can chop a tree, but swords are generally not made for chopping trees. Unfortunately fine blades can be ruined by these kind of acts.

As far as I can see it on the picture it is a a rather nice sword fitted with a belt hanger. I personally would remove the belt hanger.

For the age I don't think it is brand new. A careful guess is around or maybe even before WWII.
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Old 25th December 2007, 04:26 PM   #5
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I hope you don't mind. I lightened your picture a bit so we could see the detail better. It seems to me a very nice bolo, with a hilt style I have not seen before. Hopefully the experts will stop by and comment. It's as least as old as WWII, maybe older. I'd be careful about chopping with it. If you need a blade to use, I'd be glad to trade you a nice hatchet for it.
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 25th December 2007, 04:48 PM   #6
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Ferguson and Henk, thanks for that information, I think I am going to be taking much better care of the sword. My father purchased it on a whim from someone while visiting some waterfalls (called Mahayhay) in Luzon somewhere south of Manila (I think not far from mount Makiling), its not a destination that is known by tourists or even most locals. I dont know who he bought it from, but I believe it was just some random person (who was probably using the bolo for utilitarian purposes), not at a shop or anything. He bought it for what would be considered pocket change in western countries, so I never realized that the sword was a true ethnographic weapon.

I cant actually remove the belt hanger because the scabbard (?) is composed of two halves held together by the belt hanger. It used to be really dirty (packed with mud and everything) but Ive cleaned it up.

Heres a picture I took of the waterfalls near where the sword was purchased:

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/8968/ss101717byc9.jpg

BTW, thanks for lightening the picture, I dont mind at all, it does make it much easier to see the details.
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Old 26th December 2007, 02:20 AM   #7
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Looks like a stylized horses hoof hilt with Spanish influences. I think that this could very well be pre WWII. Could you please post a picture of the pommel cap and what are the dots in the side of the grip made of? Are the fittings polished steel, nickel silver or something else?


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Old 26th December 2007, 05:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Coleman
Looks like a stylized horses hoof hilt with Spanish influences. I think that this could very well be pre WWII. Could you please post a picture of the pommel cap and what are the dots in the side of the grip made of? Are the fittings polished steel, nickel silver or something else?


Robert
I honestly dont know what the fittings are made of.... Heres a closer picture, perhaps you can tell? The actual grip looks like wood to me, but we were told that it is buffalo horn.



The dots on the side of the grip are metallic, they are on both sides, perhaps the same material as the fittings?

The pommel cap is shaped like an octagon but with rounded edges, and there are several layers of octagons on top of each other. Ill see if I can take some more pictures.
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Old 26th December 2007, 05:20 AM   #9
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Here are some pictures taken with a lousy cellphone camera:

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Old 26th December 2007, 06:23 PM   #10
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This is looking more and more to me like a WWII or post WWII piece from Luzon.
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Old 27th December 2007, 02:38 PM   #11
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Hi, Jose. After seeing the close-ups of the hilt I'm starting to think the same thing. I had a knife very similar to this but no dots on grip and it had brass fittings and a sunburst on the butt plate like the one on the tabak that you have. At first I thought the fittings on this could be nickel silver but in the close-ups they look like they could be polished stainless steel. Need better pictures.


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Old 28th December 2007, 01:10 AM   #12
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If it is Pampangan, I would think without question WWII or later.
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Old 29th August 2009, 02:48 PM   #13
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Was looking for something (tabak pics) and I stumbled upon this old thread ...

Just for the record, this bolo is dahon palay (pronounced DAH-hawn PAH-lai). I've heard relatives also call this as dahong palay or dahom palay.

The term means palay (rice plant) leaf. And the bolo is called as such because its blade shape is similar to that of a palay leaf.

The blade also supposedly derives its name from a local poisonous snake called by the same name (image below).

As for the particular style of the blade per original post above, the family of that Majayjay (mah-hai-HAI), Laguna (province) bladesmith is still around.

I have a ten-year old dahon palay which was apparently made by exactly the same bladesmith (pics below).
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Old 6th September 2009, 03:19 AM   #14
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Thank you for the information Miguel! Very interesting....
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