Photo: Philippine Scouts at 1904 World’s Fair doing the Bolo Drill (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society)

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(Photo courtesy of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society) … [Read more...]

Illustration: Various Philippine Blades

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    Illustration: Various Philippine Blades   … [Read more...]

Way Of The Balisong – An independent documentary film project that examines the history and culture of the Balisong Knife.

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Way Of The Balisong An independent documentary film project that examines the history and culture of the Balisong Knife. BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN STARTING SOON!!! Synopsis> From the Batangas region of the Philippines, to the cutlery factories of Oregon-USA, to the practitioners and aficionados connected by the World Wide Web, this film examines the origins, history and culture of the notorious Balisong Knife. Well-known from its appearance in films and popularity among blade enthusiasts,  often overlooked is the small town which made the knife famous, now struggling to maintain its identity in a modernizing world. Help Make This Film> The Film is one-third through it's principle completion.  Finishing the film will require your help.  If you would like to support this project and be a part of history please join our mailing list and follow us on facebook / twitter to stay tuned to announcement for our Kickstarter funding campaign, starting on October 7th.   https://www.facebook.com/WayOfTheBalisongwww.wayofthebalisong.comhttps://twitter.com/BalisongMovie   Help Make This Film   'Way of the Balisong' is a passion project that started from a visit to the heritage town of Taal, in the Batangas region of the Philippines by filmmaker Paul Factora in 2012. After hearing about the plight of the people in Barangay Balisong and speaking with prominent blade merchant Diosdado Ona about the disappearing industry within the Town it was named after,  a decision was made to return and document their story. After 2 subsequent trips to the Philippines, the story expanded. Originally intended as a short 10 minute piece, it became apparent that the tale of the Balisong knife was not relegated to just the Philippines and in order to tell the full story the project must also grow. It wasn't just about a knife, it became about the people who pioneered a craft that spread throughout the world and how that craft is now dwindling away. Along with a couple of friends & cameras one-third of the principle photography was shot in the Philippines completely self funded. Completing the film in it's envisioned entirety, will require another trip to the Philippines and several interviews shot throughout the U.S. 'Way Of The Balisong' will need YOUR help to be completed. Please join our mailing list to recieve updates on our Kickstarter Campaign beginning October 7, 2013 and stay tuned to learn what you can do to help make 'Way Of The Balisong' a reality. http://www.wayofthebalisong.com/about.html … [Read more...]

Warrior’s Helmet (Oklop), Ifugao, 19th-early 20th c., National Gallery of Australia.

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Warrior’s Helmet (Oklop), Ifugao, 19th-early 20th c., National Gallery of Australia.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Helmet, Masbate, 19th c., Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid.

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Helmet, Masbate, 19th c., Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Shield, Bagobo, c 1900-1910, Penn Museum.

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Shield, Bagobo, c 1900-1910, Penn Museum.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Dagger Hilt, Butuan, 10th-13th c., Tony and Cecile Gutierrez Collection.

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Dagger Hilt, Butuan, 10th-13th c., Tony and Cecile Gutierrez Collection.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Body Armor, Lanao del Sur, late 19th-early 20th c., British Museum.

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Body Armor, Lanao del Sur, late 19th-early 20th c., British Museum.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

Bladed Weapons, Mindanao, 19th c., Museo Nacional De Antropología, Madrid.

Bladed Weapons, Mindanao, 19th c., Museo Nacional De Antropología, Madrid.

Bladed Weapons, Mindanao, 19th c., Museo Nacional De Antropología, Madrid.   Courtesy of http://pupuplatter.tumblr.com … [Read more...]

And you shall be as gods: The culture of the anting-anting (Part 2) By Dennis Villegas

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And you shall be as gods: The culture of the anting-anting (Part 2)   By Dennis Villegas Monday, 09 August 2010 The Philippine Online Chronicles (www.thepoc.net) http://thepoc.net/thepoc-features/buhay-pinoy/buhay-pinoy-features/9267-the-culture-of-the-anting-anting-and-you-shall-be-as-gods-part-2-.html The arrival of the Spaniards in the Philippines in the 16th century proselytized the Filipino’s concept of God. To easily conquer the archipelago and introduce the Roman Catholic religion without antagonizing the superstitious and religious beliefs of the Filipinos, the Spanish friar missionaries presented the God of Roman Catholicism to be the same ancient Filipino God Bathala. The synthesis of the Roman Catholic religion and the pre-colonial religious and superstitious beliefs of the early Filipinos created a new kind of religion called Folk Catholicism, the religion of many millenarian groups in Southern Luzon, as well as the religion of anting-anting believers.   The Trespicio medallion of the Infinito Dios and the Tres Personas   The trinitarian dogma which is the most important of all Catholic doctrines gave way to the mythology that God, a spirit being, is an eye contained in a triangle. The triangle (or in anting-anting parlance, trespico), is the perfect representation of God, as it contained three equal sides or three equal corners, consistent with God’s three equal personalities. The triangular medallion, therefore, becomes one of the most popular of all the anting-anting. It symbolizes the oneness of the Infinito Dios and the Santissima Trinidad. Those who keep and faithfully believe in the trespico anting-anting can achieve oneness with the Infinito Dios and the Santissima Trinidad.   The Trespico medallion, believed by anting-anting faithful as an effective protector against evil because it contains the image and names of God. The symbols in this medallion include the Eye, representing the Infinito Dios, and the initials A.A.A which are the initials of the names of the Santissima Trinidad: Avetillo, Avetemit, Avelator (other names of the Santissima Trinidad are Aram, Ardam, Adradam). The ROMA is the initial of the title and name of God which means Rex Omnipotentem Macmamitam Adonay. One of the Trespico Seals of the Revolutionary Government of General Emilio Agunaldo in 1899.   The Trespico as seen in the altar of the religious sect Tres Personas Solo Dios in Mount Banahaw by the author in 2010.   God's Plan of Salvation God’s plan for the world is to save it from the clutches of the Devil. For this reason, one of the Santissima Trinidad has been assigned to go down to earth to save humankind. Only through his sacrifice and death can humankind be saved. But since God is immortal and cannot die, he must assume a human form, and before he must be born a human, he should be conceived by a woman. God being born as a human by a human mother is again one of those concepts that cannot easily be understood, especially among the early Filipinos who have a simple pre-colonial belief in the existence of God who is the first being in the universe. But for God to become human, and for God to be born by a woman, is something complex, especially if Catholicism teaches that the woman is the Mother of God, instead of just a blessed human person assigned by God to bear his human form. The woman--the Virgin Mary--conceived God in her womb. The official Catholic doctrine on her personality is stated clearly in the official Catholic book Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church published by the Vatican: Mary is truly “Mother of God” since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself. The image of a Mother God therefore plays an important role in the theogony of the anting- anting. In Filipino society, the mother of the family is viewed as the “ilaw ng tahanan” who provides her children with proper care, upbringing and education. Moreover, the early Filipino society, although strongly patriarchal, viewed women as mediators to God. As proof, the early priests were women called babaylan. The veneration of the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God is therefore consistent with the Filipino view of the important role played by the mother in Filipino family and society. The babaylan priesthood still exists at present in many folk Catholic religions in Southern Tagalog, most especially in the Ciudad Mistica de Dios and the Tres Personas Solo Dios in Mount Banahaw, where the religious leaders and priests are women. The idea of a Mother God was accepted by the early Filipinos as a given. Thus the Virgin Mary eventually took her place as an important God in the pantheon of the Gods among Filipinos. Monotheistic though the Catholic religion is as claimed by the Vatican, to the simplistic views of the pre-colonial Filipinos, … [Read more...]

And you shall be as gods: The culture of the anting-anting (Part 1) By Dennis Villegas

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And you shall be as gods: The culture of the anting-anting (Part 1) By Dennis Villegas The Philippine Online Chronicles (www.thepoc.net) http://thepoc.net/thepoc-features/buhay-pinoy/buhay-pinoy-features/9131.html Deep in the night of May 20, 1967, around 400 curiously-attired men congregated on Taft Avenue in Manila, near what is now Vito Cruz, with the intent to march to Malacanang Palace to ask for President Marcos’ resignation. The men wore anting-anting and colorful vests with mixed Latin and Tagalog inscriptions on them. Seemingly at odds with their appearance, they were also wielding daggers and three-foot-long jungle bolos signifying their rebellious intent. They were part of the millenarian sect called Lapiang Malaya (Freedom Society), a quasi-religious political society led by the charismatic 86-year-old Supremo Valentin delos Santos, a former Catholic priest, trained auto mechanic, one-time circus performer, and failed candidate in the past three presidential elections at that time.Early in May 1967, Tatang Valentin, as the Supremo was called, had demanded that Ferdinand Marcos step down. He also wanted the Philippine Armed Forces to surrender their arms to him. Deeply disillusioned by what he termed as the oppression of the poor and the continuing evil influence of foreigners in the Philippines, Tatang Valentin decided it was time to establish a new government, with him as the new Supreme Commander, Commander-in-Chief, and President of the Republic of the Philippines. President Marcos promptly rejected Tatang Valentin’s demand.  As the kapatid ("brothers," as Lapiang Malaya members were called) started to arrive from the provinces to gather in the society’s compound in Pasay, the Philippine Constabulary cordoned off the area to prevent more members from joining the already frenzied group. Then at around 12:30 in the morning of May 21, as the tension between the Lapiang Malaya members and the constabulary heightened, mock gunfire rang in the air, allegedly shot by a prankster. A violent skirmish between the kapatid and the constabulary followed – one that was so one-sided it was later to be called a massacre. As the constabulary opened fire, 32 of the kapatid were killed and some 40 seriously wounded. The constabulary had one mortality: a soldier who was hacked to death. In addition, five constabulary soldiers were wounded by bolo hacks, and three civilians hit by stray bullets.   One of the kapatid killed in the Lapiang Malaya massacre of May 21, 1967. Note the sacred vest and scarf he wears that gave no protection against bullets. Purist anting-anting believers would later say that those killed lacked faith in their anting- anting. This massacre of the Lapiang Malaya was one of the bloodiest episodes in recent Philippine history. As the front-line members of the Lapiang Malaya fell to gunfire, many other members realized their anting-anting would not protect them. Dispersing in many directions, they were later arrested and charged with rebellion. Later that morning, Tatang Valentin surrendered to the constabulary. He was brought to the National Mental Hospital, together with 11 of his high-ranking lieutenants. All of them were subjected to psychiatric evaluation and pronounced lunatic. Following his diagnosis, Tatang Valentin was confined to a cell together with a violent patient, who allegedly mauled the old man into a coma. He never regained consciousness and was declared dead in August 1967. The official medical report stated he died of pneumonia. After Tatang Valentin’s death, the Lapiang Malaya was officially dissolved by the government, with most members either pardoned or sent back to their respective provinces. Most of these were peasants, laborers, and common folks from Southern Tagalog who believed in Tatang Valentin’s promise of a new government based on “true equality and true liberty.” They also subscribed to Tatang Valentin’s promise of supernatural powers once they wore their anting-anting and sacred vests. He convinced them that the bullets of the enemies would turn into snakes and fall around them. But as it happened, and as proven in the bloody morning of May 21, the amulets they wore were no match for the automatic gunfire of the constabulary. The bullets easily tore through their vests, flesh, and bones.   Tatang Valentin delos Santos surrenders to the Constabulary   In retrospect, the Lapiang Malaya massacre is just one of the many episodes in the history of the Filipino mass movements whose combined quest for freedom and faith in the anting-anting led them to fight the oppression of those in power. The revolt of the Cofradia de San Jose in 1840, the Katipunan in 1896, the Colorum rebellions of Southern Tagalog in 1897, the Philippine Revolution of 1899, the Makario Sakay and Felipe Salvador rebellions during the … [Read more...]

Ilustration: Early Sulu Warriors and Weapons & Ilanoan Warrior

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  … [Read more...]

Colt Artillery Model 1873 Single Action Army(SAA) .45 – Researched and written by Dnvzs Zjzllg

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  Colt Artillery Model 1873 Single Action Army(SAA) .45 - Barrel Length: 7" and 5½" - Weight: 2.3 lbs - Cartridge Caliber: .45 Long Colt (255 grain) - Muzzle Velocity: 830 fps - Service: 1873–1902 The Colt SAA .45 became the side arm issued to US Army in 1873. The Colt .45 revolver was considered cutting edge technology at the time. The large caliber was believed to quell conflicts and bring peace. It became known as the "Peacemaker". It would be the most popular revolver of the old west. Today it remains synonymous with the Cowboys of the western frontier. The original Colt SAA issued to troops had the 7" barrel. By early 1890s the US Army decided to downsize their force as well as find ways to save on spending. By 1893 many of the Colt SAA revolvers were replaced by the Colt DA .38. It should be noted the phasing out of the Colt SAA .45 was a long process and many still found use as the side arm of select few units. By 1898 the Colt revolvers were modified with a shorter 5½" and issued first to Artillery units. The altered Colts with 5½" barrels would be known and later called the "Artillery Model". The most popular unit to carry the old Colt .45 SAA would be Teddy Roosevelts Rough Riders during the Cuban Campaign. The Colt SAA .45 would truly shine just as the the Philippine-American War was coming to a close and the beginning of the pacification through out the Philippines; most particularly during patrols and expeditions in the Visayan and Moroland(Mindanao) regions. The Colt .38 revolvers provided to be insufficient in stopping and dropping frantically charged assailants. Few regulars and volunteers still carried the older Colt SAA .45 and noted the significant stopping and knock-down power the revolver had over the newer .38s. Officers soon requested an immediate re-issue of old Colt SAA .45s to the Philippine Islands. Because the Colt SAA .45 would still be used in service all the way up to the end of the Philippine-American War, it would be safe to say the Colt .45 was never truly retired in 1893. By the end of 1902 the Philippine-American War closed and the US volunteers began mustering out of service. As US troop presences began to drop in the Philippines, Tafts Philippine Commission would establish a native police force known as the Philippine Constabulary to fill the roll of bring law and order through out the islands. The Philippine Constabulary would be issued the old 1878 Colt Alaskan .45 revolver, which would be re-designated the Colt 1902 Philippine Model. Resulting from the effective use of the Colt Single Action Army .45. Researched and written by Dnvzs Zjzllg … [Read more...]

Colt 1902 Philippine Model Double Action .45LC – Researched and written by Dnvzs Zjzllg

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  Colt 1902 Philippine Model Double Action .45LC Originally issued as: 1878 Colt Alaskan Revolver Barrel length: 6" Capacity: 6 round swing out cylinder Cartridge Caliber: .45 LC(Long Colt) Weight: 2 lbs Service: 1878-1892; 1902-1908 Adopted earlier in 1878 by US soldiers serving in Alaska, the pistol was nearly phased out by the new issued .38 revolvers. At the end of the Philippine-American War the Philippine Scouts, along with US military units, and the Philippine Constabulary(Native Police force) began expeditions and patrolling through Moroland and Visayan territory. There they found new adversaries waiting and lurking in the dense terrain of both regions, namely the Tad-Tad/Pulajanes of Samar/Leyte and the Juramentado Moros. The native police force were poorly equipped with Springfield Trapdoor "single shot" rifles, and a ill performing .38 Colt revolver side arm. Both proved to have insufficient stopping power of a hard charging swarm of combatants. A shot assailant does not necessarily make them incapacitated. Sword welding Moros and Filipinos were known to charge through heavy gun fire and still be capable of slashing and killing. Requests were quickly made for older issued .45 Colt revolvers, and the US government answered by reissuing out the older 1878 Alaskan Colt Revolvers to the Philippine Constabulary, re-designating them the 1902 Philippine Model. The .45 revolvers performed up to standard and as expected. The stopping power of the .45 cartridge against Filipinos during this era would result in the US government requesting their newly manufactured and issued sidearm to be chambered in .45. The end result is the M1911 Colt automatic pistol chambered in the newly engineered .45ACP cartridge. The Model 1902 revolver is unique by the enlarged trigger guard. At the time the new smokeless powder cartridges also required new primers, which took more effort to ignite; and with it required a stronger trigger spring. The trigger pull became immense. Colt modified the trigger group by use of the enlarged trigger guard, which gave more leverage to pull the trigger. Researched and written by Dnvzs Zjzllg   … [Read more...]

895 Gatling Gun, 1873-1906 – Researched and written by Dnvzs Zjzllg

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  895 Gatling Gun Weight: 395 lbs Barrel length: 32" (6-10 barrels) Cartridge Caliber: .30 cal and 45-70 Range: +1000 yards Rate fire: 600-1000 per minute Service: 1873-1906 Invented by American Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling(neighbor of the Colt family in Hartford Connecticut), the Gatling gun is considered by many to be the first machine gun. It was first introduced during the Civil War in 1865. Several different models existed through out its advent. 6 to 10 barrels are positioned in a cylinder. Each barrel having its own chamber and firing mechanism. Ammunition is placed in a magazine canister and attached on top of the cylinder breech. A crank would be operated by the gunner, which would rotate the cylinder and barrels. The rotation loaded, cocked, fired, and ejected spent cartridges. The Gatling gun initially suffered many issues, as nearly all were hand built at the time and many parts were not uniform. By the 1890s, the Gatling gun had significantly improved, and in 1895 the US Army adopted the weapon. The Gatling gun saw much action during the Spanish American War. It gained fame in Cuba giving support fire while Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders assaulted San Juan Hill. Several examples were later shipped and used in the war in the Philippines. Researched and written by Dnvzs Zjzllg   … [Read more...]

M1899 Philippine Constabulary Krag-Jørgensen Carbine Rifle – Researched and written by Dnvzs Zjzllg

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M1899 Philippine Constabulary Krag-Jørgensen Carbine Rifle - Bolt Action - Capacity: 5 round internal box magazine - Cartridge Caliber: .30-40 Krag (US Krags) Smokeless - Service: 1906-1917 The Philippine Constabulary were the native police established in 1902 by Tafts Philippine Commission which oversaw civil affairs of the Philippine Islands. It should be noted the PC's were not soldiers as many confused them to be; they were law enforcement officers paid the Civil Philippine Commission. The Philippine Constabulary were originally issued old US military stock Springfield Trapdoor single-shot 45 rifles from the Indian Wars. During the pacification of the islands after the Phil-Am War, the Trapdoor rifle proved to be inferior when fighting in the dense terrains of the Visayas and Mindanao regions where combatants would rush out in hoards. After the first initial shot, reloading another round became near impossible. As many PC inspectors complained: the Trapdoor rifle became a one shot club. The Springfield Trapdoors were later replaced by the Krag Carbines in early 1906. Unique to only the Philippines, the Krag full length rifles were modified and cut down to a shorter size at the POD(Philippine Ordnance Depot) in Intramurous. The Krag Carbine was also short lived, they would later be replaced by Springfield M1903 rifles by 1910(but Krags would still be in service until 1917). Less than a handful of these Philippine Constabulary Krag Carbines exist today. Making them the mostly highly sought after and prized rifle of all Krag models by gun collectors and   Springfield Krag Jørgensen Rifle - Manufactured: Springfield Armory(under license by Krag Jørgensen) - Design: Norwegian - Weight: 8.6lb - Length: 49" - Barrel length: 30" - Cartridge Caliber: 30-40 Krag Smokeless - Capacity: 5 round internal box magazine - Service in US Army: 1892-1903 - Service in Philippine Constabulary: 1906-1917 The US Army adopted the Krag rifle in 1892. Springfield would produce several different variants of the Krag from 1892 to 1899 at their plant in Massachusetts. An estimated 500,000 rifles were produced at Springfield Armory. Production ceased in 1904. The Krag would be the rifle credited for winning the Spanish American War, as well as the Philippine American War. It still remains synonymous to the Span-Am War era. The Krag how ever was very short lived. It only saw two short wars and was already proven to be outclassed, out matched, and obsolete during the first war. The Spanish Mauser proved to be a better all around performer, as well as being a more robust war rifle than the Krag. Loading the Krag was also tedious, as it required loading one round at a time in to the box magazine, where as the Spanish Mauser took 5 round stripper clips that allowed for extremely fast reload. The Mauser was the superior rifle of the two wars, but the American soldiers outnumbered and out-gunned the Spanish and Filipino soldiers armed with Mausers. By 1901 Springfield had developed a new and improved battle rifle that incorporated features and characteristics of both the Spanish Mauser as well as the Krag. The US Army soon adopted Springfields new rifle and named it the M1903. The M1903 were quickly mass produced and outfitted to US Regulars. The Krags however would still find a niche in service. By 1905 the Krags would be re-issued to the Philippine Constabulary and other provincial police departments around the Philippines. Researched and written by Dnvzs Zjzllg   … [Read more...]

Spanish Mauser Model 1893 Bolt Action Rifle – Researched and written by Dnvzs Zjzllg

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  Spanish Mauser Model 1893 Bolt Action Rifle - Manufactured: Loewe Berlin Germany - Weight: 8.6lb - Barrel length: 29" - Cartridge Caliber: 7mm (7x57mm) Smokeless - Service in Spanish Army: Since 1893 The 1893 Mauser bolt action rifle is considered by many to be one of the most revolutionary firearms in history and way ahead of it's era. Accuracy of the rifle being unmatched during its time. The Mauser rifle saw little improvements to its design through out its service. It would be used by nearly all countries up to and during the second world war. Even by todays standards it is considered extremely accurate next to modern firearms. Nearly all bolt action rifles produced today take some design from the Mauser rifle. The 7mm round created a distinctive sound when whizzing by, the American soldiers called it the "Spanish Hornet". Spain contracted Mauser in Loewe Berlin to produce these rifles for their entire military in the early 1890s. The Mauser were to replace outdated rifles like the Remington Rolling Block. The Mauser later shined and gained an infamous reputation during the Spanish American War at Cuba. The Battle of San Juan Hill would be the most famous battle of the Spanish-American War, as well as being the turning point of the war. 800 Spanish soldiers held the hill against an opposing force made up of nearly 20,000 armed men. 15,000 being made of US Soldiers armed with Krags and Springfield Trapdoor rifles. Although the fight lasted only 2 days and the US gained control of the hill, the end result was near disastrous for the Americans. 200 US soldiers lay dead with 1,100 being wounded. The Spanish resulted in only 58 deaths and 170 wounded. The Spanish Mauser rifle was quickly noted by the US military and the US government for its lethality and superiority in this one battle. At the same time in the Philippines, the 2nd phase of the Revolution was in motion and the Philippine Army trampled across the Spanish troops through out the islands. The Filipinos began to equip themselves with captured and left over Spanish firearms. They would also account for the superior performance in the Mauser. Each battalion would have a separate special unit of expert riflemen/snipers(known as Tiradors); and all were to be armed with nothing but Mauser rifles. The most popular Filipino riflemen unit being under the command of General Geronimo, whom he would name "Tiradores de la Muerte"(Shooters of Death). After the outbreak of the Philippine American War, the Tiradores de la Muerte would gain fame in Dec 1899 when the unit defended the town of San Mateo against 800 US troops under the command of Gen Henry Lawton. On the morning of the battle Lawton walked along the firing line in open field to gain a better view of his troops and the opposing force. The troops noted the distinct firing sound of the Mauser rifles and advised the general to take cover. The general ignored their warning and at that instant was struck in the chest by round fired by one of the tiradores Mauser rifle. Gen Lawton would die with in a few minutes. The rifle shot coming from a distance of 300 yards during a storm with rain. Also during the Spanish American War in the Philippines, in the town of Baler a small detachment of 50 Spanish soldiers barracked themselves inside the towns fortified church. Lt Col Teodorico Luna(relative of Juan and Antonio Luna) would lead the attack against the Spaniards and surrounded the church. The Spaniards would hold this position from July 1898 to June 1899. During their stand, the Spanish American War would end, America would purchase the islands, and Philippine American War was in full swing. The Spanish troops finally surrendered to the Philippine Army and were received as friendly allies. The dominance of the Mauser rifle was accredited for the 11 month long stand off. Due to the superiority and success of the Mauser rifle over the newly issued Krag rifles through out the Spanish American War, the US Government took captured Mausers and gave them to Springfield Armory for their own research and development. The US Government would give Springfield Armory the order to build their own Mauser type rifle. In 1900 Springfield had a prototype rifle with similar characteristics of both the Mauser and Krag rifle. The US Government approved the design, and the end result is the M1903 Springfield bolt action rifle in 30-06. It should be noted that Springfield Armory at the time was under government control, but in itself was still a separate entity as a firearms manufacturer. The US Government in a way did not purposely copy the designs, but being Springfield Armory fell under the control of the US Government, Mauser took action against the US government and not Springfield Armory. Both Mauser and the US Government realized the similar features and agreed it infringed on Mausers design patents. The US Government … [Read more...]

The Philippines – Early Collection. The Museum of Ethnology, Vienna – Austria

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The Calatangan Pot inscription

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A new translation of the Calatangan Pot inscription The Calatangan Pot is a prehispanic (14th-16th century) artifact containing an inscription around the neck. It is said to be one of the earliest expressions of prehispanic writing in the Philippines, and there have been several attempts at translating the inscription. Rolando Borrinaga is the latest person to offer an translation of the script, based on old Bisayan and old Tagalog alphabets. An earlier attempt to decipher the Calatangan Pot incription was made by University of the Philippines’ Ramon Guillerm *** The mystery of the ancient inscription The Inquirer, 23 May 2009 AFTER 50 years of enigma, the text inscribed around the shoulder of the Calatagan Pot, the country’s oldest cultural artifact with pre-Hispanic writing, may have been deciphered as written in the old Bisayan language. Diggers discovered the pot in an archeological site in Calatagan, Batangas, in 1958. They sold it for P6 to a certain Alfredo Evangelista. Later, the Anthropological Foundation of the Philippines purchased the find and donated it in 1961 to the National Museum, where it is displayed to this day. The pot, measuring 12 centimeters high and 20.2 cm at its widest and weighing 872 grams, is considered one of the Philippines’ most valuable cultural and anthropological artifacts. It has been dated back to the 14th and 16th centuries. *** The Calatagan Pot by Hector Santos © 1996 by Hector Santos All rights reserved. http://www.bibingka.com/dahon/mystery/pot.htm In the early 1960's, an artifact was offered by treasure hunters to National Museum staff as they were working on a nearby excavation. It was the Calatagan pot, the first pre-Hispanic artifact with writing to be found. As such, it is the best known and written about among all artifacts with writing. Even at that, it is still undeciphered. Calatagan Pot The late Dr. Robert Fox brought the pot to the offices of the Manila Times to ask help from its editor, Chino Roces, in deciphering the writing around the mouth of the pot. The newspaper, as a result, commissioned the sculptor Guillermo Tolentino, an expert on Philippine syllabaries, to decipher the writing. Tolentino had a hard time with certain letters so he, as a spiritist, reportedly summoned his special powers to come up with a translation. The authenticity of the pot has been questioned since it first showed up. For one thing, no other pot has been found decorated with writing. Carbon dating was reportedly done on the pot but the results pointed to such an extremely early date that it had to be rejected. Dr. Fox wanted to do some thermoluminescence testing but didn't live to see it done. Nevertheless, the pot may still be authentic. It would have been very easy for a forger to write something decipherable on the pot, especially text which made sense. Anyone attempting to create a phony artifact would probably have done so. As it was, the strangeness of the characters and the direction of writing (or to be more precise, the direction in which the artisan wrote the letters) gives us something to think about. Juan Francisco, a respected Philippine paleographer, did some analysis of the letters in his 1973 book, Philippine Palaeography. He could not decipher the writing, however. His analysis mainly consisted of classifying the letters as curvilinear, lineo-angular, or a combination of the two. I cannot see the usefulness of such a classification because there is no benefit from its use, whether in trying to find the script's heritage or in classifying it among the known scripts of the world. His book contains good sketches of all the letters though, which makes the section on the Calatagan pot in his book not entirely useless. The writing on the pot goes around its mouth. The letters look similar to those of classic Philippine scripts (Tagalog, Tagbanwa, Buhid, and Hanunóo) but some appear to be oriented in strange ways. Some show a similarity to older scripts used in Indonesia, suggesting an earlier development of classic Philippine scripts. The symbols are divided by stop marks into six groups (which may be phrases), each consisting of five or seven symbols. Calatagan Writing What is strange and maybe significant about the writing is the apparent direction in which the artisan wrote it. A look at the pot will show that the artisan engraved the letters into the soft clay in a direction going to the left looking at the pot as it stands right side up. He apparently misjudged the length of the writing and ran out of space so that its last few letters go under the starting point. This gives us a clue as to the literacy of the artisan. We know that ALL Southeast Asian scripts share a common ancestor and were meant to be read and written from left to right. (Forget what others have said about having observed Tagbanwans writing on bamboo slats in a direction away from their body. You have seen … [Read more...]

SANDATA — THE EDGED WEAPONS OF THE PHILIPPINES

SANDATA — THE EDGED WEAPONS OF THE PHILIPPINES Ian A. Greaves, Jose Albovias Jr. and Federico Malibago Collectively known as “sandata,” the edged weapons of the Philippines displayed in this exhibit are more than mere artifacts. They present a tangible living connection with a culture and history that would otherwise have been forgotten. Edged weapons have played a pivotal role in the cultural development and survival of the Philippine people. For many Philippine ethnic groups, bladed weapons exist as more than just a tool of war; they are a key part of a man’s identity and daily attire. While limited in its scope to general information, history, and a description of the types of weapons in this exhibit, this article in conjunction with the exhibited items provide a glimpse into the diverse world of Philippine weaponry. We start this discussion with the physical aspects of the Philippines within the greater context of the world. We then turn to the current population breakdown of the nation, illustrating the wide variety of ethnicities and cultures present throughout Philippine history. A brief discussion of Philippine history follows, focusing on general trends and events. Finally, we discuss the edged weapons displayed in this exhibit, with brief descriptions of the ethnic groups who developed these weapons. Origins According to archeological records, the Philippines was connected to mainland Asia during the last Ice Age. As glaciation lowered sea levels, newly exposed land in the China Sea created the Sunda Shelf, a land mass that covered an area of some 1,800,000 square kilometers. This land mass enabled the present day Philippines to act as a land bridge connecting mainland Asia to Borneo, Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia. During this period the bulk of the flora and fauna of the Philippines were introduced. Approximately 250,000 years ago the glaciers melted, and the land bridges were submerged, creating the Philippine Archipelago. Geography and Climate The Philippine Archipelago consists of roughly 7,107 islands, many of volcanic origin. It is located between three major bodies of water: to the northwest the South China Sea, to the east the Pacific Ocean, and to the south the Celebes Sea. The archipelago lies between Southern China and North Borneo, in the latitudes of 4°23’N to 21°25’N and the longitudes of 116°E to 129°E. The total area of the Philippines has a total land area of about 300,000 square kilometers of which only 19% is arable. It has an extensive coastline of roughly 36,000 kilometers. Much of the terrain is mountainous, with narrow but extensive coastal lowlands. The highest point in the Philippines is Mt Apo, located on the southern island of Mindanao, rising 2,954 meters. The Philippines is divided into three geographic areas: Luzon in the north, the Visayas in the center, and Mindanao in the south. It is further divided into 17 regions and 79 provinces. The climate of the Philippines is tropical and subject to an abundance of rain. It has three primary seasons: a rainy season during the months of June to October, a cool dry season during the months of November to February, and a hot dry season during the months of March to May. The archipelago is located astride the typhoon belt, and is normally affected by about 15 major storms each year, and hit directly by five or six typhoons. Local flooding and mud slides are major problems in the wet season. Population According to a July 2005 estimate, the Philippines currently has a population of 87,857,473 people, making it the fourteenth most populous nation. About 96% of the population is under the age of 65, with a median age of 22.7 years. The ethnic breakdown of the Filipino population, according to the latest census data, is: Tagalog 28%, Cebuano 13%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bicolano 6%, Waray 3.4%, and 25% are listed as “Other.” Despite the seeming dominance of Christian groups, within the category of “Other” there exist about 100 non-Christian tribal groups. According to the 2000 census, the religious makeup of the Philippines breaks down as follows: Roman Catholic 81%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 5%, Other 1.8%, Unspecified 0.6%, and None 0.1%. For various reasons it is possible that the numbers of non-Christians in the Philippines were underestimated. Language is another source of diversity among the Philippine population. The Philippines has two official languages: Filipino (which is based on Tagalog) and English. Besides the official languages there are over 500 local dialects. The eight most common are Tagalog , Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Bicolano, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan. Pre-Colonial Cultural Influences Cultural diffusion among the Filipino population has been due largely to effects of regional migration through trade and settlement. While there are … [Read more...]

Anting Anting by Reynaldo S. Galang

kali arnis eskrima lameco ilustrisimo

Anting Anting Shrouded in secrecy and mystery, the anting-anting is a subject close to the Filipino’s heart. It holds promise of invincibility, of victory and of heroic deeds. Legends have been born and men have died because of the lure of the mysterious and powerful anting-anting. The anting-anting made a resurgence into popularity in the early 70’s when the film Nardong Putik chronicling the life of the outlaw Leonardo Manecio made its debut. The hero of the film, a local Robin Hood, credited his ability to survive and escape numerous ambushes and gunfights to his anting-anting. There is much dispute as to what his anting-anting really was. Some claim it was a smooth pebble of rare and mysterious material that Nardong Putik kept under his tongue. While others say it is a 66-day old fetus that he kept in a small crystal container. Whatever his anting-anting was, Nardong Putik’s ability to elude the law and his enemies made him a legend and a hero to many people. Jikiri, the noted Muslim pirate, eluded the Philippine Constabulary and U. S. soldiers for over three years. Yet Jikiri boldly operated in broad daylight. The legendary source of his galing (gift) — an anting-anting, of course. These stories and more contribute to the growing number of legends and belief in the efficacy of the anting-anting. Combined with the equally mysterious Orascion (a special verse or prayer), warriors can be psyched to become confident and daring to undertake suicidal missions. There are many prescribed ways of acquiring an anting-anting. The easiest is to have an existing, sacred anting-anting bestowed to you as an inheritance or reward. This happens very rarely, for the agimat (amulet) is usually buried with its owner and master for continued protection against spirits from the nether world. Stealing an anting-anting makes it lose its power and is therefore a useless alternative. An anting-anting loses its power when it leaves its master’s possession without his knowledge or blessing. Various types of anting-anting can be bought at holy places but these are patay (dead/blanks) with no power whatsoever.  These blanks have to undergo sacred and secret rituals to become empowered and effective. There are many different methods to make an anting-anting sagrado (sacred). The most popular day for the anting-anting to have birtud (power) is on Good Friday. This, according to legend, is when God abandons His creation and the spirits roam freely and can be lured, captured, harnessed and enslaved by the brave and mighty. Another popular occasion is at midnight during a full moon with the ritual taking place at a cross road or a cemetery with a sacrificial black cat as a bait or offering. Another kind of anting-anting, known as Mutya, comes from plants, such as a banana or a palm tree. This requires a lot of patience and diligence for one has to wait until the heart of the banana discharges its essence, a crystal clear solid drop that must not be allowed to touch the ground and must be swallowed immediately. With this captive prize, legends say that a successful and prosperous life is guaranteed. Some types of anting-anting or orascion are meant as love charms. Most are for protection — against the forces of darkness, against one’s enemies, and even against sickness. Others are for special gifts, such as the mysterious and esoteric art of Hilot (massage and healing), Hula (fortune telling) and Kulam (spells and witchcraft). However, every anting-anting and every orascion carries with it an immutable commitment. One must be prepared to perform the required rituals, the mandated daily devotion, the annual pilgrimage, to keep the birtud of the anting-anting. Man will always be fascinated with this mysterious harbinger of success, victory and protection. Many, though not all, of the Philippine Grand Masters and Masters of martial arts believe in the power and protection of the anting-anting and orascion. And everyone of these believers, without exception, recognize the value and worth of diligence, dedication and discipline in martial arts training. Like the anting-anting, the easiest way to learn a martial art is to find a good teacher, a worthy master. Someone who, like the anting-anting’s master,  will pass on to you, the secret and power of his own knowledge and skills. Again, like the anting-anting, this knowledge and skill must be nurtured with diligent practice, with moral righteousness, discipline, devotion and dedication. Written by Reynaldo S. Galang   Copyright © 1994, 1997 Bakbakan International … [Read more...]

The Batangas Balisong Knife

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Balisong A butterfly knife, called a balisong in the Philippines, and sometimes known as a Batangas knife, is a folding pocket knife with two handles counter-rotating around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. Manipulations, called flipping, are performed for art or amusement. Contents Balisong While the meaning of the term "balisong" is not entirely clear, a popular belief is that it is derived from the Tagalog Language words baling sungay (literally, "broken horn"as the original balisongs were made from carved animal horns. These knives are also referred to as "fan knives" or "click clacks." The use of the balisong is so popular in the Philippines that an urban legend exists about every Batangueño carrying it everywhere he goes. They are a pocket utility knife used by people of Filipino society. They have also been used to fight duels over matters of honor, although such practices have been discontinued decades ago. History The butterfly knife appears first documented in a 1710 French book, "Le Perret", where an intricate and precise depiction of a butterfly knife is outlaid, explaining that the device was developed in the late 1600's as a utility knife. It then most likely came into popular use in the Phillipines through transference intercontinentally to Spain, which coincides with the Spanish governance of the Phillipines during that period. There is, however, myth and legend attending to the butterfly knife being an 'ancient Filipino invention dating back to 800 AD', stating it to be the most ancient of weapons of the Filipino fighting system of Eskrima but this is believed by academics and historians to be purely conjecture or urban legend. Construction There are two main types of butterfly knife construction: sandwich construction and channel construction. Sandwich constructed butterfly knives are assembled in layers that are generally pinned or screwed together. They allow the pivot pins to be adjusted tighter without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rests between the layers. For a channel constructed butterfly knife, the main part of each handle is formed from one piece of material. In this handle, a groove is created (either by folding, milling, or being integrally cast) in which the blade rests when the knife is closed. This style is regarded as being stronger than sandwich construction. Parts Bite Handle The handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade. Kicker (or Kick)  Area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge from contacting the inside of the handle and suffering damage. Latch The standard locking system, which holds the balisong closed. Magnets are occasionally used instead. Latch, Batangas A latch that is attached to the bite handle. Latch, Manila A latch that is attached to the safe handle. Latch, Spring A latch that utilizes a spring to propel the latch open when the handles are squeezed. Safe Handle The handle that closes on the non-sharpened edge of the blade. Latch gate A block inside the channel of the handles stopping the latch from impacting the blade Tang The base of the blade where the handles are attached with pivot pins. Choil Small curve found on some balisongs just above the kicker, that allows you to sharpen the blade more easily. Swedge Unsharpened spine of the blade that is angled to appear as if it were sharpened. (many spear point balis actually have an edged side and a swedge side instead of two sharpened sides) Antique dueling balisong Balisongs are still handmade in the traditional manner in the Philippines. Such knives are referred to as "Filipino handmade" (FHM), and their quality varies greatly. The typical FHM is a sandwich style balisong made from layers of brass or aluminum sheet assembled with pins. Frequently, the handles are inlayed with scales fashioned from rosewood, bone, horn, stag, or synthetic materials. Balisongs made for the tourist trade are typically of passable quality, but are mass-produced by semi-skilled workers and lack the durability and aesthetics of a knife fashioned by an apprentice to a master craftsman. Balisongs are also called "vente nueve" (twenty-nine) for the standard twenty-nine-inch balisong. Legal status Because of its potential usage as a weapon, and possibly due to its intimidating nature and rapid deployment, it has been outlawed in several Western countries. The importation ban and widespread criminalization of the butterfly knife occurred shortly after the popular film, The Outsiders (film) (which prominently featured butterfly knives in the same manner that Rebel Without A Cause featured switchblades -- coincidentally resulting in their rapid criminalization) was released. * In Canada, the possession of a butterfly knife is illegal. * In Scotland, England & Wales, The … [Read more...]

The Sansibar Sword of Leyte

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The Sansibar Sword, sometimes mistakenly known as the Zanzibar Sword. The Zanzibar sword, which is an African sword, mainly from around the Saudi Arabian/African border line area. If there is a historical connection between the Filipino version of the Sansibar and the Zanzibar, it is presently unknown! The Sansibar was officially born in Leyte in 1881 before Spain sold the Philippines to America through a treaty. Mainly the sansibar was and still is used by the river men who cut bamboos and use it as floaters for their "bangka" or boats for local traveling. These same boatmen also travel the seas to cross to the other islands in the Philippines. That is the reason why the Sansibar design reached other islands within the Philippines. You will see various popular designs of the Sansibar sword...approximately 5 different designs in the various islands where the Sansibar had found a home. The name Sansibar was first called "pang sibak", which "pang" means "for" and "sibak" means "chop" in Filipino term. So pang sibak means "for chopping," later the term evolved into "pang sibar" which means the same in Tagalog. Other explanations are "san sibak," meaning "one" (san or isan or isang) and "chop" (sibak) so to put them two words together "san-sibak" means "one chop!" Then much later on the name sansibar was adopted even though every Filipino dialect differs in almost every island. The hearing and the pronunciation of the word "Sansibar" changed until the occupation of America began...and then the word Sansibar was used as the standard name for this particular sword design.

This history is one strong theory supported by strong beliefs of the Filipino people. Any other history of this sword is not well known because a more popular swords like the "Katipunan" and "Pinute" were used by the katipuneros. Those swords are widely used in everyday tasks as tools of survival, and the Sansibar whose image, shape and style was temporality put aside. But then again, the Sansibar was also used by many of the katipuneros for all out combat purposes due to its perfectly engineered balance. According to Punong Guro Edgar Sulite the Sansibar and Barong swords were the favorites of his teacher, the legendary Master Antonio Ilustrisimo. … [Read more...]

The Butuan Silver Strip by Hector Santos

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The Butuan Silver Strip by Hector Santos © 1996 by Hector Santos All rights reserved. http://www.bibingka.com/dahon/mystery/silver.htm The Butuan area has been a rich source of material from ancient Philippines for both treasure hunters and trained archaeologists. So it was in the mid-seventies when a team from the National Museum of the Philippines excavating a site was told that a strip of metal with some kind of writing had been found by a treasure hunter. Fortunately, the artifact was already in the hands of Proceso Gonzales, the city engineer of Butuan. He understood the importance of the find and took possession of it. Butuan Silver Strip The metal strip was found inside a wooden coffin by treasure hunters who were looking for ceramic and gold objects that could be sold for high prices to private collectors. According to Dr. Jesus Peralta, similar burials in wooden coffins in the vicinity of Butuan had previously been found to contain human remains with skulls that have been artificially deformed. This practice was apparently limited to Southern Philippines, the beauty standard for such head shapes never finding its way to Luzon. Ceramics and ornaments were usually placed in the coffins, the ceramic pieces dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. If the metal strip was found within a typical coffin, it would have logically come from the same era. While the metal piece could have come from foreign shores, the safest and most conservative position one can take is that an artifact belongs in the place where it was found unless it can be proven otherwise. The letters were cut into the piece of metal with a knife. The difficulty of making curved lines on metal with a knife is apparent in the clumsy shapes of the letters. The strip measures 17.8 x 1.3 cm. Peralta reports that the late Dr. Boechari of Indonesia identified the script as "similar to a Javanese script that had been in use from the 12th to the 15th century" (late Kavi?). At this time, the writing has not been convincingly deciphered nor have the letters in the strip been identified. A successful transliteration would not guarantee a decipherment because of the brevity of the sample, though. A companion piece with similar writing was also reportedly found in the same coffin. However, the owner refused to part with it because he believed it held the key to the location of a treasure hoard. How he hoped to use that piece to locate the treasure without translating the message is not known. Neither do we know why it is that piece and not the one he gave up that holds the secret. That second piece will play an important role in solving the mystery of the Butuan silver strip. Additional Reading 1. Peralta, Jesus T. "The Butuan palaeograph: ethnographic implications of an ancient script," in Archipelago 6:A-55 (1979): 31-33. 2. Santos, Hector. "Artifacts with writing revisited" in Sulat sa Tansô, 2:5 (June 1995), 1. 3. -----. "Other pre-Hispanic writing artifacts" in Sulat sa Tansô, 2:2 (February 1995), 1. 4. -----. "The Butuan Silver Strip" in Sulat sa Tansô, 2:2 (February 1995), 3. Butuan Silver Strip Deciphered? by Hector Santos © 1996 by Hector Santos All rights reserved. "Butuan paleograph deciphered using Eskaya script" by Jes Tirol (in UB Update) attempts to show that a "translation" of the Butuan silver strip had been done by using the Eskaya script. A clipping of this article was provided by Antoon Postma of Mindoro, who in turn obtained it from the late William Henry Scott of Mountain Province. This proves that "real" scholars do share information. Eskaya is a secret organization based on the island of Bohol. Its members claim that their ancestors arrived on the island in 677 A.D. from Sumatra. Tirol writes: One of the books of the Eskaya of Bohol is entitled Unang Katawhan Sa Bohol (First People of Bohol). According to the book, Dangko and his 12 children of 11 boys and one girl and his men arrived in Bohol in 677 A.D. They started from Sumatra-Manselis which is the western side of Sumatra, Indonesia on board a "Lutsa." (See: "Lorcha," Webster Int'l Dictionary, Unabridged.) The only daughter of Dangko got married to a chieftain of Butuan. From that time on until the present, the inner psyche of an Eskaya is geared towards Butuan. Since the center of Eskaya culture is now at Biyabas, Guindulman, Bohol, the migrant Eskaya in Butuan maintain close contact with the Eskaya of Bohol. Further on, Tirol continues: The Butuan Kingdom is no more. Its literature and writings are gone, except for the Butuan paleograph. But the Eskaya of Bohol is still existing with their system of writing. It is logographic system not alphabetic, and therefore older than the Malayan-Bisayan recorded by the Spanish writers. The Eskaya scrupulously transmitted their system of writing and literature by conducting classes. At present, classes are conducted every Saturday and Sunday. The Eskaya … [Read more...]

The Moro Kris

dp - moro weapons, island of mindanao

The Moro Kris The kris is the most famous Moro weapon. Variations are found in every Moro tribe and it was a key symbol of a man’s status and rank in society as well as being a powerful talisman. Kris blades are wide at the base, double-edged, and can be waved, half-waved half-straight, or straight (straight blades were more practical in combat). Older kris had fewer waves and the waves were deeper and wider. Over time the waves became shallower, tighter, and more numerous and therefore required greater skill to prevent the blade bouncing off or being stuck in an enemy’s body. The higher number of waves meant the more potent the kris was in talismanic power. Sometimes engravings (often filled in with brass or silver inlay) are found on the blade in plant motifs (vines, foliage, etc.) or Arabic script. Many kris blades are forged with fullers. Moro kris are cutting and slashing swords versus the stabbing keris of the Malay and Indonesians. Kris range from 45 to 65 centimeters (18 to 26 inches) in length. Older kris before the 19th century tended to be smaller in size. Laminated steel patterns are sometimes evident. Opposite the hook like fretwork on the guard of the blade is a cavity in the form of an elephant, eagle, or mouth of a naga (a mythical snake). Hilts of krises are either straight or slightly curved. Commonly the pommel is in the form of a horse hoof, or a stylized cockatoo head with beak and crest. Usually the pommel is made of hardwood burl with the handle being wrapped in lacquered fiber. Upper-class kris pommels are often made of ivory, silver, brass, or other exotic materials with handles wrapped in chased bands of silver or swassa (copper-gold alloy) or braided wire. Large extravagant cockatoo pommels appeared toward the end of the 19th century and are called junggayan. Pommels before the 19th century were very small. Moro kris scabbards were made of wide grain native hardwoods like mahogany, teak, and narra, lashed together with rattan or metal strips. Sometimes the crosspiece is separate from the bottom, but more often they are carved together. Around the mid-20th century mother-of-pearl was introduced to scabbard work and kris pommels. Scabbards of the nobility are bound with bands of plain or chased silver, brass, or swassa instead of rattan bindings. Some nobility scabbards even have crosspieces made of ivory or horn. ----- There are two types of kris used by the Moros of the Philippines. Kalis is the name used by the Tausugs, Samals and Yakans. In the Mindanao it is called Sundang and is used by the Maranaos, Maguindanos and others. The Moro kris belongs to larger family of kris found in South East Asia: Indonesia, Borneo, Malaysia and part of Thailand. Its origin is mostly likely East Java near Yogya and Solo. The Moro kris has the most varied design and style amongst the bladed weapons found in the Philippines. The Moro Kris evolved from use in combat. The double edge blade is an advantage where there are numerous opponents, the blade can be used to cut in an upward stroke. A single edge blade in contrast , needs to be turned in the opposite direction to do the same cut. The Moro kris is highly regarded by the people of Mindanao and Sulu. It is used as a symbol of authority and prestige. Kris From Wikipedia The kris or keris is an asymmetrical dagger indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei. It is known as kalis in the southern Philippines. The kris is famous for its distinctive wavy blade, but many have straight blades as well. Both a weapon and spiritual object, kris are often considered to have an essence or presence, with some blades possessing good luck and others possessing bad. In 2005, UNESCO gave the title Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity to the kris of Indonesia. In return, UNESCO urged Indonesia to preserve their heritage Etymology The origin of the word kris derived from the old Javanese term ngiris which means to stab, wedge or sliver. "Kris" is the more frequently-used spelling in the West, but "keris" is more popular in the dagger's native lands,[2] as exemplified by the late Bambang Harsrinuksmo's popular book entitled Ensiklopedi Keris (Keris Encyclopedia). Two notable exceptions are the Philippines, where it is usually called kalis or kris, and Thailand where it is always spelled and pronounced as kris. Other spellings used by European colonists include "cryse", "crise", "criss", "kriss" and "creese". Origins Kris depicted on Borobudur bas-relief. Kris display Kris history is generally traced through the study of carvings and bas-relief panels found in Southeast Asia. It is widely believed by archaeologists that the earliest kris prototype can be traced to Dong Son in Vietnam circa 300 BC. From there, the design would have been brought into present-day Malaysia by Cham migrants who made their way into the Malay Peninsula twenty centuries ago. Another theory is that … [Read more...]