Filipino blade history to present time info...

Discussion in 'Misc. Knife Arts' started by Ron Kosakowski, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge

    Hi Simon,

    You have nothing to be ashamed of. I don't have the cash to purchase it right now and will not have for a while to buy purchase it or anything else for that matter. That's just life. You have things far more valuable than the book anyway, the oral traditions and traditional techniques within your grasp. Most FMA'ers never even get to go to the Philippines and you live there. So you are truly blessed. I wish we could all just pick up a volume of each culture's history and traditions including all artifacts out of a digital AV library. But it looks like I will just have to continue wishing.......

    God Bless, Mike
  2. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    Here, Here Majority of FMA practitioners who I have ran across have never been to the Philippines and have no concept of what it is like to train there.. Especially during the times that I did in the past, less than 35 yrs after the second war and things still being taught as they were back then.. No flowery movements, nothing that wasted time, all real time proven combatives from those who have seen the elephant and lived to kick it in the nads.. That is why I like the DTS system as taught by the guys who I consider friends now.. My training with GT Nene was like being back with my instructors back in the 70s and I will always remember that time for as long as I am able to swing a stick..
  3. Thanks :)

    It's a fascinating culture and it's just a shame there seems to be a dearth of museums and media on the subject. A case in point is a program I caught on the T'boli tribe the other day on the knowledge channel. Here is a link to it:

    I really enjoyed how learning about the tribe, their dances and culture. The oldest weaver also had a Kris sword which was an heirloom. I contacted the Musuem in Makati to try and get the DVD but as usual despite the number being on the website they didn't know what I (or my wife in this case) was on about...:(

    Anyway, I wandered off and got back to the point of this thread (which being an online retailer I tried to stay out of!!!)

    Here's an interesting picture I just found whilst surfing:
    Kampilan Sword of the T’boli People


    Any opinions on the hilt? They have all been shaped like crocodiles in the examples I have seen.

    Hmmm, I just find this picture:


    Bagobo, T'boli Tok
    Mountain Province
    Ibaroy axe, Kalinga axe (fourth and sixth), Bontoc axe

    How cool are these two:

    Bangsamoro, 19th Century or earlier
    Kalis Taluseko, Kalis Tulid, Kalis Tulid, Kris Matidto, Kris Seko, Kris Seko


    Padsumbalin Panabas (first and second), typical Panabas (last two), Barongs from Sulu (first, second, third, and fifth are known as Junggayan type, due to the handle design, which are most likely reserved for the Datus)

    Apologies if these have been posted elsewhere but I'm sure we'll all appreciate seeing these pics!

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  4. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Great museum pic's Simon.

    In regards to many of the blades I have seen differences in hilt or blade based on a certain tribes or pandays preferences. Similar to Mike Snows blade in I believe this thread that looks like a ginunting and could be mistaken for one but yet is not. [​IMG]

    I have a beautiful pre world war II tenegre that unfortunately has to have a new handle to be usuable again. However, once I do that it will not be the same. [​IMG]
  5. Buwaya

    Buwaya Senior Member

    There's a difference.

    What Simon is talking about is regional differencies between kampilans.

    What Mike Snow is talking about is people calling something it isn't. You could call his example a ginunting, but isn't. It's from a whole different region. Different arts emerged to fight with that, then those that did to fight with ginunting.

    In Simon's case above, both are kampilans, forked and not, but variations based on region, and ethnic group.

    Any personal creative variation of the panday still happens within the traditional classic forms of that ethnic groups sandata.

    When you talk about huge variations based on a panday's preference, your now talking about a panday not from the region or ethnic group, not raised in that specific blacksmithing tradition making sandata based on descriptions and photographs, never having held or handled the actual thing. That's how the soul of a art is destroyed.

    That's how soulless life-less blades are created.

    There's meaning behind each and every aspect of a sundang. History, war, religion, agriculture, all wrapped up in it. A panday foreign to the blade just adds things because they're nifty, pretty, look cool, catch the eye, without any grasp why the original blade looked, moved and handled the way it did, often adding and changing things that have nothing to do with the blade.

    Fine and dandy, unless your trying to pass it off as the actual thing.

    This is not an attack on anyone's business or any one personally. So much as an explanation of why people are responding strongly to this.

    It's more important to support the dying blacksmithing tradition in the Philippines at the regional micro level in terms of preservation than attempting to create one stop sundang emporiums catering to every regional fancy. Its better to go to the region your interested in to support a local panday where the blade comes from, grounded and raised in how the blade is made passed down from generation to generation.

    Otherwise all you'll find in ten years, is empty blacksmithing shacks and cold forges. And people who no longer know the names or stories behind anything. Trust me, this is already happening, and has been for a long time.
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    You know I have a lot of blades from all over the Philippines direct from pandays native to the region. Do not be confused that I do not know the names, etc. as I research carefully. I fully know the difference from a blade produced by a panday and one mass produced. I will use mass produced blades to do cutting with because I do not want an origional damaged. (ie. ones that have more than just monetary value)

    Now as to the sword dealer in question well that is for you and he to discuss differences. I am not involved!
  7. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    I also agree with supporting local black smiths. I am all for it and have for the past twenty years or so. Thanks. [​IMG]
  8. Labantayo

    Labantayo Junior Member

    Just a FYI regarding the pics of the museum pieces:
    I know most of the people who donated their swords for that exhibition.
    Most of the descriptions on that site are incorrect, as the preparer of information for each sword did not do his job correctly. So take the descriptions with a grain of salt. But there are some beautiful pieces!!!

    Buwaya and Mr. Snow,
    I'm glad to see someone else who understands our position on preserving Philippines history correctly.

    Mr. Snow,
    Do you have that "ginunting" you posted? :)
    Wanna trade? :)

    Mr. Van Cise,
    Thanks you so much for supporting our blacksmiths!!
    Only they know how to make the sundang feel right.
  9. Agree completely with Brian's sentiments. I only posted the question to expand my own knowledge and not for controversy. I can understand why people have strong feelings around these issues and tried to steer clear!

    Thanks for the comments regarding the Kampilan. Here's the last photo of them from the images I found:


    Bangkung(20th c.), Kampilan, Bangkung(20th c.), Kampilan, Kampilan with a reworked handle, Kampilan
  10. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I love the pictures!
  11. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Yes Simon beautiful pictures. [​IMG]

    I have seen the site you posted them from but could you give us the link so we do not have to hunt around for it. Thanks!
  12. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    I have an authentic Kampilan similar to the one with the horse hair. Alas and unfortunately for me the hilt cracked due to the different weather here in Michigan. [​IMG] When I go next to the Phillipines for training some time next year I will have to try and replace it with another Kampilan if I can find one. Then I will have to take extreme measure to ensure that it will not crack. Ie. maintain a constant temperature.
  13. Buwaya

    Buwaya Senior Member


    I quoted your post to coment on a common misunderstanding I see online regarding a pandays personal interpretation of sandata, one that could be misconstrued from your phrasing. It's not aimed at you, but addressed more to the overall tone of the discussion. Please don't take it personally. I don't believe anyone's "involved" so much as we all have a personal interest in an art that we all love.

    My posts are addressed more to the overall thread and a personal commentary on things, than addressed to anyone in paticular.
  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    No sweat and I understand where you are coming from. [​IMG]
  15. Labantayo

    Labantayo Junior Member

    Mr. Van Cise,
    If you ever want to unload the cracked kampilan, please let me know... :)
  16. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    I will keep you in mind but it would be very, very hard to ever part with it. [​IMG]
  17. R. Mike Snow

    R. Mike Snow Chiseled Edge

    Which one are you refering to? I have posted two or three of my Ginunings and I do have all of them. Well, with the exception of five. Kali Cowbay kidnapped my Binangkuko and Navadisha one of my Plamengko. : ) I am still unsure of the ransom too. Pendakar confiscated one of my Barungs and GT Nene my Si and Au Seko w/Cu inlay. And I gave my Kampilan as a gift of appreciation.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  18. sjansen

    sjansen New Member

    Thank you Simon. I'm sure you have cleared up alot of the BS.
  19. Navadisha

    Navadisha New Member

    Ah, the plamenko (beautiful work), it is being well taken care off :wavey:
    You should be reunited in a few weeks with some other surprises.

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