Ethnographic Arms & Armour

Ethnographic Arms & Armour (
-   Ethnographic Weapons (

tanaruz 5th August 2020 12:51 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Hello friends,

From my father's collection- a not so often seen (actually my father says that it is the only one he's ever seen) kampilan of the Kalagan tribe. OAL is 33 inches with a 22-inch blade.The handle/guard and pommel is the typical kampilan design (boaya/swiflet design). Copper braids on the handle. Scabbard: wood with ornate carvings and rattan bindings. Typical lumad design.
Note: the false edge is sharp.

The kalagan tribe- ethnic group of people from the southeastern part of the Philippines known as the Davao region. They are one of Muslim minority groups and belong to the 13 Moro tribes of the Bangsamoro family.



Ian 5th August 2020 02:53 PM

Hi Yves,

Yep, that's a very odd piece and I've never seen another one like it. Thanks for sharing this example.


tanaruz 5th August 2020 03:15 PM

Originally Posted by Ian
Hi Yves,

Yep, that's a very odd piece and I've never seen another one like it. Thanks for sharing this example.


Hi Sir,

My father was telling me that when be bought this piece in the 80s and first time cleaning it- it drew blood (a little cut on his finger).

Baptism of blood? ha ha



Rick 5th August 2020 10:57 PM

The only thing I can see that it has in common with a Kampilan is the handle and guard. Is this enough to label it as such? :confused:

Ian 6th August 2020 02:04 PM

Rick, I think it's possible this one started out as a more traditional kampilan blade that was reworked or damaged/repaired to arrive at its present state.

Ian 6th August 2020 02:24 PM

Yves, I understand that the Kalagan people share some of the same geographic range as the Tagakaolo. Do you know about interactions between the Muslim Kalagan and the Lumad Tagakaolo? A (not very reliable) informant from Davao suggested that the two groups interacted quite extensively, with intermarriages also occurring.

I've been interested for a while in the use/adaptation of Moro swords by the Tagakaolo, Bagobo, and Blaan--notably some very odd looking kris with old Maguindanao blades that have been dressed in Lumad hilts and scabbards. There are certainly close links between the Bagobo and Tagakaolo, and I have seen reference to the possibility that the Tagakaolo became somewhat "absorbed" into the larger Bagobo community, so there may be some commonality in their adapting Maguindanao kris.

Cross-culturalism regarding weapons of the different ethnic groups on Mindanao is hard to understand from a distance, and I was wondering if you had any insights on this.

I don't want to hijack your thread with a separate topic. If you have any information then we could certainly start another thread.



Ian 7th August 2020 02:50 AM


I have received an email from a very reliable source saying that the Kalagan are simply Tagakaolo who have converted to Islam. So that resolves one of my questions. Do you have any thoughts on the other matters I raised?


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