KRIS AND KALIS
I don't participate much in auctions, so this is a special first for me- I got three target Bangsamoro pieces at reasonable pricing, and locally too (here in PH). Sharing with you my prized three: Maguindanao kris, Tausug kalis, and Maranao kris.
I always make sure that the antique weapons I get are restored to prime cutting condition. Luckily I was guided by a former forum member who's a master in restoration. I reset the hilt of the Maguindanao and Maranao kris; the former retained its original fittings while the latter, I had to re-wrap with simple rattan, as its original bindings have been eaten up by time. I've yet to repair the damaged ferrule of the Tausug kris; but as of present all three weapons are paper-cutting sharp.
The Maranao kris has some inlaid dot-stuff along the gangya, which looks to be some sort of white metal.
The Maguindanao kris has copper-wire pattern on its relatively small hilt. I added green thread because I found the circumference of the hilt small for my hand.
I find the Tausug kalis interesting because it has two sides; a carved wood side (I'm not sure what type of wood this is), and a turtleshell plate. It also has two small and one long fullers on the blade.
With regard to age, I'm betting that the Maguindanao kris is the oldest one, possibly preww2. I feel that the Maranao kris would be at postWW2 and the Tausug kalis at 1970s.
All three weapons are well-balanced, which I think is an indicator that they all aren't that old (I'm assuming older kris and kalis are heavier). During restoration, I've observed all of them to have some form of lamination; Maguindanao and Maranao with the usual linear lamination, while the Tausug had the best (and abundant) pattern.
Comments, analysis, and questions are welcome.
I agree that that newer kris is more recent and perhaps Sulu. The Maguindanao kris seems to be the oldest of the lot.
The "Maranao" kris might also be actually Maguindanao as well (based on the front of the ganga, hilt form, and scabbard). The white metal does look like silver, but close ups would help and you might want to get it tested to see if it's nickel-copper alloy or silver.
I would also agree with your caution on online auctions. Harder to discern quality or details if not in hand. Glad you were able to get these for good pricing as well as being able to inspect these up close. Congratulations!
Nice find, 3 swords with scabbards to boot. I agree with your age assessments.
It's good that you're bringing them back to working order. By your description, they're wicked sharp.
By resetting, did you remove and replace the hilts? Did you use tree pitch to set the tang?
Thanks for sharing.
Halloo Sir Kino!
I removed the hilts from the Maguindanao and Maranao ones. I obtained the original hilt as-is for the Maguindanao (it was quite sturdy), but I had to replace the rope wrap of the Maranao's (it was falling apart). I opted to have a common rattan wrap done by a local artisan to replace the textile wrap. Although in the future, if I were to do this again- ideally I should have learned how to weave the rope wrap myself =)
I used slow-setting epoxy. While tree sap would be ideal to be faithful to the piece's original state, I plan to cut with these blades a lot; epoxy would give me additional confidence and peace of mind to use the blades regularly.
~polished monocle starts from right eye~
Epoxy? My dear man, I do hope that this is some kind of attempt at a joke...
If you’ve seen the rigors that Xasterix puts his swords thru during test cuttings you’d see why he uses epoxy in place of pitch 🙂
Epoxy, even the quick setting epoxy, works well for these. Like pitch, you can take the hilts off if you heat the blade (though it takes a little longer).
I use both pitch and epoxy for Moro pieces for years. No problems here. :D
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