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tanaruz 1st August 2020 01:01 PM

MORO BARUNG
 
2 Attachment(s)
Hi friends,

Sharing a barung collection from my father's. This was purchased around 2 years ago from the family of a balikbayan from the US. What attracted me is the silver braids on the handle. My first impression is that this barung's pommel was missing (am I correct to say this?). Could there have been a pommel on this piece? what possible design could it have been?

because of the silver handle and the braids...could this be a middle to upper-class type?

Thanks for your info and keep safe always.

Yves

Note: the rattan weaves are, in my opinion, a new addition to either hold the scabbard pieces together or for safely reasons.

Ian 1st August 2020 01:30 PM

Hello Yves.

Thank you for showing this beautiful Sulu barung. I believe this one is indeed a datu quality piece. The extensive use of silver on the hilt, with braided silver rings (budbud) overlying the silver punto, is an indicator of a high quality piece intended for a wealthy individual. You are correct that the pommel is missing. The peg protruding from the end of the hilt would have been used to secure the pommel, possibly an elaborate junggayan one made of precious wood or ivory.

Some years ago I had a barung with a similar, silver-covered, hilt missing its pommel and I have seen at least three other examples also missing their pommels. It seems that their owners may have fallen on hard financial times and removed the valuable pommels for sale. Filipino friends have told me this happens occasionally.

I had my barung restored to completeness by battara, who is also a Moderator on this Forum. He made a silver kakatua pommel that really brought the barung back to life and made its gin happy again. :)

Ian

tanaruz 1st August 2020 11:52 PM

MORO BARUNG
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hello Yves.

Thank you for showing this beautiful Sulu barung. I believe this one is indeed a datu quality piece. The extensive use of silver on the hilt, with braided silver rings (budbud) overlying the silver punto, is an indicator of a high quality piece intended for a wealthy individual. You are correct that the pommel is missing. The peg protruding from the end of the hilt would have been used to secure the pommel, possibly an elaborate junggayan one made of precious wood or ivory.

Some years ago I had a barung with a similar, silver-covered, hilt missing its pommel and I have seen at least three other examples also missing their pommels. It seems that their owners may have fallen on hard financial times and removed the valuable pommels for sale. Filipino friends have told me this happens occasionally.

I had my barung restored to completeness by battara, who is also a Moderator on this Forum. He made a silver kakatua pommel that really brought the barung back to life and made its gin happy again. :)

Ian


Hello Sir,

Really appreciate the info. You do have pics of the restored pommel? Is it ok to contact battara (for some pics and suggestions)?

I have a sperm whale tooth in my collection. Bought from a picker who got it from Tawi Tawi during the 80s. It would be a possible option for a pommel.

Question: is sperm whale tooth considered 'ivory'?

Kindest regards,

Yves

Battara 2nd August 2020 02:23 AM

I was so happy to work o Ian's barong.

I agree your's probably had ivory, wood, or even horn on the pommel.

And yes, sperm whale tooth is a form of ivory, and it is not unheard of to use sperm whale tooth, sea cow tooth, hippo tooth, even clam shell. Lots of trade in the region.

And Yves you have PM.

Battara 2nd August 2020 02:35 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Here are the pictures of how I got it from Ian:

Battara 2nd August 2020 02:37 AM

2 Attachment(s)
So I replaced the missing brass inlay on the blade, made a horn spacer, and made the silver pommel (before there were any pictures of such a thing), and a scabbard for it:

Battara 2nd August 2020 02:38 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Here are some close ups:

tanaruz 2nd August 2020 02:54 AM

MORO BARUNG
 
Hi Sir,

Gorgeous...the djinn must be very happy indeed Sir Ian. :-)

I will email you Sir Jose.

Thanks all,

Yves

Ian 2nd August 2020 05:04 AM

Jose,

Thanks for posting pics of that barung. I still have it and was having trouble finding the old pictures. Glad to see you kept them.

Ian.

kino 2nd August 2020 02:16 PM

Hi Ian, did your hilt have the tenon as opposed to a mortise like Tanaruzí hilt?

Is the pommel solid silver or does it have a wood core?

It looks nice. Good job Jose!

Ian 2nd August 2020 11:39 PM

Hi Kino, IIRC there was a round hole in the end of the wooden hilt which may have been for attachment to a pommel. Jose may recall more clearly.


You would have to ask Jose what is underneath the silver kakatua he created. ;)

Battara 4th August 2020 02:36 AM

I will make a note: many barongs and kris have missing pommels, it would appear.

tanaruz 6th August 2020 01:35 PM

MORO BARUNG
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I was so happy to work o Ian's barong.

I agree your's probably had ivory, wood, or even horn on the pommel.

And yes, sperm whale tooth is a form of ivory, and it is not unheard of to use sperm whale tooth, sea cow tooth, hippo tooth, even clam shell. Lots of trade in the region.

And Yves you have PM.


Hello Sir Jose,

Thanks for this valuable info especially the sperm whale tooth being a form of ivory.

Sir you have a PM

Keep safe

Yves


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