Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 25th October 2020, 01:04 PM   #1
Klop
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 16
Default Punal size and construction

Dear members,

This is my first Punal / gunong which was a surpise in size when it arrived, it is really small while the workmanship and materials are fine; elephant ivory, buffalo horn, laminated blade.

In the bulb some of the inlay dots are missing, the middle one on the right hand side seems to be lead or alu and appears to be fixating the tang. Is that a common constuction on these knives? And is this size an abnormality, maybe made for a woman or child?

All thoughts are wellcome.

Kind regards,
Eric.
Attached Images
   
Klop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th October 2020, 10:04 AM   #2
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,055
Default

Hi Eric.

Welcome to the Forum. Some dimensions of your gunong would be interesting for discussion. The materials and general condition suggest fairly recent manufacture.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th October 2020, 04:30 PM   #3
Klop
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 16
Default

Hi Ian,

thanks for your input, here is a picture with a ruler (centimeters), blade is about 9 cm long.

Kind regards,
Eric.
Attached Images
 
Klop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th October 2020, 10:41 PM   #4
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,107
Default

Hi Eric,

I've seen and handled some of these miniature gunongs, I guess they are souvenirs. I have a similar one, see here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showp...354&postcount=1
Our member Spunjer also has some very nice ones but can't find the thread at the moment.
Here some others in small size from other members: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=gunong & http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=24831

Like said, I think they are souvenirs, I would guess that yours is from around 1940.

Regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th October 2020, 01:36 AM   #5
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,604
Cool

Hello Detlef,

Those you cite exhibit traditional workmanship - I'd tend to believe that Eric's example is post-WW2, possibly quite recent considering the scabbard and the seemingly fresh resin; also fixing the tang with a metal pin is not traditional and functionally not terribly convincing if done from any soft metal...

Eric, the blade seems to be pretty thin - any measurements?

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th October 2020, 04:50 PM   #6
Klop
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 16
Talking

Hello Detlef, thanks for your input, much appreciated.

Hi Kai,

The blade is 2 mm thick/thin - wouldn't expect much more for a miniature if it's not meant as a functional weapon. However I still wouldn't like being cut or stabbed with this toy. In my hands it would be a push dagger with the stem between index and middle finger

I don't think this is as recent as you do, given workmanship, condition of the blade and the nice yellowish patin on the ivory. Detlefs guesstimate makes more sense to me. I cleaned the blade and gave it a hot water "etch" to see the pattern, that is what you're seeing now.

About the metal pin riddle, I'm not sure if the tang really is secured with the metal, my question was if this method is used on these daggers. I didn't expect that, rather tang in resin.

I can see a little bit inside the bulb through the next hole and there I see some of the metal protruding - but I can't see where it goes completely. In any case at this moment it is the only metal dot in the bulb, maybe there have been more in the past. It doesn't come out the other side like a mekugi on japanese swords. As for strength, that is not relevant for a miniature/souvenir but I'd say that if the Japanese have been using small bamboo pegs for centuries on fullsize swords in actual battle then a soft metal pin would be enough to fix the blade on a miniature dagger - again IF it touches the tang at all. I'm starting to think it doesn't and is in fact just another decoration dot.

Some more pics with scabbard deconstructed.

Kind regards,
Eric.
Attached Images
   
Klop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th October 2020, 05:38 PM   #7
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,127
Default

That's a nice little item you have there. I'm pretty much in line with what Detlef stated about dating, though i'm not convinced "souvenir" is definitely the case. While this little dagger isn't a practical weapon it might have some other cultural significance and miniatures of blades have been created around the world in many cultures that aren't necessarily meant to be sold to tourists. It is nicely constructed from good materials and has a laminated blade. And you did a nice job on the renovations. If it were mine i might even consider locating some MOP to fill the empty holes in the hilt.
Early gunongs were indeed rather small daggers. The blades got larger when colonial powers banned swords. They were meant for stealth, to be concealed weapons. But you do need a dagger to be long enough to ensure it does some actually damage and 9cm probably would be more a nuisance than a death blow.
Here is my early gunong. The blade here is a 13.4cm. I think it would be hard (though not impossible) for anything much small to be used as a weapon.
Attached Images
     
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th October 2020, 08:35 PM   #8
drdavid
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 356
Default

In terms of being an effective weapon I'm afraid this is probably not long enough. My understanding is that 200 mm (8 inches) was determined, by the British military when developing the Mark 4 bayonet, to be the length required to reliably cause lethal damage to an opponent wearing full winter battle dress. Mind you I would still not like to be poked hard in a soft bit by this little punal
DrD
drdavid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2020, 01:10 AM   #9
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,055
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
... But you do need a dagger to be long enough to ensure it does some actual damage and 9cm probably would be more a nuisance than a death blow. ...
Hi David, it depends how and where you strike someone--9 cm can be lethal in the right place, as shown by the use of some folders of similar size.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2020, 07:27 PM   #10
David R
Member
 
David R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 621
Default

The Roman army reckoned that 2 inches in the right place did the job.
David R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2020, 08:18 PM   #11
Klop
Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 16
Default

Hi David,

yours is a nice one! indeed more substantial.

I was also thinking of plugging the holes, not sure with what yet. At this moment there's no MOP but it might look good, I'll make some designs or testcases first, nothing irreversable.

And of course I'll be on the lookout for a fullsize version :-) Here in the netherlands we see lots of Indonesian items but little Phillippenes. Btw the seller mislabeled it as knife from Java, he didn't know what it was. Supposedly it has been in his family for some generations but there was nobody left to ask how they got it. Info lost in the sands of time...

Kind regards,
Eric.
Klop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2020, 09:04 PM   #12
kino
Member
 
kino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 757
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drdavid
In terms of being an effective weapon I'm afraid this is probably not long enough. My understanding is that 200 mm (8 inches) was determined, by the British military when developing the Mark 4 bayonet, to be the length required to reliably cause lethal damage to an opponent wearing full winter battle dress. Mind you I would still not like to be poked hard in a soft bit by this little punal
DrD


Winter BDU in the southern Philippines consists of an extra cotton shirt under the Malong, at night.
kino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th October 2020, 09:37 PM   #13
drdavid
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 356
Default

Gentlemen, you are of course correct, a 1 cm deep laceration can be fatal if it is in the right spot. My comment was,
Quote:
reliably cause lethal damage
in other words lethal without having to hit one of those key spots. Kino, your comment about winter dress in the Philippines is also very pertinent. I have some experience of knife wounds having worked in ED departments, I recall treating 7 stabbings on one particularly busy Saturday night.
cheers
DrD
drdavid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2020, 04:55 PM   #14
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,127
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hi David, it depends how and where you strike someone--9 cm can be lethal in the right place, as shown by the use of some folders of similar size.

Yes Ian, and with the right training i could kill someone with a razor blade and a bit of luck. But i believe what we are trying to determine is whether this is a weapon or a souvenir. As a weapon a 3 1/2 inch blade is not your most effective tool. So i will repeat that it is unlikely that such a small gunong would be produced with killing in mind, even though, yes, it is possible to kill with rather small blades. However, i am still not convinced tourism was the intent here either.
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2020, 04:04 PM   #15
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Those you cite exhibit traditional workmanship - I'd tend to believe that Eric's example is post-WW2, possibly quite recent considering the scabbard and the seemingly fresh resin; also fixing the tang with a metal pin is not traditional and functionally not terribly convincing if done from any soft metal...


Hello Kai,

Like the others I think that I am correct by my dating, compare the example in question with this two big examples from my collection.

Regards,
Detlef
Attached Images
  
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2020, 04:06 PM   #16
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
However, i am still not convinced tourism was the intent here either.


Hello David,

What could be another reason for this small gunongs?

Regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd November 2020, 12:24 AM   #17
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,127
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hello David,

What could be another reason for this small gunongs?

Regards,
Detlef

Well, right off the top of my head it could have been made for a child or there may have been some symbolic or ritual use. We might be able to expand these possibilities with further thought.
I also find myself questioning if a pre-WWII (or any era for that matter) souvenir from the Philippines would be made with ivory and a laminated blade. I know there was tourism in the region at the time, but were they producing souvenirs like this for them?
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd November 2020, 05:27 PM   #18
Rafngard
Member
 
Rafngard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Minneapolis,MN
Posts: 261
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
compare the example in question with this two big examples from my collection.


Hello Detlef,

I know you've seen one of these before, but I have near twins of your two examples in my collection.

Have fun,
Leif
Attached Images
  
Rafngard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th November 2020, 04:16 PM   #19
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Well, right off the top of my head it could have been made for a child or there may have been some symbolic or ritual use. We might be able to expand these possibilities with further thought.
I also find myself questioning if a pre-WWII (or any era for that matter) souvenir from the Philippines would be made with ivory and a laminated blade. I know there was tourism in the region at the time, but were they producing souvenirs like this for them?


Hello David,

Yes, could be for a child. On the other hand think to the very early 20th century Sumatran Batak "souvenirs", very well made knives and daggers.
People are inventive when they can make business. We never will know without source for what these little gunongs are made, sadly!

Regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th November 2020, 04:19 PM   #20
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard
I know you've seen one of these before, but I have near twins of your two examples in my collection.


Hi Leif,

Yes have seen it before. The last one is indeed an exact twin of mine, the other one is similar!

Best,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:10 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.