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Old 17th September 2020, 01:09 PM   #1
tanaruz
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Default BAGOBO BOLO?

Hi friends,

From my father's collection- a supposed to be Bagobo bolo (a kampilan?).

1) in one of my earlier posts, I have shared a presumably tagagaolo bolo with a similar scabbard design (floral side of the scabbard/round metallic discs).

My father remembers this piece as a Bagobo bolo (as what was told to him by the antique seller in General Santos City). We have Bagobo bolos/swords (aside from the 'datu' class earlier posted) in our collection- but they have hilts with a combination of wood + metal designs - this one has a solid hilt made out of brass.

Looking at the design on the brass hilt- it makes me wonder in indeed this is Bagobo.

Any feedback/inputs would be appreciated.

Regards

Yves
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Old 17th September 2020, 01:50 PM   #2
Ian
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Hi Yves:

Yes, this one is Bagobo/Tagakaolo. The Tagakaolo are one of the three main groups of Bagobos, who live mainly on Mt Apo and surrounds, including Davao City. It is uncommon to see an all brass version of this hilt. Usually it is the decorated brass ferrule with a wooden (often banati) pommel.

Ian
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Old 17th September 2020, 02:16 PM   #3
tanaruz
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Wink BAGOBO BOLO?

Hello Sir Ian,

Thanks so much for the info!


Kindest regards

Yves
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Old 17th September 2020, 11:41 PM   #4
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That's a Bagobo kampilan, all right...I'm just curious about the scabbard, as it seems to deviate from usual samples. Here's my godfather's brass-hilted Bagobo piece with the usual scabbard.
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Old 18th September 2020, 03:09 AM   #5
Rick
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What defines this sword as a Kampilan?
Is Kampilan a generic term through out the islands?
Couldn't this sword also be called a Bangkung?
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Old 18th September 2020, 06:14 AM   #6
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Like Rick I too question the use of "kampilan". I also agree with Xasterix in that this is an unusual scabbard, almost looks like Moro "knock off" or a more recent Moro scabbard for this Bagobo piece - trade perhaps?
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Old 18th September 2020, 07:28 AM   #7
Ian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
What defines this sword as a Kampilan?
Is Kampilan a generic term through out the islands?
Couldn't this sword also be called a Bangkung?
Rick, I think this one is another kampilan-like blade. Probably more so than resembling a bangkung which tends to have a more rounded approach of the spine to the tip. I don't know what the Bagobo would call this blade.

Xas, nice traditional ensemble, with the complete brass hilt also. These two would make a dozen or so of this style I have seen with all brass hilts. I never found one for sale when I was accumulating Lumad pieces. It's nice to see these two good examples of Bagobo/Tagakaolo brasswork.

As far as the scabbard, I think it may be from Zamboanga. It seems to have a rope keeper for tying around the waist.

Ian
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Old 18th September 2020, 04:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Rick, I think this one is another kampilan-like blade. Probably more so than resembling a bangkung which tends to have a more rounded approach of the spine to the tip. I don't know what the Bagobo would call this blade.

Xas, nice traditional ensemble, with the complete brass hilt also. These two would make a dozen or so of this style I have seen with all brass hilts. I never found one for sale when I was accumulating Lumad pieces. It's nice to see these two good examples of Bagobo/Tagakaolo brasswork.

As far as the scabbard, I think it may be from Zamboanga. It seems to have a rope keeper for tying around the waist.

Ian
.


Hullo Ian I think the label depends on the sub tribe. Like one if the sub tribes calls it 'paligoma.'
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Old 18th September 2020, 04:57 PM   #9
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I haven't had a chance to clean it up yet, or get better photos (these are from the seller), but here's a similar piece that I recently picked. Aside from the string/fiber in the "gaps", the hilt is completely brass. I do wonder if they all originally had these?

The only other things I'll add are that the hilt is a little small for my hands, and I was a little surprised at how blade heavy it is.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 18th September 2020, 08:58 PM   #10
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Hi Lief:

That's an unusual one for a couple of reasons. First, the hilt seems to be wood with no brass. Is that right? If it is all wood, then that is more uncommon than all brass. I've only seen one other example of an all wood Bagobo hilt. Also, the pommel has some carved designs on the side--again uncommon. The hilt looks pretty old judging from the wear on the carved areas of the grip. Is the blade pinned near the guard?

Second, the scabbard has a suspension system. That's an anomaly because Bagobo groups wear their sword tucked through a sash or belt.

So I'm wondering if this is a sword in the Bagobo style made for another Lumad group. Bagobos did trade their weapons, and I recall accounts of the Mandya and Manobo using Bagobo weapons. Alternatively, this might have been carried/brought back by a US soldier. Any provenance?

Look forward to seeing more pictures when you have cleaned it.

Ian.
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Old 19th September 2020, 05:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
First, the hilt seems to be wood with no brass. Is that right?


Hello Ian, the pictures don't convey it well, but the hilt is made entirely of a very tarnished, non-magnetic metal. I assume brass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Is the blade pinned near the guard?


yes, via the surprisingly large circular structure near the gard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Alternatively, this might have been carried/brought back by a US soldier. Any provenance?


No provenance. It came from ebay and was described as a "Datu Indonesian sword." My guess is that it was a bring back.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 19th September 2020, 09:46 AM   #12
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Thanks Leif.

Pinning the hilt and tang like that is distinctly odd for any Mindanao group, or indeed for any Traditional Filipino weapon. I think this was probably WWII vintage and used by an American serviceman, or maybe even going back to the early 20th C when the US had forces on Mindanao to deal with the Moros.

Interesting piece.

Ian
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Old 20th September 2020, 02:15 AM   #13
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That pinning my well have bee by a US GI since Bagobo didn't traditionally do this. Usually no need for it.
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