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Old 25th August 2020, 03:07 AM   #1
xasterix
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Default OLD AND NEW BARUNGS

Greetings everyone,

Thanks to everyone who appreciated my previous modern pira post. Here's a lineup of a close friend of mine. Mostly modern barungs from the Sulu archipelago. In the blades-out pic, only the two long ones with dark-brown-hilts are old.

In the scabbarded pic, some Palawan badungs have been thrown into the mix.

Further proof that the traditional arts are alive and well.
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Old 25th August 2020, 07:06 AM   #2
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Now, that's a line-up, complete with dwarf barung! Thanks, Xas!

The artisans obviously put a lot of effort into crafting these. However, I have yet to find any modern style hilts that resemble the ergonomics of the old-style designs. (I have to stipulate though, that I haven't handled enough modern hilts to make a general statement.)

I know it's hard to change a cultural development of possibly over 100 years. Wouldn't it make sense though to also try to reproduce old-style hilts, especially if functional blades are desired?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 26th August 2020, 12:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Now, that's a line-up, complete with dwarf barung! Thanks, Xas!

The artisans obviously put a lot of effort into crafting these. However, I have yet to find any modern style hilts that resemble the ergonomics of the old-style designs. (I have to stipulate though, that I haven't handled enough modern hilts to make a general statement.)

I know it's hard to change a cultural development of possibly over 100 years. Wouldn't it make sense though to also try to reproduce old-style hilts, especially if functional blades are desired?

Regards,
Kai


Good point on the hilts. Really ergonomic hilts like those of the old ones are hard to come by nowadays. They're still around, but it takes some digging (and access to difficult-to-reach areas) to locate artisans who have the knowledge and skill to make ergonomic hilts.
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Old 26th August 2020, 01:23 AM   #4
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I'd certainly love to see any examples you may came across. Thanks, Xas!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 4th September 2020, 01:27 PM   #5
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How do older hilts differ in the hand from modern ones? Do the older hilts move the balance to or away from the point? Or do the modern hilts have a twisty, insecure feel in the hand? Is it a difference in how they slice across a target?
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Old 4th September 2020, 04:54 PM   #6
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Hilts from the 19th century (or older) are a joy to hold. Period. (Only really extravagant renditions of junggayan hilts compromise ergonomics for show. The vast majority of all extant examples offers a very positive grip.)

Modern hilts tend to dig into the palm of the hand during usage and some also put undue stress on the pinkie - they can be a real pain to use for any extended period. Usually they are made from less dense wood (weightwise this may be "compensated for" by more bulky design) and not well polished.

I'm afraid I never bought any modern Sulu hilt. Thus, I currently can't compare them directly side by side.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 4th September 2020, 05:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hilts from the 19th century (or older) are a joy to hold. Period. (Only really extravagant renditions of junggayan hilts compromise ergonomics for show. The vast majority of all extant examples offers a very positive grip.)

Modern hilts tend to dig into the palm of the hand during usage and some also put undue stress on the pinkie - they can be a real pain to use for any extended period. Usually they are made from less dense wood (weightwise this may be "compensated for" by more bulky design) and not well polished.

I'm afraid I never bought any modern Sulu hilt. Thus, I currently can't compare them directly side by side.

Regards,
Kai


I second this - old hilts are indeed highly ergonomic as compared to most modern hilts. However, there are modern, off the grid pandays whose hilts almost reach to the level of old ones. They are scattered throughout the Sulu archipelago, usually in areas that are difficult to access due to conflicts between extremists and government troops.
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Old 18th September 2020, 11:51 AM   #8
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Here's a new barung from Jolo, Sulu. Engraved blade, silver ferrule, silver wire budbud, bunti hilt. It's a beast in terms of performance; solid and hefty despite its relatively small size (just over 9inches blade). There are modern barungs like this one that are very well-made.
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Old 18th September 2020, 03:21 PM   #9
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That's nice.
How thick is the blade nearest the hilt? How's the blade constructed, pattern welded? Mono steel?
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 19th September 2020, 06:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kino
That's nice.
How thick is the blade nearest the hilt? How's the blade constructed, pattern welded? Mono steel?
Thanks for sharing.


Hi sir Kino, the spine nearest to hilt is 0.5cm exact. The blade is monosteel.
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Old 19th September 2020, 06:58 AM   #11
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Can someone post a side by side comparison of the 'comfortable' old style alongside an 'uncomfortable' modern one? A picture is worth a thousand words...
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Old 19th September 2020, 08:27 AM   #12
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Wayne, you may find some useful observations in this thread--Modern barung. As Xasterix has noted, there are still some traditional barung makers, but many of the newer pieces show unusual features and some of these are illustrated in that thread.
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