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Old 8th September 2020, 11:52 PM   #1
xasterix
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Default Four kampilan for assessment

Greetings! Would like to request assistance in assessing these four kampilans which were recently bought by close friends. Any info on them is much appreciated. TIA!

Here's kamp #1:
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Old 8th September 2020, 11:54 PM   #2
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Kamp #2:
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Old 8th September 2020, 11:56 PM   #3
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Kamp #3:
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Old 8th September 2020, 11:59 PM   #4
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Kamp #4:
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Old 9th September 2020, 01:41 AM   #5
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Hi Xas,

These are four nice old Moro kampilan. A couple of them (#1, #3) have suffered from poor storage over the years and show considerable drying out of the hilts with some nasty age cracks. That's unfortunate and the hilts need a good soaking in a wood oil if these hilts are to be saved.

All of them look old, and most, if not all, could be over 100 years old. The reason I say this is because the tips of the blades show considerable wear. It's possible that some of the tip wear could be corrosion from poor storage, but the wear on the tips looks like it has resulted from use and resharpening of the blade. The youngest of the four appears to be #4 because it is the best preserved. I would say all of them a pre-19001920.

We can say with some confidence that each of these is a Moro kampilan based on the geometry and symmetry of the blades. The kampilan can be approximated to a scalene quadrilateral figure, meaning it has four straight sides of unequal length, none of which are parallel. It is a fundamental property of such figures that medial axes can be drawn such that each line is equidistant from two opposite sides. In the case of the kampilan, we can connect any two points that are equidistant from the edge and the spine and project that line to each end of the blade knowing that the spine and edge are equidistant from it along its entire length. In this manner we can examine the symmetry of the blade as it was originally created.

In the accompanying pictures, I have drawn a medial line down the length of each blade. In each case, the line passes through the end of the notch beneath the spike at the tip. I described this feature about 15 years ago on the old UBB forum, but that information is now gone. I also talked about it a few years ago on this Forum. This feature of the line passing through the notch below the spike was universally found on more than 100 kampilan that I have drawn such lines upon. This must have been intentional on the part of the panday when forging the blade, but I have seen nothing to explain the significance of this feature. Perhaps this is a feature that you and your friends in the Philippines may be able to explore further.

Incidentally, this feature is not found on other kampilan-like blades, such as the T'boli tok. The tok shows a medial line passing below the notch underneath the spike. Thus, this feature seems to distinguish Moro from non-Moro kampilan blades (although there are obviously other features as well).

Seldom does one find an absolute feature that defines a blade. This specific geometry seems to be one such example.

Regards,

Ian.

.
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Old 9th September 2020, 01:59 AM   #6
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Here is a typical T'boli tok, and you can see the different orientation clearly with regard to the medial line below the spike and the notch.

Ian.

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Old 9th September 2020, 02:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hi Xas,

These are four nice old Moro kampilan. A couple of them (#1, #3) have suffered from poor storage over the years and show considerable drying out of the hilts with some nasty age cracks. That's unfortunate and the hilts need a good soaking in a wood oil if these hilts are to be saved.

All of them look old, and most, if not all, could be over 100 years old. The reason I say this is because the tips of the blades show considerable wear. It's possible that some of the tip wear could be corrosion from poor storage, but the wear on the tips looks like it has resulted from use and resharpening of the blade. The youngest of the four appears to be #4 because it is the best preserved. I would say all of them a pre-19001920.

We can say with some confidence that each of these is a Moro kampilan based on the geometry and symmetry of the blades. The kampilan can be approximated to a scalene quadrilateral figure, meaning it has four straight sides of unequal length, none of which are parallel. It is a fundamental property of such figures that medial axes can be drawn such that each line is equidistant from two opposite sides. In the case of the kampilan, we can connect any two points that are equidistant from the edge and the spine and project that line to each end of the blade knowing that the spine and edge are equidistant from it along its entire length. In this manner we can examine the symmetry of the blade as it was originally created.

In the accompanying pictures, I have drawn a medial line down the length of each blade. In each case, the line passes through the end of the notch beneath the spike at the tip. I described this feature about 15 years ago on the old UBB forum, but that information is now gone. I also talked about it a few years ago on this Forum. This feature of the line passing through the notch below the spike was universally found on more than 100 kampilan that I have drawn such lines upon. This must have been intentional on the part of the panday when forging the blade, but I have seen nothing to explain the significance of this feature. Perhaps this is a feature that you and your friends in the Philippines may be able to explore further.

Incidentally, this feature is not found on other kampilan-like blades, such as the T'boli tok. The tok shows a medial line passing below the notch underneath the spike. Thus, this feature seems to distinguish Moro from non-Moro kampilan blades (although there are obviously other features as well).

Seldom does one find an absolute feature that defines a blade. This specific geometry seems to be one such example.

Regards,

Ian.

.


Thanks very much for your assessment and sharing of what it takes to ID a Moro kampilan. Much appreciated, Ian! I might come across a few more, I'll post them in this thread also in the future.
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Old 9th September 2020, 04:13 AM   #8
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No only do I agree with Ian, but I remember that old thread. Sorry it is gone. Perhaps Ian you could re-create it?

Regarding kampilan #4, I would say that it is Maranao based on the okir on the hilt.
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Old 11th September 2020, 05:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
No only do I agree with Ian, but I remember that old thread. Sorry it is gone. Perhaps Ian you could re-create it?

....
Maybe. It will take some time to put it all back together. I lost a bunch of pictures years ago when my laptop was stolen. So it will take a while to recreate and update the ideas.
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