Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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tanaruz 24th October 2021 12:52 PM

sangi tboli
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A recent acquisition. What is perhaps a point to ponder is that though this, IMVHO, is a T'Boli piece (based on the ikat design-especially the lower one)- the scabbard is ornamented by mother-of-pearls (MOP).

This is the first, and only one, with this kind of scabbard design in our collection of sangis.

So that kept us (me and father) thinking. The ikat on the upper part of the scabbard, though very much faded- does have a semblance weave design on the Tboli t'nalak (being just a small piece). But it could also be an ikat weave from another lumad tribe. (possibly, a dagmay ikat from the Mandaya tribe).

Another possibility is that the ikat on both points- could be dagmay. If indeed dagmay, then this blade is Mandaya. (just a thought).

Your inputs are highly appreciated.

Kind regards


Battara 24th October 2021 07:39 PM

Oh I would say Bagobo (though possibly T'boli) and perhaps 1910 - 1930s based on the use of the types of beads and on the mother-of-pearl on the scabbard.

xasterix 24th October 2021 08:42 PM

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Nice piece. Here's another sample of a sanggi with MOP accents, estimated to be of postwar make.

Ian 24th October 2021 09:11 PM


I agree with your ID of the bottom piece of ikat as T'boli. However, the use of ikat wraps on sword and knife sheaths has not been especially helpful in identifying the origins of Lumad weapons in my experience. For example, I have seen Tagakaolu (Bagobo) weapons and utility knives with T'boli ikat wraps, as well as B'laan. Of course this may have reflected the preference and culture of the ultimate owner rather than the maker of these weapons. Which makes mixed cultural items rather difficult to describe.

Judging from the hilt of your example, I think this is a T'boli work knife with elements of non-T'boli decoration. The example shown by xasterix is a post WWII T'boli sanggi—the cast bronze hilt is distinctive. However, there are people here who have more experience of Lumad weapons and can probably give you a more accurate reading on the decoration of your example.



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