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xasterix 11th September 2020 04:01 AM

Maranao kris with a different hilt
3 Attachment(s)
Greetings, am interested if anyone has encountered this type of hilt before (on other PH trad blades). This is most likely a re-hilt, I'm just curious if the hilt was just a random fancy (Tugaya-made) or sourced from another PH ethnolinguistic group. Thanks!

Ian 11th September 2020 06:50 AM

Hi Xas,

Good blade on your kris, with what looks like silver inlay that is complete. Very nice. The hilt, however, does not really befit the blade IMHO.

As for the hilt, I believe the pommel is based on a minimalist interpretation of a kakatua. I have a couple of similar examples on various blades (a barung and an unidentified work knife come to mind), and have thought that these were simply rustic versions of the more elaborately carved forms. The small iron(?) ferrule seems somewhat anomalous and the grip has no other treatment (no wrap, etc.), which suggests that the hilt is either not Moro or perhaps its Moro owner had fallen on hard times and needed to economize. I don't know which non-Moro group might have made this plain type of hilt, so I think it is probably an unusual (and parsimonious) Moro variant.

Despite the quality of the blade, this one looks to be more of a "user" than for display. It has a practical look about it.


Ian 11th September 2020 07:11 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is one that I was able to find quickly. It's a small barung with a minimal kakatua pommel, plain wooden grip and small metal ferrule.


Battara 13th September 2020 12:05 AM

I agree with Ian and will add:

1. This is a Maguindanao piece, not Maranao (based on the sale of the ganga and the scabbard).

2. This type of hilt I have seen on Malaysian keris called "executioner's keris", and thus I don't believe it was original to the piece.

3. The silver inlay is minimalist and could easily be a fighter.

kai 13th September 2020 03:48 AM

Hello Jose,

The base of the blade does look Maranao, doesn't it?

Anyway, a nice, traditional blade; looks like first quarter of the 20th century to me. I agree that some silver inlay does not detract from serious use...

I don't think the hilt is influenced by the Malay horsehoof hilt style. The wood quality, ferrule, and general craftsmanship seem to suggest it being a later replacement.


kronckew 13th September 2020 09:09 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Another minimalist barong hilt:

20c minimalist hilt barung

Ian 13th September 2020 10:51 PM

Hi Wayne,

I missed your barung when you first posted it. The blade is "forward-weighted" compared with Sulu barung and the profile resembles some of those made in Zamboanga. The hilt is Maranao.


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