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Old 9th September 2021, 07:30 PM   #30
Ian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
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Hi David.

I agree pretty much with all you have said. There certainly were better made gunong in the past. This was mostly in terms of high end materials, as you note, rather than departure from a simple design. Your example is a beautiful and elegant gunong and typifies the simplicity of the knife at that time. I used the word "fancy" more to describe the embellishments to that simple basic form: the addition of a "bulb" to the middle of the hilt, the use of multimedia in construction of the hilt, and decoration of the blade with okir engravings.

No disrespect intended in using the word "chicken" to describe the sarimanok. Manok means chicken in many Philippine dialects. If you prefer to substitute "bird" that works for me too.

As far as mono-steel versus laminated steel, that's a whole separate discussion of metallurgic characteristics and forging. Many laminated blades perform excellently, but their forging and tempering required considerable skill to obtain a high level of performance. By and large, I think mono-steel did not require the same level of skill in forging and tempering the blade, with gradual loss of the older techniques over time.

Ian
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