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Old 7th September 2021, 04:32 PM   #22
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,376

Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
I agree with you completely that the availability of aluminum during and after WW2, due to its vast availability was extensively incorporated into Philippine weapons, however, my question is, that with the great number of US Army personnel and the extensive Naval Fleets there, isn't there a possibility that some aluminum was there prior to WW2? Whether it was for nautical gear or to resist the prevalent tropical corrosion, both applications would have made it a prime component in that location, if even on an experimental basis. Many a file has walked off of US bases only to be reincorporated into a blade.
Why would one fabricate a nice gunong, composed of ivory, shell, horn, etc., and throw in 5 or 6 small aluminum washers and devalue the piece to modern-day collectors; surely the bladesmith could have used copper, etc., knowing that the piece would be more valuable. In the pieces that Sajen has and to a lesser degree the one that I have, I feel that the producer of these daggers valued the incorporation of aluminum far beyond its ascetic look.
I agree with 99.5% of what you have stated: I'm just asking if it is possible?
Hi Drac,

I'm sure there was quite a lot of aluminum on Clark AFB prior to WWII. The military had many uses for it. However, it would have been in engines and other structural components that would have been hard to put in your pocket and walk off the base. I don't know if it is possible for the metal to have found its way into the hands of Moro craftsmen prior to WWII.

I can't speak to "why aluminum and not some other metal?" Earlier gunong were made with coin silver as a form of decorative white metal. Perhaps aluminum seemed a more exotic form of white metal for decoration purposes. Or silver became harder to find at a reasonable price when the silver content of coins decreased, so they turned to another white metal that polished brightly. I don't know, but the Moro are not the only ones to use aluminum on hilts in the Philippines post-WWII.


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