Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 3rd September 2021, 07:45 PM   #1
drac2k
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 905
Default A Nice Small Punal

I recently picked up this item and based on the aluminum washers, I would guess that the punal is circa WW2. What I like about this dagger is the very fine(to me), engraving work and I was wondering if this is an older reworked blade.
drac2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2021, 08:12 PM   #2
Rich
Member
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: comfortably at home, USA
Posts: 425
Default

Pics of your punal please.
Rich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2021, 11:39 PM   #3
drac2k
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 905
Default Punal pictures

Please see attached pics.
Attached Images
      
drac2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2021, 02:47 PM   #4
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,339
Default

Hi drac.

This dagger is fairly recent, including the engraved blade. I'd say late 20th C from the Lake Lanao area of Mindanao. It is Maranao workmanship and a nice looking piece.

Ian.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2021, 07:58 PM   #5
drac2k
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 905
Default

Thanks for the info; nice to see that there are craftsmen over there still doing decent work.
drac2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 11:04 AM   #6
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,431
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
This dagger is fairly recent, including the engraved blade. I'd say late 20th C from the Lake Lanao area of Mindanao. It is Maranao workmanship and a nice looking piece.
Hi Ian,I kindly disagree, I am pretty sure that this style is around 50 years older as you stated. I own some in this style so I guess from the used materials (aluminium, german silver, horn, ivory, early plastic, banati) and the clear signs of long time use a time frame between 1930 until 1950. By end of the 20th century examples I wouldn't expect such a patination my examples clearly show.
Best regards,
Detlef
Attached Images
   
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 11:06 AM   #7
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,431
Default

And here an example from our member Kronckew.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Sajen; 5th September 2021 at 11:07 AM. Reason: add picture
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 11:19 AM   #8
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,431
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
I recently picked up this item and based on the aluminum washers, I would guess that the punal is circa WW2. What I like about this dagger is the very fine(to me), engraving work and I was wondering if this is an older reworked blade.
Hi Drac2K,

A very nice example indeed and I concur with your age guess. The three shown examples from my collection with similar blade style have laminated blades and I bet that yours as well.
The ivory shows clear signs of age so you don't need to get a bad conscience that you have bought recent ivory!

Regards,
Detlef
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Sajen; 5th September 2021 at 11:34 AM. Reason: add picture
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 11:28 AM   #9
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,431
Default

BTW, I prefer to call them gunong instead of punal, "punal" is the notation the Spanish colonists give them.
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 02:55 PM   #10
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,339
Default

Hi Detlef,

Of the examples you show, the one in the top left is the oldest in style. The hilt, guard, and scabbard may well be pre-WWII. The blade style seems later, although it may be an earlier blade with later engraving. The other two look post-WWII to me, especially the mixed-media guards. I have found patina is not a very reliable guide with these knives, with discoloration returning fairly promptly after cleaning (and even using a sealant such as Antique Wax).

We have talked before about aluminum on Philippine weapons, and it is still my belief that this feature was not seen pre-WWII. I have yet to be shown a convincing example with aluminum prior to the 1940s. There may be a rare example out there, but I have not come across it (and I have been looking). WWII was an excellent opportunity for reclaiming aluminum from downed planes, and was the first time this fairly uncommon metal became available in reasonable amounts for indigenous use. Aluminum cans did not come along until the 1960s.

The multimedia hilts and guards, as shown in the original post in this thread, are relatively recent and have increased since the 1960s. Similar examples are still being made in the Lake Lanao region and nearby areas. Similarly, blades engraved with okir designs have become more prominent since the 1970s, and continue to be made. Although well crafted, many of these knives are now produced for visitors to the islands and customers more widely.

In the 1990s, the multimedia hilts were occasionally seen in the antique and cultural shops of Manila. By 2005, they were more common and appeared to be manufactured recently. They now appear on eBay with some regularity, having not been at all common there in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 04:08 PM   #11
drac2k
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 905
Default

First, let me compliment you on your many beautiful gunong(I will try to refer to them as such from now on); some of your scabbards, especially the wooden one with the leather throat, would certainly indicate pre-WW2 construction as well as the quality of your blades which also denote an early elegance that I find lacking in recent production.
In regards to the use of aluminum in the adornment of Philippine weapons, I've often wondered about it being exclusively WW2 and after. In its early years, Americans found it to be a rare and exciting commodity; so much so that it tops our Washington Monument that was dedicated in 1885. Thus we have a highly prized metal, available after 1885, and a large American presence in the Philippines after 1889; if we Americans found this metal to be so special, why wouldn't the local Philippine warrior find this to be rarer than gold or ivory and want to incorporate it into his weapon?
I agree with Ian that most of these blades that incorporate aluminum are from WW2 and later, but I was wondering if there are certain rare exceptions?
drac2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 05:29 PM   #12
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,830
Default

The problem with aluminum is that it was a very difficult process to extract it from bauxite ore, so up to then it was almost a precious metal of sorts. Thus US and Germans used it for special occasions since it was rare due to the difficult process. Only later in WWII did aluminum become common and available to the world, including the Philippines from downed planes. This is why you see aluminum on Philippine weaponry from WWII on. It was no longer a very wealthy man's metal.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th September 2021, 06:27 PM   #13
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,431
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k View Post
First, let me compliment you on your many beautiful gunong(I will try to refer to them as such from now on); some of your scabbards, especially the wooden one with the leather throat, would certainly indicate pre-WW2 construction as well as the quality of your blades which also denote an early elegance that I find lacking in recent production.
Thank you and I agree with you.

Regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2021, 08:24 PM   #14
Rafngard
Member
 
Rafngard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Minneapolis,MN
Posts: 287
Default A few from my collection.

I few of these from my collection. I have some of the more narrow bladed (almost) single edges ones with okir also, but I thought I'd stick to these broader bladed ones.

I'm not sure I'd qualified to give an opinion on the age of these, but I find the argument that they're older compelling. These are showy, and feel like status pieces. Ivory isn't uncommon on them (like the middle one here). It would follow that the use of aluminum here is because it was a rare material, not because it was a readily available one.

Have fun,
Leif
Attached Images
 
Rafngard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th September 2021, 01:10 AM   #15
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,339
Default

Guys,


Let's remember that WWII ended 75 years ago, and 1970 was 50 years ago! Some of these post-WWII knives will look quite old--and they do. Much of my dating of gunong comes from observations and discussions with dealers during my work trips to the Philippines in the 1990s and early 2000s.


Ian
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th September 2021, 06:25 PM   #16
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,431
Default

I really doubt that end of 20th century gunongs are worked with laminated blades and have a handle from ivory since they are worked for tourists.
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th September 2021, 06:33 PM   #17
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 7,431
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Let's remember that WWII ended 75 years ago, and 1970 was 50 years ago! Some of these post-WWII knives will look quite old--and they do. Much of my dating of gunong comes from observations and discussions with dealers during my work trips to the Philippines in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Hi Ian,

WWII area and even 1970 isn't end of the 20th century, see my statement above, I really doubt that tourist gunongs have laminated blades and ivory was also at end of the 20th century an expensive material.

Regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2021, 12:05 AM   #18
David R
Member
 
David R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 782
Default

Is that grip Ivory,or is it possibly "shell".
David R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2021, 04:06 PM   #19
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,339
Default

Hi Detlef,

In earlier discussion I used "late 20th C" to mean the last quarter of the 20th C (1975–2000).

As you know, dating Filipino pieces is difficult. It is hard to know how long it takes Moro items to filter into the commercial stream of the Philippines. Thirty or forty years ago, it took longer for Moro crafts to be traded into the wider marketplace, and the appearance of such items in Manila or Makati occurred some time after their manufacture. Based on discussions with Manila merchants in the 1990s and later, that delay shortened after National Government/Bangsa-Moro conflicts and tensions started to ease. In the last 10–20 years it has become much more common to see recently made Moro crafts available in Manila and other major centers.

Again, based on my discussions with Manila merchants, the types of gunong shown in the original post of this thread are likely of relatively recent manufacture. Those with a prominent central bulge to the grip, stacked horn/plastic/metal/bone elements, and horn ( metal inserts/pins) guards were stated to have been made from about the 1970s, and increasingly since the 1990s. It is possible that these informants may have been off by a decade or so, but some of them had been trading since the 1950s or 1960s, and knew what they were talking about. Based on the information I obtained, these multimedia examples are almost certainly post–1950 and most likely post-1960. [I say "almost" because hearsay is never absolute.]

Detlef, you are perfectly entitled to believe these types of gunong are older and come from the 1930s or 1940s. However, I have found no evidence to support such an earlier date.

Regards,

Ian
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.