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Old 20th May 2021, 07:50 PM   #1
Marbel
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Default Tboli Sudeng - input please

Hello,

The Tboli prize these old Moro swords and call them ďsudengĒ. My knowledge of these Moro pieces is rather limited and so Iím hoping to gain as much education as I can from the members here. The piece is not in my possession so the photos are a bit limited for now but am hoping they can get the conversation started. I can ask for others.

Thank you very much!
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Old 20th May 2021, 10:22 PM   #2
David
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Marbel, i don't see anything Tboli about this Moro kris. I have seen such blade fall into possession of other Philippines cultural groups and they are then given hilt and other dress treatments from those cultures. But this kris looks 100% Moro to my eyes.
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Old 20th May 2021, 11:32 PM   #3
Marbel
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Default Tboli sudeng

Correct, it’s definitely Moro.

However as noted, these are often prized and owned by Tboli datus. This piece is specifically owned by the family of a late Tboli datu. The Tboli call this type of weapon a sudeng. I do apologize if my original post was a bit confusing. If removed from its provenance, there would be no Tboli connection. For those interested in the interactions between the Lumad of Mindanao and the neighboring Moro groups, I thought it would be useful to note that these swords are often kept as heirloom pieces by the Tboli and considered there own.

My hope is that I can learn from the Moro-expert members here about what can be deciphered from the photos. Any thoughts on age? The different elements of the sword, hilt, scabbard, etc.

Thank you.

Last edited by Marbel; 20th May 2021 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 21st May 2021, 02:55 AM   #4
Battara
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Not unheard of to trade these pieces between tribes.

This is a Maguindanao kris/kalis from the beginning of the 20th century. This is a more common form and not a datu style piece, or if it is, was modified years ago.
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Old 21st May 2021, 12:31 PM   #5
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An interesting cultural piece with good provenance. There are a number of these Maguindanao kris around that have been modified by the T'boli, and are therefore identifiable as cross-cultural items. I have owned several such pieces with cast brass hilts that show a T'boli influence. Some of the other Lumad groups, such as the Bagobo/Tagakaolu, were also fond of Maguindanao kris.

In this regard, all of the examples I can recall were older Maguindanao swords that were more slender than many we see from the late 19th-early 20th C, which had broad heavy blades.

I will post some pictures of Lumad-modified kris in the next couple of days.


The word sudeng may be derived from the Moro/Visayan word sundang, which means "sword," and in the Moro context it is sometimes used for the straight-bladed form of kris.
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Old 21st May 2021, 02:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marbel View Post
Correct, itís definitely Moro.

However as noted, these are often prized and owned by Tboli datus. This piece is specifically owned by the family of a late Tboli datu. The Tboli call this type of weapon a sudeng. I do apologize if my original post was a bit confusing. If removed from its provenance, there would be no Tboli connection. For those interested in the interactions between the Lumad of Mindanao and the neighboring Moro groups, I thought it would be useful to note that these swords are often kept as heirloom pieces by the Tboli and considered there own.

My hope is that I can learn from the Moro-expert members here about what can be deciphered from the photos. Any thoughts on age? The different elements of the sword, hilt, scabbard, etc.

Thank you.
Hi, my knowledge on Lumad-appropriated kris is limited...what I've researched about concerns the Teduray/Tiruray, who still use Bangsamoro kris nowadays for their dances. The kris is also an everyday carry for some of them.

Me and a friend used to own kris that had Lumad signatures- the scabbard, scabbard effects, how the tang was inserted, etc- and culminated in a broken greneng and lack of baca-baca.

A Lumad expert also told me that the different Lumad tribes actually place great importance on the symbolism of the different parts of the kris, very much like how each part of the keris has esoteric significance.

With regard to fighting arts, some Lumad tribes have passed-down martial knowledge, a possible distant relative of Moro Fighting Arts (MFA).
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Old 22nd May 2021, 11:04 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your comments and insights. Much appreciated and Iíll certainly be happy to hear anything more.

Xasterix - as an aside, a few years before he passed away I was able to communicate with Stuart Schlegel regarding his lifetime connection to the Teduray/Tiruray. Iíd be very interested in knowing more about your studies of these people, specifically their material culture. My primary focus is on the Tboli and Blaan, but as you know the Teduray are the third in their specific language group.

Thank you again.
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Old 23rd May 2021, 04:58 PM   #8
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Marbel, thanks for clarifying your opening post. As i noted, i am well aware that the Tboli people prized the Moro blades, but generally, once such blades were brought into the culture they were given a Tboli treatment in regards to dress. I am sure you have experienced this since you posted one of these not too long ago.
http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthread...ght=Tboli+kris
If you say this particular keris was in the possession of a Tboli datu i will certainly not doubt you. But i wonder under what circumstances since i would think if such a blade were to be actually used by a Tboli datu he would be likely to redress it to reflect his own culture.
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Old 23rd May 2021, 05:58 PM   #9
Marbel
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Default Tboli sudeng

Hello David,
Thank you again for your thoughts. Over the years Iíve been diligently working on research related to various aspects of Tboli culture, specifically material culture - weaving, garments, jewelry & adornment, musical instruments and of course weapons. Iíve only recently begun digging a bit deeper into the Ďsudengí.

Certainly the original owners of these sudeng have passed away, but their family still have memories and tales. Iím trying to gather as much information as I can from these elders. As I come across new, interesting or definitive information I look forward to sharing it here.

As to this specific piece, Iím in communication with the family and will see what I can discover further (which may not be much). As to the sudeng in general, what Iíve found thus far is very much as one would expect. They were acquired in trade and as gifts for deeds and friendship. In the more distant past, wartime acquisition was likely as well. In terms of being modified or not, Iím finding that it was either a practical decision (a repair was required, a scabbard lost, etc) or a personal one (wanting to Ďredecorateí or prizing it just as it was). It is interesting to note that whether modified or not, the Tboli refer to both as sudeng. In short, a Maguindanao piece acquired by the Tboli did not necessarily require any adjustments and many (relatively) remain today in their original state. Without preserving the provenance, once these old original pieces leave the mountains, their oftentimes 100+ year connection to their Tboli home will be lost forever.

Thanks again.
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