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Old 4th June 2023, 06:23 AM   #1
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Default Batangas nobility bolos

Short write-up by Raymundo V. Lucero, Jr.

These swords were called "nobility bolos" in Spanish and American-written historical references. They were made sometime during the Spanish colonial era (estimated mid to late 1800s). They were called "nobility" because they were made of premium materials (for the Philippines context), mainly carabao horn for the hilt, brass for the ferrule and guard, hardened wrought iron for the blade, and brass-accented leather sheath. Considered expensive for their time, these swords were worn by wealthy landowners and high-ranking officers as status weapons.

The sword construction is threaded tang. The blade profiles are called, from top to bottom, "hojas tari" (also known as uhas tari, wastari, ohas tari, oas tari in other PH languages) and an unknown profile possibly known as "dahong palay" in the old Batangas context (there are many "dahong palay" swords profiles across other provinces, across different eras).

The swords were obviously influenced by European sword design, especially with regard to the threaded tang construction, brass guards, and leather sheaths.

Special thanks to my mentors Style Allah and Zel Umali (former forum members) for their unparalleled sword knowledge and generosity.
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