A Large Moro Barong
Southern Philippines, Moro People – Early 20th century
Materials: Wood, Horn, Brass, Steel
The ‘Barong’ or ‘Barung’ is small chopper used among the Moro (Islamic) tribes of the South Philippines. They are commonly made in the same manner, with simple, yet elegant wooden hilt. Often fitted with a brass ferrule. The blades are leaf shaped, sometimes pattern welded or Chinese made. The ‘Barong’ is rarely encountered with a guard like this example, which is made of buffalo horn.
Larger and more rounded then usual, with a conical shaped beak curving towards the blade. The end of the grip is decorated with a carved finial which is well preserved. The hilt is fitted with a brass ferrule which is attached to the rare horn guard. Usually all ‘Barong’ are without a hand guard. I personally never encountered a guarded example before.
Razor sharp and well forged in typical leaf shape with heavy tip, which makes it perfectly suitable for chopping. In fact, the size and weight of this example points towards sacrificial or execution usage. The blade is very long and due to its weight it will easily cut through an opponent with one single blow.
An extremely rare example, given its length, weight and a-typical hand guard. One must note that this example is nearly 20 centimeters longer then the average ‘Barong’. According to its patina and shape, I would date this example somewhere in the first half of the 20th century.
Condition: Good, minor ware on the hilt. Excellent original sharpened blade.
Blade spine thickness: 5mm
Total length: 70cm
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