Moro Kampilan sword

A Kampilan sword with pattern welded blade, Moro people, Mindanao, Southern Philippines - 19th century.

Details of this item

Price

 750

Status

Available

Region

South East Asia (Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines)
(Southern Philippines, Mindanao, Moro People)

Period

19th century

Materials

Steel, Iron, Wood

Price

 750

Status

Available

Region

South East Asia (Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines)

(Southern Philippines, Mindanao, Moro People)

Period

19th century

Materials

Steel, Iron, Wood

Description

The ‘kampilan‘ is an iconic sword from the Philippines, especially the Mindanao region in the Southern Philippines. The ‘kamiplan‘ is a traditional fighting sword of the indigenous inhabitants of these areas and was initially used for war and headhunting campaigns. They are generally similar in design, the difference is ethnologically based and varies mostly in the hilts. The most common hilts are the crocodile style hilt, the ‘kakatua’ (cockatoo) and the ‘kalaw‘ (hornbill) type. The latter can be seen on our example here.

The hilt:
As mentioned, this example can be referred to as the ‘kalaw‘ type which represents a hornbill. It was carved out of two pieces of hardwood; a guard and a hilt. The guard is carved in horizontal curved cartouches with a complicated pattern on front facing the opponent. The hilt is slender, well balanced and has a splendid carved pommel decorated with petal motifs on all sides. The guard has a forged iron wavy protection bar.

The blade:
The blade is straight, single edged and tapers towards the tip. A small protrusion near the rounded tip of the blade stands out and being called a ‘double tip’. The Moro people are known for their outstanding forging techniques which is often shown in the difficult welding structures in their blades.

 

Moro Kampilan sword

Condition

Very good condition, some ware on the hilt and loss of the hair tufts.

Dimensions

Hilt length: 26.2cm

Blade length: 77.4cm

Blade spine thickness: 8mm

Total length: 104cm

Weight

1007gr.

Comparable items

Penn Museum Philadelphia acc. no. 339,819_41-34-23A

Provenance

French private collection.

Literature