Visayan Binagong sword
Region: Panay Islands, Visayas – Philippines
Period: Late 19th century
Materials: Steel, Iron, Wood, Rattan, Leather
The ‘binangong’ is a lesser known type of sword from the Panay islands, West-Visayas, Philippines. It was meant for slashing and has its balance towards the midsection of the blade. The distinguishable blade shows a straight spine which ends in a rounded tip. The cutting edge starts right after the thickened forte which functions as a guard. The blade is flat on side A, but concave on side B, which gives a perfect slashing effect for a right handed warrior. The cutting edge tapers up towards approximately a centimeter towards the spine and widens near the tip. The blade is well forged and shows a fine laminated welding pattern and is perfectly balance for slashing downwards. The hilt is recognizable for the region and shows a demon carved in wood with large eyes and mouth.
The wooden hilt was attached to the blade with a strong resin and has a braided rattan band near the guard. The guard is asymmetrical and has the shape of a gourd, decorated with a toothed rim and small round protrusion. It fits well in its original wooden scabbard, consisting of two slabe held together by rattan and a leather throat piece. The scabbard shows an abstract depiction of a crocodile emerging from the watersurface.
Condition: Very good, the hilt shows some ware and so does the scabbard, an old crack caused by dehydration and some loss of rattan bands. Further excellent and very rare.
Hilt length: 14cm
Blade length: 38.9cm
Blade spine thickness: 8mm
Scabbard length: 41.6cm
Total length: 66.3cm
Provenance: French private collection
– Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, Harvard acc. nr.06-20-70/66667
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