PP21 whole

Code:  PP21

This is a Banyal (bañal) from the island of  Mindanao, The Philippines. Although the shape of the blade resembles that of the Bankung from the same area, the banyal is much smaller — too big to be a knife and too small to be a proper sword.

This weapon is probably from mid-20th C.  Overall, it measures about 17 inches with the blade about 11 inches.  At the widest portion of the blade, it measures 1 ¾ inches. The blade has a diamond edge - filed or forged on both sides rather than the chisel shape sometimes found on blades from the region. The blade bears marks of many sharpenings and use. The blade is thick at near ¼ inches at the base with a slight distal taper towards the tip.  The increasing width of the blade versus the decreasing thickness account for the excellent balance. It is quick in the hand for combat in confined spaces, a useful feature for jungle fighting. 

The hilt is oblong and has a pommel that is a not what one would expect on a bangkung.  Other collectors have said the pommel is similar to those found in N. Borneo.

The scabbard is made of the two traditional wooden pieces, secured in place with lacquered rattan bindings.  There is minimal decoration on the scabbard.  The shape and design of the scabbard is identical to that of a bangkung. The carvings are floral/geometrical as one would expect on an item from a Muslim culture. However, the tie hole in the scabbard is unlike other Moro weapons.

A fascinating knife/sword that must have an interesting history!

Read more about the Moro here.