Talibon Diety Pommel

A talibon from Visayas island, The Philippines.

Code: PP25

A talibon from Visayas island, The Philippines. The hilt is wrapped and braided rattan that has been lacquered. The pommel is carved wood in a diety motif.  The blade is well forged with a chisel grind, i.e., a mid-blade ridge on the right side and sharpening on the right side only. The scabbard is hardwood matching the pommel in typical two-piece form, firmly secured by braided wrapped rattan.  The blade slides easily and snugly into the scabbard. Unlike many older examples, this scabbard includes a braided corder used to secure the scabbard to the waist. It appears to  have been cut long ago and not separated due to failure of the cord. Perhaps this was taken from a prisoner in the Spanish-American War.

Total length: 15 ¾ inches.  Blade length:  11 ¼ inches. Blade width, measured at the belly: 1 ¼ inches. Blade thickness:  ¼ inch, with distal taper to 1/16 inch at the tip.

This talibon has a relatively rare "diety"-type pommel, the origin of which is lost in time and of considerable debate among ethnologists.  Some speculate the demonic features scares the spirit of the one killed so it does not return to haunt the wielder of the sword.  Others believe they are likenesses of the pirates who used to roam the seas near the Visayan islands.  Another theory is that the shapes are remnants from animistic religions before the advent of Christianity and Islam in the region. Or, they may be a Hindu influence.  In any event, these types of pommels are one of the great mysteries for sword collectors.